Pope Francis guarantees the safety of children and announces the worldwide process of making amends to survivors of sexual abuse by catholic clergy.
On the occasion of the review by the UN Committee for the Rights of the Child in Geneva, archbishop Tomasi and archbishop Scicluna announced the severe procedures against priests committing “the worst crime” as they called it: a crime against the innocence of children. At the same time they announced a worldwide program for the catholic church to embrace the hundred thousands of victims of sexual abuse by catholic clergy and to start the process of making amends for the incredible suffering caused by these.
The news was received with a standing ovation by the entire UN committee and the survivors organisations present at the review in the Palais Wilson on the banks of Lake Geneva.
The headline above would have sent a wave of elation to survivors around the world. Finally recognition by the organisation that covered up thousands of crimes for the last half a century…
It would have done the catholic church and pope Francis in particular incredibly good as well. It would have shown the humane and moral face of the organisation that has come so far astray from the words and deeds of that son of a simple woodworker (if he ever existed at all and was not just an invention of the men living hundreds of years after him). At once that whole religion and all the empty words would make sense again… and pope Francis would have been the one to change the world.
But unfortunately the headline above is not true.
The answers given by the (alleged) Holy See delegation were nothing of the kind… The contrary in fact !
This headline is a lie, just like every answer given by the delegation to the questions raised by the UN committee. They bluntly lied without a blinking of the eye… they lied to the face of the committee, to the survivors present, to all the media gathered in that cramped room and to the whole world. Long term they will not get away with it, but for the time being the delegation has successfully done what they came for: limit the damage and gain time.
Everybody in the room knew they were lying. The delegation knew of course, the committee knew and the survivors organisations, who have relentlessly been studying their moves and actions for decades, knew. Even most members of the media knew, apart for some catholic media present who still believe that the catholic church is a “force for good”.
So, there we were sitting in a room full of (mostly) normal, decent human beings, listening to a bunch of liars in the front of the room. And although everybody knew, the procedure remained civilised, the questions were asked politely and the answers were plain fucking lies.
That made it very hard for us…
Before the meeting we were instructed that we would not be allowed to protest or disrupt the meeting in any way and that we should remain silent as, following the standard procedures of the review, the delegation of the church could leave the room whenever they wanted. So we suffered in silence while the diplomatic procedure continued…
That did not stop Sue from speaking some clear words to the members of the delegation during the breaks and these were the only short moments of satisfaction when we saw the flash of shock when they received the truth straight in their face from her.
On the 5th of February, the Committee will publish their conclusions and recommendations to the Vatican and then they are off the hook for a couple of years, until the next review. We will have to stay alive to make their live difficult then again.
The one big and important result from the review is that the whole world has been able to see and hear the answers of the delegation. One must be completely brainwashed by the catholic church to have missed the fact that they were lying and, as I believe that there are still a lot of decent human beings in our world, they will not get away with it.
The Vatican’s PR machine will have a lot of work to iron these ripples out of the recent history. Maybe Francis is going to thank the garbage men of Rome or help the gardeners weeding the Vatican’s gardens and can they publish some nice pictures of him. Smiling, of course, as he knows that they got away with it for now.
But not forever! There is hundred thousands of us and we will continue to tell the world the truth.
(A detailed report of our participation will follow – for the moment we are still too tired to write a comprehensive report.)