BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (ChurchMilitant.com) - Pope Francis, currently implicated in protecting homosexual predator and former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, reportedly was involved in a similar cover-up while archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The case involves the late homosexual Bp. Juan Carlos Maccarone, formerly of Santiago del Estero, who resigned as bishop in 2005 after a video surfaced of his homosexual encounter with 23-year-old Alfredo Serrano. An initial PR campaign under Cdl. Jorge Bergoglio made Maccarone out to be the victim while avoiding the moral implications of Bp. Maccarone's actions.
The scandal widened when Maccarone surfaced five years later administering the sacraments in a diocese next to Buenos Aires headed by Bergoglio. In 2010 Maccarone confirmed children at Holy Trinity parish in Rufino while residing a few hundred miles away in Claypole, a suburb of Buenos Aires, at a mission that was home to a large number of disabled children.
Likewise, an episcopal commission chaired by Cdl. Bergoglio immediately following the incident in 2005 wrote a declaration of solidarity, sympathizing with Maccarone, which scandalized many of the faithful. The statement praises Maccarone, expressing gratitude to the former bishop for his "service of the poor and those who have threatened life and faith."
Ultimately the church cited "health problems" that caused Maccarone to resign his episcopal office without mentioning the homosexual encounter that was caught on tape. Fortunato Mallimaci, a Buenos Aires sociologist, noted the soft-peddling of the incident by Church officials dealt a serious blow to the church's credibility.
"This means that the idea of the Catholic Church as the moral reference of the Catholic nation is very strongly put in doubt," Mallimaci said. "It shows that a double standard exists within the church itself." He said the incident and how it was handled also weakened the Church's moral authority, especially when teaching on issues of sexuality.
After Maccarone died in 2015, reports surfaced that he had also sexually abused at least one minor. While bishop of Chascomús, Maccarone was criminally implicated in the homosexual abuse of a minor but was allegedly protected by the Argentinian bishops' conference (CEA).
In spite of the alleged abuse of at least one minor, Maccarone was put in proximity with children at least by 2010 in Buenos Aires. The same year that Maccarone was seen confirming children in Rufino, media reported the former bishop of Santiago del Estero was residing in Claypole (Buenos Aires) in Cotolengo de Don Orione, home to a large number of children with disabilities. Maccarone reportedly was offering Mass for the nuns responsible for the children's care.
Maccarone was also in proximity of youth as dean of the faculty of theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Buenos Aires, whose grand chancellor at the time was Cdl. Bergoglio.
The similarity between homosexual predators such as ex-Cdl. McCarrick and the late Bp. Maccarone was presented in an op-ed piece in The New York Times. The article noted homosexual relationships among clerics is given a pass by the hierarchy until it turns criminal and only then when it's outed:
The other rule of the clerical closet is not violating the civil law — or at least not getting caught. Francis defended Monsignor Ricca by distinguishing between sins and crimes: "They are not crimes, right? Crimes are something different." This distinction provides cover for sex abuse. When countless priests are allowed to live double lives, it is hard to tell who is concealing crimes. Cardinal McCarrick was widely seen as "merely" preying on adult seminarians. Now he has been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor."
Pope Francis is now being called to hold to his own zero-tolerance policy, which includes as per the #CatholicMeToo movement, not only sexual abuse of minors but also of vulnerable adults.