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By Gene Thomas Gomulka
Recent events in Argentina reported by the Associated Press and other media sources hint to not only why Pope Francis and Cdl. Blase Cupich did not want the Vatican summit to include discussion of the abuse of seminarians and adults, but also why Pope Francis has never returned to his native land following his 2013 election, where he could face criminal charges for covering up sex abuse.
Evidence now in the hands of Argentine prosecutors may also help explain why Francis, in response to a question early in his papacy about homosexuals, responded, "Who am I to judge?"
If you are an abusive homosexual bishop like Zanchetta, Piñeda or Maccarone, or a predator priest like Grassi, Inzoli or Corradi, might you feel betrayed if a fellow cleric whom you knew shared your homosexual orientation came out with a statement condemning those who engage in homosexual behavior? Why does a cardinal like Francesco Coccopalmerio, whom multiple sources confirm attended a "drug-fueled homosexual party" in the Vatican, escape criticism from the Pope, who personally made the apartment available to Coccopalmerio's secretary, Msgr. Luigi Capozzi?
I believe the reason the Vatican did not take steps to censure ex-Cdl. Theodore McCarrick after it received ample documentation from Richard Sipe and Fr. Boniface Ramsey about his abuse of seminarians is that the McCarrick cover-up led all the way to Pope Francis himself. The Pope may call all the sex summits he likes, but the facts show that he himself appears to have covered up as much, if not more, abuse than Cdl. Donald Wuerl and so many other prelates in the Church. So much for Francis' so-called "zero tolerance" policy.
If prosecutors in Argentina are able to prove that Francis is guilty of covering up sexual abuse and possible obstruction of justice in the Grassi case, will the Pope claim diplomatic immunity, as he did for Cdl. Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, whom a French court summoned to testify at the trial of Cdl. Philippe Barbarin of Lyon for failing to report accusations of abuse by a priest to the police?
Cardinals like Cupich and other Vatican prelates who owe their appointments to Francis have gone out of their way to deny any connection between the sex abuse crisis and the disproportionate number of homosexuals in the episcopacy, the priesthood and seminaries. These prelates know that Francis not only covered up the abuse of minors, seminarians and adults in his native Argentina, but they know, as new evidence from Argentina demonstrates, he continued to cover up abuse even after his election.
The question is, "Will the Pope resign and seek political asylum inside the Vatican instead of returning to Argentina to face criminal charges, or will he continue to engage in his conspiracy of silence while accusing abuse victims and their supporters of being in league with Satan, "the Great Accuser who is trying to uncover sins to cause scandal"?
If millions of Catholics have been scandalized — which has led to the closure of thousands of churches in the United States, Europe and Ireland — it is because Catholics have lost their respect for and confidence in Church leaders like the Pope, the cardinals and bishops who have either engaged in the sexual abuse of minors, seminarians and adults, or who covered-up this abuse.