Last year, we wrote about Father Frank Pavone, a Catholic Priest who was kicked out of the priesthood for preaching Catholic Doctrine too aggressively. Pavone's sins? Using Social Media and Grandstanding.
Today I read about an American Bishop fired by the Vatican. Pope Francis fires outspoken Texas Bishop Joseph Strickland. His sins? Using Social Media and Grandstanding. Yes, that's all. "Strickland, an outspoken conservative on issues including abortion, was known for his social media broadsides against the Holy See and had come to symbolize the growing polarization within the US Catholic hierarchy."
Literally 2 weeks ago, the Holy See came under criticism because a report by the Spanish Government claimed that Catholic Clergy had molested 200,000 kids.
Listen, we are at a point where dissolving the Catholic Church has to be an option. When that report in Spain hit the media, were priests carted out of their parishes in paddy wagons? No. The Catholic Church, for the most part, has protected priests as long as they've faithfully served the church.
That is a terrible look. Priests loyal to the Pontiff can do anything? Ecclesiastics who undermine the Vatican in philosophy are dismissed? Again Bishop Strickland was let go because he criticized his superiors and interpreted scriptures too conservatively.
When I was younger, I always thought the greatest temptations to priests were sleeping with vulnerable widows and skimming the collection plate to buy cool stuff on the down low. Both of those transgressions should get you fired from the priesthood, but not necessarily sent to jail.
But priests who molest kids, especially kids in bulk, have to go straight to prison. I don't understand how the Church could soften the punishment on that crime.
You want to get Pope Francis' attention? Arrest pedophile priests, then slap padlocks on the doors of the church. Padlocks come off when restitution is paid and that priest is in prison.
Your argument is that punishment would bankrupt the church? Maybe the church should be bankrupted. It's almost like the world has had a "too big to fail" approach to the Catholic Church. If the Catholic Church is dismantled, don't worry, another religion will take its place.
This is not a new problem. In the year 2017, Pope Francis was forced to admit that the Catholic Church had a 2,000 Case Backlog of Sexual Abuse Cases. If you do your homework, there's a well documented trail of tens of thousands of cases back to the 1950's.
Why does the Bishop Strickland termination bother me so much? Because it shows the Catholic Hierarchy values obedience over all. If a religious hierarchy isn't based on a moral code that it preaches, it shouldn't exist.
Pope Francis wants to excommunicate me? I'm an example of an American's "backward thinking?"
Right now, the Vatican is no better than any other corporate entity. It is too big and unwieldy to deal with its core problem of 1 in 20 priests being pedophiles.
If there's over 400,000 priests in the world, that means Francis is employing about 20,000 pedophiles. His top priority needs to be weeding them out, not punishing Conservative Clergy for using social media.