By Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service, Courtesy: NCR May 18, 2018
Vatican City — Every bishop in Chile offered his resignation to Pope Francis after a three-day meeting at the Vatican to discuss the clerical sexual abuse scandal.
Note: ‘Thus goes the glory of the world’ (Sic transit Gloria mundi)! All of Chile’s bishops without exception offered their resignation, in contrast to bishops all over the world, also in India, who refuse to resign even after their age limit or allegations of corruption! Think also of power hungry political leaders, think of Karnataka crisis, who want to reach out for the unreachable moon. The lesson is the same for all: “All wordly glories are fleeting!”
According to Francis it is "the Caiphas syndrome, Better for one man to die for the people than that the whole nation perish," that got rid of Jesus, is still at work in the hierarchical church in general, which must be rooted out. What was the reaction from churches outside Chile?
Learn from Chile
The German Catholic reform group spokes-man, Christian Weiswner, hopes, bishops in other parts of the world learn lessons from the Chilean bishops' experience. The United States, Australia and some European countries, such as Ireland, Belgium and Germany, "have already experienced the disclosure of sexual violence in their churches and went through some crisis," Weisner told NCR. "However, in many other countries in Europe — and also in Africa and Asia — the existence of sexual violence still is totally ignored and denied."
It is in this context that CCV’s suggestion: Why not a Chile experiment in India? becomes all the more relevant. Think especially of Indian bishops who want to stick on like a leech to their power, pomp and office, even when their confreres, the clerical class and the faithful shout in union: “Resign, Stay out!”
As long as the hierarchical church stays silent and refuses to discuss the vexing issue (financial and sexual corruption) the message it sends out is that it is complicit with the corrupt and led by the the Caiphas syndrome! The good sign is that the lay folks are speaking up to “Evangelize the self-styled Evangelizers.”
May they grow in strength and lead by example imitating Jesus born in Cattle shed and lived homeless for the homeless and marginalized, while attraction for many is to follow Constantine who made it a Church of the comfortable class of perks, privileges and pomp. james kottoor, editor ccv.
Read below report on Mass resignation of Chile Bishops!
Pope Francis and 34 Chilean bishops begin meeting late May 15 to discuss the clerical sexual abuse crisis in Chile. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
"We want to announce that all bishops present in Rome, in writing, have placed our positions in the Holy Father's hands so that he may freely decide regarding each one of us," Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez Errazuriz of San Bernardo said May 18 in a statement on behalf of the country's bishops.
The unprecedented decision was made on the final day of their meeting May 15-17 with Francis.
Auxiliary Bishop Fernando Ramos Perez of Santiago, secretary-general of the Chilean bishops' conference, said the pope had read to the 34 bishops a document in which he "expressed his conclusions and reflections" on the 2,300-page report compiled by Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta and his aide, Fr. Jordi Bertomeu, during a visit to Chile to investigate the scandal.
"The pope's text clearly showed a series of absolutely reprehensible acts that have occurred in the Chilean church in relation to those unacceptable abuses of power, of conscience and sexual abuse that have resulted in the lessening of the prophetic vigor that characterized her," Ramos said. After reflecting on the pope's assessment, he added, the bishops decided to hand in their resignations "to be in greater harmony with the will of the Holy Father."
"In this way, we could make a collegial gesture in solidarity to assume responsibility — not without pain — for the serious acts that have occurred and so that the Holy Father can, freely, have us at his disposal," Ramos said.
Shortly after the announcement, Juan Carlos Cruz, one of three survivors who met privately with Francis in April, tweeted, "All Chilean bishops have resigned. Unprecedented and good. This will change things forever." The bishops will continue in office unless or until the pope accepts their resignations.
The document in which Francis gave his evaluation of the situation of the church in Chile was leaked May 17 by Chilean news channel Tele 13. The Associated Press reported that the Vatican confirmed the document's authenticity.
The pope wrote in the document that removing some church leaders from office "must be done," but that "it is not enough; we must go further. It would be irresponsible of us not to go deep in looking for the roots and structures that allowed these concrete events to happen and carry on."
In it, the pope said that "the painful situations that have happened are indications that something is wrong with the ecclesial body." The wound of sexual abuse, he said, "has been treated until recently with a medicine that, far from healing, seems to have worsened its depth and pain."
Reminding the bishops that "the disciple is not greater than his master," Francis warned them of a "psychology of the elite" that ignores the suffering of the faithful. He also said he was concerned by reports regarding "the attitude with which some of you bishops have reacted in the face of present and past events."
This attitude, the pope said, was guided by the belief that instead of addressing the issue of sexual abuse, bishops thought that "just the removal of people would solve the problem." In an accompanying footnote, the pope said the bishops' behavior could be labeled as "the Caiphas syndrome," referring to the high priest who condemned Jesus saying, "Better for one man to die for the people than that the whole nation perish."
The act of covering up cases of abuse, he added, was akin to the Latin American saying, "Muerto el perro se acabo la rabia" ("Dead dogs don't bite"). The document's footnotes included several details from the investigation made by Scicluna, who is president of a board of review within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; the board handles appeals filed by clergy accused of abuse or other serious crimes.
The pope said the report confirmed that, in some instances, the bishops deemed accusations of abuse as "implausible." But Francis said he was "perplexed and ashamed" after he received confirmation that undue pressure by church officials was placed on "those who carry out criminal proceedings" and that church officials had destroyed compromising documents.
Those actions, he said, "give evidence to an absolute lack of respect for the canonical procedure and, even more so, are reprehensible practices that must be avoided in the future." Following the document's release, Cruz applauded the pope's evaluation of the abuse crisis and of the bishops' behavior toward survivors of sexual abuse.
"This is the pope that I met during my conversations in the Vatican," Cruz told Chilean news site, Emol, May 17. "I hope all (the bishops) resign and that the church in Chile begins to rebuild with true shepherds and not with these corrupt bishops who commit and cover up crimes, as the document states."