Truth vs. Power

It is the age old fight between those demanding the truth and those who wield the power to bury it.

It is not clear whether Pope Francis knew as early as 2013 about the sexual abuse allegations against ex-Cardinal McCarrick, and we will not know for sure unless the evidence arises to confirm this, because the Pope simply ain’t talking.

Who’s going to make him? He after all, is the Pope, arguably the most powerful appointed religious leader in the world. His Vatican is an independent city-state. It is protected by the Swiss Guard. It holds priceless treasures in its vaults. It is estimated to be worth $10-15 billion. It is into everything from banking, insurance, real estate, to construction. It has influence with all the major leaders of the world.

Essentially, it does not matter who has a beef with him. The Pope is untouchable.

So the only one who can make the Pope talk is the Pope himself. He will keep the truth about what he knows close to his vest as long as he wants. So, people are just going to have to be satisfied with his post-media pressure apology.

And then there are those in the media like Reuters who oddly claim that not only former Vatican Ambassador Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who wrote an 11-page document charging that Pope Francis knew, has a vendetta against him, but that the conservative media is behind this charge as well. Their reasoning is that Pope Francis as a progressive is threatening the traditions of the church with his stance on critical issues such as homosexuality and divorce.

Child sexual abuse is a non-partisan issue. Everyone should be vociferous about finding the truth: who knew and how long, and who was involved in the cover up.

It is that simple, unless of course it becomes political, which is outrageous. No person on this planet is above accountability, the law, and moral and ethical condemnation. Not even the Pope. So, he needs to fess up whether he knew or not.

This is the ultimate moral outrage, the impunity upon which those in power operate, who are able to escape the come-to-Jesus moment and wipe their hands clean, as well as the minions who provide the soap and water.

Is it the fear that the 2,000 year old institution will crumble after such exposure, that the millions of faithful followers will turn their backs, and flee its sanctuaries, its schools, and its doctrine?

It is sickening to think that such a truth can be taken to the grave that affects generations of humans across the globe. We as common people are hardly immune from being accountable, and if the evidence presents itself, we either confess and hope for redemption, or are condemned in spite of our resistance.

There is no left and right in this, only right and wrong. It is time for everyone to demand the power step away, so that the truth can come out.

Ron Kipling Williams