Pope Francis Lied about Zero Tolerance

The headline in The Guardian: “Zero tolerance? The facts don't support the pope's claims on child abuse.” The reporter, Kieran Tapsell, is a lawyer who previously wrote a book on canon law. He lays out a personal case against Pope Francis, saying that Francis protected pederast priests “by refusing to accept CDF dismissal recommendations for some of the worst offenders.” (The CDF is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly known as the Holy Office, and even earlier, as the Office of the Inquisition.) More importantly, Tapsell said Pope Francis also lied about the Church adhering to a zero tolerance policy.

I have previously noted that despite Pope Francis’ claims of transparency, the Church refuses to share information with authorities unless they are legally required to. Mr. Tapsell notes that Pope Francis has made “phony arguments” that requiring mandatory reporting as part of canon law “could constitute a violation of the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of states.” Mr. Tapsell says that no state prohibits such reporting, so that Francis’ claim is specious. In fact, he says “Mandatory reporting to the civil authorities under canon law would assist states in the enforcement of their criminal laws designed to protect children.” Pope Francis just refuses to do it.

He also cites a deceptive presentation of the Roman Catholic Church to the United Nations:

“In January 2014, Archbishop Tomasi, the Holy See’s envoy to the United Nations, presented to the committee on the rights of the child a document showing that since 2004, more than 3,420 credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors had been referred to the CDF. As a result, 848 priests had been dismissed, and lesser disciplinary measures had been applied against the other 2,572. That’s 75% tolerance, not zero.

There is more. This is the first time I’ve seen a leading newspaper go after Pope Francis.