No, Jim. Pope Francis Did Not ‘Blame Abuse Victims’ For Persecution of the Catholic Church

Jim Braude WGBH

Premier anti-Catholic bigot, WGBH's Jim Braude

Boston's Jim Braude, host of public television's Greater Boston program on WGBH, continues to distinguish himself as one of the leading anti-Catholic voices around, rarely missing an opportunity to bludgeon the Catholic Church over many-decades-old accusations of priest abuse.

Yet on a recent program, Braude unleashed one of his better whoppers:

"At an assembly of more than 250 bishops this past weekend, Pope Francis said that abuse accusations and the people that bring them 'seek to soil the church' and insists that it needs to be protected from such attacks; adding that the Devil 'in this moment is accusing us strongly, and this accusation becomes persecution'."

Here are the facts, Jim

Indeed, in his recent talk to bishops, Pope Francis articulated the obvious truth that the Church is under relentless attack today and that Satan relishes in assaults on the Church. As with recent homilies, Francis spoke about the role of prayer and the role of bishops in light of such attacks.

Yet in truth, Pope Francis said nothing in his remarks about the abuse scandals and the accusers. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Niete.

And Pope Francis has never blamed abuse victims for anything. Rather, the pontiff has a long record of speaking of the intense suffering that genuine victims of clerical abuse have experienced and the failures of Church leaders to halt past abuse. Indeed, it was only a couple months ago that Francis wrote:

"With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives. We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them. I make my own the words of the then Cardinal Ratzinger when, during the Way of the Cross composed for Good Friday 2005, he identified with the cry of pain of so many victims and exclaimed: 'How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to [Christ]! How much pride, how much self-complacency! Christ's betrayal by his disciples, their unworthy reception of his body and blood, is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer; it pierces his heart. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison – Lord, save us! (cf. Mt 8:25)' (Ninth Station)."

It is downright pathetic that media figures such as Braude (and the Wall Street Journal's Francis X. Rocca, for that matter) react like lemmings so that when Pope Francis utters the words bishops, Satan, and accusation, their reflexive first thought is that the pontiff somehow must be talking of abuse claims from many decades ago.

Wake up, Jim. And stop being such a bigot.


  1. Dan says:

    Once again we seem to have a problem with semantics. The Pope says, "Our mother, [Crux added 'the Church', but I think Francis meant Mary] is holy, but we children are sinners." And added, "Sinners, all of us. Let's not forget this expression from the fathers: The Church is holy, the Mother is holy, with children who are sinners."

    It's very easy to believe the Church and Francis would like us all to loop together the horrible sexual abuse sins of their hierarchy with the fact that they're just sinners like all the children of the Church. It's very easy to assume he's talking about the accusations of child victims of sexual abuse when following that up with, "At this moment, [the devil] is accusing us very strongly," the pope said. "And this accusation becomes persecution." and "constant accusations, to dirty the Church."

    I hate to say this, but the Church is responsible for making itself "dirty", which is the reason for this "persecution", if you can even call it that, and has really no one to blame but itself and it's actions.