According to Tom Reese SJ, on the America Magazine Blog, at the installation the new Cardinals will take an oath of fidelity and obedience to the pope and his successors. Text below: 

I [name and surname], Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, promise and swear to be faithful henceforth and forever, while I live, to Christ and his Gospel, being constantly obedient to the Holy Roman Apostolic Church, to Blessed Peter in the person of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, and of his canonically elected Successors; to maintain communion with the Catholic Church always, in word and deed; not to reveal to anyone what is confided to me in secret, nor to divulge what may bring harm or dishonor to Holy Church; to carry out with great diligence and faithfulness those tasks to which I am called by my service to the Church, in accord with the norms of the law. So help me Almighty God. [Translation by Zenit.]

One comment on the blog already raises the question about the appropriateness of such an oath given the fact of the scandal regarding abusive priests. Surely a greater scandal was caused by the secrecy regarding the protection of molesters and rapists and their multiple re-assignments which led in so many documented cases to multiple new victims. As a victim myself I have often reflected on the fact that my abuse, even the abuse of my siblings, was not enough to rob me of my faith in the Church, it was the scandal that came to light regarding the official policies of the ecclesial authorities that caused the greatest damage:

  • the systemic and documented policies of support for the perpetrators
  • avoidance of the truth (!) when asked about the personal histories and personnel files of individual priests
  • protection of the perpetrators from criminal charges
  • imposition of silence on the victims under threat of excommunication or removal of support
  • funding of aggressive lobbying against the removal of statutes of limitations

There are, as so many commentators have pointed out, sex abusers in every religious and social organisation and in many families. Finding evidence of abusers in the Catholic Church was not surprising, finding evidence of organized sanctioned cover-up was devastating. 

I am in mourning for my faith in my Church.

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