Pope says litter in oceans is an ‘emergency,’ won’t comment on sex abuse cover-up
September 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – As sex abuse crises rock the Church in the United States, Honduras, and Chile, Pope Francis has decried the “emergency” of oceans being “littered by endless fields of floating plastic.”
The pontiff has refused to say whether he helped cover up ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s serial sex abuse. On Monday, he pushed silence as an appropriate response to those who “only seek scandal” and “division.”
On Saturday, however, Pope Francis was far from silent about the “lack of effective regulation” protecting “Sister Water” from pollution.
“Our active commitment is needed to confront this emergency,” he said in a message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. “We need to pray as if everything depended on God’s providence, and work as if everything depended on us.”
“Let us ask the Lord and all those engaged in the noble service of politics that the more sensitive questions of our day, such as those linked to movements of migration, climate change and the right of everyone to enjoy primary goods, may be faced with generous and farsighted responsibility and in a spirit of cooperation, especially among those countries most able to help,” Pope Francis continued.
On August 27, Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich told a local NBC station that Pope Francis has a “bigger agenda” than dealing with accusations he covered up sex abuse.
“For the Holy Father, I think to get into each and every one of those aspects, in some way is inappropriate and secondly, the pope has a bigger agenda,” Cupich told the television station. “He’s gotta get on with other things of talking about the environment and protecting migrants and carrying on the work of the Church. We’re not going to go down a rabbit hole on this.”
As LifeSiteNews previously reported, Cupich complained about the NBC segment after it was released, saying it was deceptively edited to make it seem like he and Pope Francis think protecting the environment and pushing for immigration are more important than addressing the snowballing sex abuse crisis.
“An NBC Chicago TV report that aired Monday night was edited in such a way that gave the false impression that Pope Francis and I consider the protection of children to be less important than other issues, such as the environment or immigration. Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.
NBC 5 responded by placing more extensive segments of the interview on its website for the public to see, and rejected Cupich’s claim of a “false impression.”
“We believe our story to be accurate in that Cardinal Cupich was referring to the memo about sexual abuse allegations in question,” the station said.
It was in this same interview that Cardinal Cupich said papal critics “don’t like [Pope Francis] because he’s a Latino.”
Pope Francis ended his message on the “emergency” of littering by suggesting Christians pray for “all those who devote themselves to the apostolate of the sea, for those who help reflect on the issues involving maritime ecosystems, for those who contribute to the development and application of international regulations on the seas in order to safeguard individuals, countries, goods, natural resources – I think, for example, of marine fauna and flora, and coral reefs...or sea beds – and to guarantee an integral development in view of the common good of the entire human family and not particular interests.”
“Finally, let us be concerned for the younger generation and pray for them, that they may grow in knowledge and respect for our common home and in the desire to care for the essential good of water, for the benefit of all,” he said.
In his 11-page testimony on the Vatican’s cover-up of sex abuse, Archbishop Carlo Viganò named Cardinal Cupich and Newark’s Cardinal Joseph Tobin, two Francis-appointed cardinals who have endorsed Father James Martin’s pro-LGBT book Building a Bridge, as owing their rise to power to McCarrick.