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Friends of the Devil By Peter West
The Pope does not like criticism too much, and who does? The Catholic Church has come in for its measure of attack with all of the paedophile claims over the last few years, so everybody at the Vatican, I imagine is in siege mode, with sandbags and mental fortifications, everywhere. No doubt, this is all, as usual, the “work of the devil”:
“Pope Francis said that people who constantly criticize the Catholic church are “friends of the devil” — on the eve of the Vatican summit on dealing with the sex abuse of minors. Speaking to pilgrims in southern Italy Wednesday, the pontiff said that the church’s “defects” needed to be denounced so that they could be fixed. But, he said that those who repeatedly accuse the church were: “the friends, cousins and relatives of the devil.” “One cannot live a whole life accusing, accusing, accusing, the church,” Francis said. The comments came the day before the Vatican summit on clergy sex abuse and cover-ups by church leaders. “This is a slap in the face to all survivors,” Judy Larson, vice president of the organization Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, told The Post. “One the eve of a summit that’s supposed to provide the hierarchy of the Catholic Church with policies that will protect children from sexual predators, accusing survivors is unbelievable. “[The pope] is presenting this summit as some form of hope that those who are responsible will be held accountable, at this point there is no hope with statements like that.” A group of 12 survivors of abuse from around the world met on Wednesday with the organizers of the summit, which is set to last until Feb. 24. One of the survivors, Pennsylvania native Shaun Dougherty, brought pictures of victims of clergy sex abuse who had committed suicide and messages from their parents to the meeting and handed them to the organizers.”
The issue in this context is whether the criticisms are justified or not, rather than the frequency which they are made. If there were less grounds of criticism, less sexual abuse, maybe there would be less critics. Here we see the classic example of the fallacy of begging the question, assuming what needs to be shown, known in Latin as petitio principii, which the old Pope surely knows.