News Release

Pope’s Blind Spots: * Militarism * Child Sex Abuse


COLMAN McCARTHY, cmccarthy at
A former Washington Post columnist, McCarthy is founder and director of the Center for Teaching Peace in Washington, D.C., and the author of the book I’d Rather Teach Peace. He recently wrote the piece “Francis Needs to go Beyond his Play-it-Safe Verbiage” for the National Catholic Reporter. 

McCarthy said today about Pope Francis’ speech before Congress: “I thought it over emphasized meaningless pieties.” While the speech referred to stopping the arms trade, McCarthy noted “it didn’t refer to the militarism of U.S. government itself. It didn’t talk about lowering the military budget. He quoted from [Martin Luther] King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, but not King’s calling the U.S. government ‘the greatest purveyor of violence‘ — as King did. He mentioned Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, but they too spoke out against U.S. militarism. He should have quoted Dorothy Day and her commitment to pacifism.” See McCarthy’s piece on Dorothy Day in the Washington Post from 1980 just after her death. See also McCarthy’s piece “Rediscovering Thomas Merton.”

BARBARA BLAINE, bblaine at, @BarbaraBlaine
Blaine is with Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, which just released the statement “Chicago Abuse Victims Blast New Papal Remarks,” which says that the pope “speaks of some alleged ‘great sacrifice‘ made by bishops because of the abuse and cover up crisis. What sacrifice? What bishop takes fewer vacations, drives a smaller car, does his own laundry or has been passed over for promotion because he’s shielding predators and endangering kids? None.” Blaine said today: “If you’re a woman, you can’t be a priest, if you’re married, you can’t be a priest, but if you’ve raped children, you can still be a priest.” The group has put out 20 steps the pope could take on the child sex abuse scandal.” Blaine appeared in The Real News segment yesterday “The Pope is Dishonest About Zero Tolerance for Child Sex Abuse.”

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at
Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He was the lawyer for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina before the World Court charging Yugoslavia with genocide for raping 40,000 Bosnian women. He said today: “Pope Francis’ remarks yesterday that the Church had shown ‘courage‘ regarding their child sexual abuse scandal is itself scandalous. The Catholic Church hierarchy are accessories to crimes against humanity as defined by the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court.” Boyle wrote the piece “The Pope, Cardinals And Bishops Should Be Prosecuted For The Sexual Abuse Of Children.”