I Can’t Help But Wonder…

Remember the game “Where’s Waldo?”

The goal of the game was finding a character named Waldo in cartoon illustrations of masses of people doing a variety of things at different locations.

Well, I’d like to invite you to a similar experience, this one entitled, “Where’s The Women?”

See if you can find any women in this picture:

Pope and men

How about this one?


Or this one?


OK, here’s a hint:  These are all pictures of gatherings of the Catholic Church hierarchy, which includes the Pope, and some combination of cardinals, archbishops and bishops.

Let’s looks for women again:


No luck so far?

This week, Catholic Church hierarchy are gathering in Rome for the first-ever “sexual abuse summit” to discuss how to protect minors.  The summit begins February 21, 2019.

Considering that the Boston Globe broke the clergy sexual abuse story in 2002, nobody can accuse these guys of being precipitous!

Let’s look for the women there:

Print 2 (2)

And here:

Print 3 (2)

No luck, again?  How about here:

Print 4 (2)

OK, you can stop looking.

That’s because when the hierarchy of the Catholic Church gathers, there are NO women members.

Not one woman holds a position of power in the Catholic Church:

church hierarchy_01 cropped

Top to bottom, it’s men.

So when the boys’ club of the Catholic Church gathers this week for the sexual abuse summit:

Print 1 (2)

There will be NO women included.

Except for the victims of Catholic clergy sexual abuse:

Vatican Sex Abuse
Members of the ECA (Ending of Clergy Abuse) organization and survivors of clergy sex abuse pose for photographers outside St. Peter’s Square, at he Vatican, Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. Organizers of Pope Francis’ summit on preventing clergy sex abuse will meet this week with a dozen survivor-activists who have come to Rome to protest the Catholic Church’s response to date and demand an end to decades of cover-up by church leaders.


More than 100 Catholic bishops will attend the sexual abuse summit, but no Catholic cardinals.  There are 223 Catholic cardinals – wait, make that 222 due to the recent defrocking of “Mr. McCarrick” – but apparently the cardinals, also known as “Princes of the Church,” were too busy doing…um…princely things.


The summit is officially called “Protection of Minors in the Church.”  It appears that the multitude of raped and sexually abused nuns will have to wait for another summit.


In an interesting bit of timing, we now have this piece of news:

CNN headline (2)

These children – called “children of the ordained” by the church – “are sometimes the result of affairs involving priests and laywomen or nuns; others of abuse or rape.”

The story features Vincent Doyle, who was 28 when he learned that the priest “he had always known as his godfather was in truth his biological father.”  Doyle, founder of the international support group Coping International, says the website has 50,000 users in 175 countries.


And finally, my prediction:  Anyone anticipating the outcome of the summit with great expectations is in for some great disappointments.  The summit will adjourn and the bishops will go home, with promises to continue to “pray and meditate” on the matter.

Even the Pope set the bar pretty low – he wants the summit to be “a powerful gesture* of pastoral responsibility in the face of an urgent challenge of our time.”

*Gesture:  An action performed for show in the knowledge that it will have no effect.

Update, February 20:

Devil (2)

The Pope said that those who criticize the church were “the friends, cousins and relatives of the devil.”

Whoa!  I guess I’ve misunderstood this situation.

The Catholic Church is the victim here, right?


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