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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Pope Francis’ Great Cri de Coeur for the Suffering of the Children

by Phoebe Wise

The Passion of the Children

Passion of the children…  Say what?  Like what does that mean, dude? I don’t wanna to be, like, judgmental, but it sounds kinda kinky.”

Author Phoebe Wise 
Pope Francis talked about it last week.

Oh, you mean like those pedophile priests, right?  That sucks, man.  Those guys should just die in a fire.”

Well, yeah, that’s part of it, but he was really talking about all the terrible things that adults do to children. 

At his regular Wednesday audience, April 8, 2015, Pope Francis coined a phrase, “the passion of the children.”  Don’t think  “passion” as in romance.   Think “passion” as in suffering -- as in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ.

“Every child who is marginalized, abandoned,
Pope Francis and the children he loves 
 who lives on the street begging with every kind of trick, without schooling, without medical care, is a cry that rises up to God and denounces the system that we adults have set in place,” the pope told members of his audience.

The phrase,  “Passion of the children,” deserves to rank with some of the better-known coinings of Francis’ predecessors. I’m thinking of Pope Saint John Paul II’s “the culture of death” and Pope Benedict’s “the dictatorship of relativism.”   

There is enough suffering to go around for everyone in today’s world, but Pope Francis has a particular heart for the suffering endured by children.   He chose to devote his Easter week address, when presumably more people will be paying attention to what he has to say, to raise a great cri de coeur for their 
Is this the face of the
world's children?
“passion.”  When he looks at children today, he sees Christ scorned and abandoned, Christ tortured and crucified. 

The “passion of the children” is not just metaphor.  Children have been literally crucified by members of ISIS; bombed and torn limb from limb by warring adults.  Who can forget Martin Richard, the 7-year-old victim of the Boston Marathon bombing?

Francis went on to speak of all the ways that adults mistreat children, condemning those who neglect and abandon them, and the criminals who “exploit them for shameful trafficking or commerce, or train them for war and violence.”

But in no way should their suffering justify their murder: “There are those who dare to say ... that it was a mistake to bring these children into the world. This is shameful! Let’s not unload our faults onto the children! Children are never a “mistake.” Their hunger is not a mistake, nor is their poverty, their vulnerability, their abandonment — so many children abandoned on the streets — and neither is their ignorance or their helplessness.”

Few people, we hope, would argue with his condemnation of those things.  But he goes on to talk about the suffering of children in so-called rich countries, who are living in the ruins of a culture degraded by the sexual revolution. 

Here is what he said:  “Children also pay the price for immature unions and irresponsible separations:  they are the first victims; they suffer the outcome of a culture of exaggerated individual rights, and then the children become more precocious.”

This translation is from the official Vatican website  vatican.va.  I think a better translation of the Italian would be, “and then the children become prematurely precocious.”  What Francis is saying is that because of irresponsible adults, the children grow up too quickly and are robbed of their childhood.

He goes on:  “They often absorb the violence they are not able to ‘ward off’ and before the very eyes of adults are forced to grow accustomed to degradation.”

Now “degradation” is a strong word, but it is probably not strong enough for what children are forced to endure in the “culture of exaggerated individual rights.”  This phrase of Pope Francis also deserves to be noted and quoted, but have you seen it repeated in any news source?

No, what gets quoted is his “who am I to judge?” quoted out-of-context and held up as an endorsement of homosexuality.  I guess no one wants to talk about how the “culture of exaggerated individual rights” has brought about the “passion of the children.” 

Pope Francis has spoken out against abortion, the tyranny of gender theory, homosexual marriage, selfish people who prefer pets to children, and the use of the “products of abortion” in the cosmetics industry. 

But what do we see in the popular press? 
 Francis X Rocca,
writer for the Wall Street Journal,
is not listening. 
Look at a recent article about Francis in The Wall Street Journal, April 4, entitled “The New Rome.”  Its subheading claims, “From poverty and sexual ethics to church governance, he has set a course to modernize Catholic tradition and teachings.” The author, Francis X. Rocca, says that, “The pope’s relative silence on certain widely contested moral teachings [abortion, gay marriage, contraception] has left some worried that these questions are now of secondary importance.”

Relative silence?  The Pope is speaking.  Who is not listening?  Francis X Rocca for one.  In addition to the Wall Street Journal, Rocca writes for the Catholic News Service, The National Catholic Reporter, and America—all outlets with a “progressive” or liberal outlook on things Catholic. 

Liberal writers are masters of spin and half-truths.  They know how to exaggerate and quote out-of-context.  But with Francis, what they know how to do best is to ignore.  If he says something that does not agree with the progressive image that they are trying to build up for him in the minds of their public, they simply ignore it.  Don’t repeat it.  Don’t write about it.

That’s why the only way to know what Francis is really saying is to go to the official vatican.va website.  You can still find his words faithfully documented there.  For now.  Until they get hacked.

But if you have read this, you know about the passion of the children.  Let us all carve that phrase on the palms of our hands.

Phoebe Wise has a master's degree in Medieval Languages from Harvard University. She has also written Raspberry Crazy Ants and The Synod on The Family.


  1. Dear Susan,

    I came over from Vox Cantoris' blog.

    Can you tell me the name of the book you are reading about the atrocities committed against children by Scottish govt officials? Thanks in advance.

    Your blog looks great!

    With the help of friends, we have recently published a book on remedial catechesis. See it below. Thanks again!


    Catechist Kev

    1. Dear Kev, Welcome! The book I'm reading that has a chapter on the Scottish government pedophiles is called Jephthah's Daughter's: Innocent casualties in the war for family "equality," edited by Robert Oscar Lopez and Rivka Edelman. It is not a Catholic book, but a secular one. Nevertheless it is put together by adults who were raised by same sex partners, or several different step parents due to divorce, or were conceived in a test tube. This is book is the Cry of the Children, the children abused by "the culture of exaggerated individual rights." I call them children of unchaste parents. There's more than Chapter 10 however on Paedophilia in Scotland. I can't find the reference, but I distinctly read of a Scottish man who said he couldn't believe his childhood was real because he remembered being in an orphanage, and being raped and tortured by government Paedophiles. Then they tell you the history of the Scottish Orphanage and the government officials involved. It was horrible. Here's more, a UK Telegraph article on how Paedophilia is "natural and normal" for males. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/10948796/Paedophilia-is-natural-and-normal-for-males.html God bless you. Susan Fox www.christsfaithfulwitness.com

    2. Oh wonderful! I just checked out your book, Kevin. You keep writing. We need to clarify the faith against the vast ocean of indifference that has been preached and taught during the last several decades. Susan Fox

    3. Dear Kev, I finished my post on the book Jephthah's Daughters It's called Same Sex "Marriage," Natural Law and the New Apocalypse: http://christsfaithfulwitness.blogspot.com/2015/04/same-sex-marriage-and-new-apocalypse.html#.VTrwU1z0iIk

  2. Thank you for this post. I'm writing a book that tells the story of the passion a child undergoes. Only now, years after surviving the degradation, am I seeing that it was a real passion and not something I can stand outside of as if it happened in a story. Thank you for highlighting the Holy Father's remarks on what is a reality for many children..

    1. The passion suffered by a child is always the most intense suffering possible. A child has not learned any coping skills to distance himself from mental, physical, and spiritual suffering.