Pope Slams G-20 Alliances as Vatican Faces Another Sex Scandal
His condemnation of 'dangerous' relationships and his advocacy for migrants arrive at very odd time
Pope Francis warned against “dangerous alliances” among world leaders that threaten migrants and the world’s poor — an extremely odd and unfortunate statement for the pontiff to make, given the gay orgy scandal and other sex abuse issues that have hit the Vatican.
“This is why the G-20 worries me,” said the pope. “It mainly hits migrants.”
The pope made his outrageous statements just before the G-20 began in Hamburg. Francis, the first non-European pope in more than a millennium, told Italian newspaper La Repubblica on Thursday that the United States, Russia, China, North Korea, Putin, and Assad in the war in Syria all have “a distorted vision of the world,” as CNSNews.com and other outlets reported. Francis was interviewed by 93-year-old Eugenio Scalfari, co-founder of La Repubblica, whose practice is not to record exchanges but to rely solely on memory when reporting them.
Regarding Europe, the "richest continent in the whole world," the pope warned leaders not to fall prey to the notion that it is possible to seal the borders.
"Our main and unfortunately growing problem in the world today is that of the poor, the weak, the excluded, which includes migrants," added Francis, who is the leader of some 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide.
In 2015 alone, a record 1.3 million migrants applied for asylum in the 28-member states of the European Union, Norway, and Switzerland, according to a Pew Research Center analysis. With no end to the influx in sight, EU states such as Greece, Italy, and Germany are suffering under the weight of the migrant crisis.
The pontiff's criticism comes amid terrible scandal at the Vatican. Police at the Vatican broke up a gay orgy a few days ago at the home of the secretary of one of the pope's key advisers, as multiple media outlets have noted. The apartment apparently belonged to the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — which ironically is in charge of investigating and halting clerical sexual abuse.
Police had been called to the home after neighbors reported unusual nighttime activity. When law enforcement arrived, they found drugs and a group of men engaged in sexual activity, according to reports. Italian media said the occupant of the apartment allegedly was the secretary to Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio — a key aide to the pope.
In addition to those scandalous events last week, Cardinal George Pell, the highest ranking Roman Catholic prelate to be formally charged with sexual assault, was also ousted. Pell is facing trial in Australia on multiple charges of sexual assault that date back decades. Pell has denied the charges.
An outspoken proponent of open borders, Francis campaigned against policies to secure the U.S. border with Mexico during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Separate from his interview with the Italian newspaper, the pope also delivered a message directly to G-20 leaders; they represent 20 countries that make up 85 percent of the world's GDP and two-thirds of the global population. In a letter, Francis urged these leaders not to turn a blind eye to the crisis in South Sudan, the Lake Chad basin, the Horn of Africa and Yemen, where 30 million people lack the necessary food and water needed to survive.
The pontiff's letter, addressed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the host of the July 7-8 event, also reminded leaders it is their responsibility to care for those not represented at the summit.
"In the minds and hearts of government leaders, and at every phase of the enactment of political measures, there is a need to give absolute priority to the poor, refugees, the suffering, evacuees and the excluded, without distinction of nation, race, religion or culture, and to reject armed conflicts," the pope said in his missive.