I usually try to avoid writing about religion here. But this issue has blown so high and so far that I can’t avoid it.
From Catherine Marciano’s article for Agence France Presse (AFP), via yahoonews.com:
Vatican City (AFP) – Pope Francis has declined to comment on a claim that he ignored sexual abuse allegations against a senior clergyman amid speculation conservative elements in the Catholic hierarchy are using the issue to mount a “putsch” to remove the liberal pontiff.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a former Vatican envoy to the United States, on Saturday said he had told Francis of the allegations against prominent US cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2013.
But rather than punish McCarrick, who was forced to resign last month, Vigano said Francis had lifted sanctions imposed on him by his predecessor pope Benedict XVI.
“Corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy,” Vigano said in an eleven-page letter published in the National Catholic Register and several conservative US Catholic publications.
But the pope refused to address the allegation on Sunday.
“I will not say a word about that. I think that the communique speaks for itself,” Francis said on his plane as he flew back from Dublin to Rome.
Did Pope Francis look the other way regarding widespread sexual abuse within the priesthood – and, by so doing, not only disgrace the Catholic church, but enable the guilty clergymen to continue their abuse?
This is an extremely thorny issue, folks. If you are a devout Catholic you believe that The Pope is the Vicar of Christ. You believe that he is the presenter of Christ’s word to the world.
If you accuse him of ignoring, thus allowing the furtherance of, sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, what does that therefore say?
If you’re waiting for educated answers from me regarding these questions and whether Pope Francis should resign – which, given his stated views on a variety of social issues, might be a necessary result among conservatives/traditionalists within the Church structure – I don’t have any.
I do, however, think The Pope owes a lot more to Catholics worldwide than “No comment”.
I suspect this situation – this scandal – will not take very long to play out.
And I also suspect that, no matter how it plays out, it is going to cause monumental ruptures within the church.