Pope Francis’s “All-Out Battle” Against Clerical Abuse has been an Epic Failure

Five years ago, the Pontiff railed against “abominable crimes that must be erased from the face of the earth…” His record since has been abysmal and even scandalous. The largest single gathering of the Catholic Church’s hierarchical leadership to combat clerical sexual abuse and coverup closed five years ago–five years to the day, if you … Read more

Fiducia Supplicans: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Two developments—both entirely foreseeable, one so easily avoidable as to be in essence an unforced error—are making the already improbable management of the Fiducia supplicans fiasco almost entirely impossible. The first is the reported influx of requests for papal blessings on parchment sheets for same-sex couples. Italy’s Il Messaggero newspaper had the story over the … Read more

The Spectacular Failed Launch of Fiducia Supplicans

It isn’t every day that the top papal lieutenant goes on the record to discuss something about which he’d just said there would be no further clarification, but that’s what just happened in an interview published by The Pillar with the prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith. That’s one of the … Read more

The Rupnik Affair Will Leave an Indelible Mark on the Francis Papacy

How bad is this Rupnik business? It is very, very bad. The Rupnik business is worse—by orders of magnitude—than l’Affaire Barros, l’Affaire Inzoli, worse even than l’Affaire Zanchetta. The disgraceful rehabilitation of Danneels is mere tasteless imprudence by comparison. The Rupnik business will stain Pope Francis’s legacy, and possibly define it. Over the past several … Read more

Francis Packs the Conclave

Pope Francis on Sunday announced a consistory for the creation of new cardinals, and it’s a bumper crop. On September 30th, eighteen new red hats will gain voting rights in the next conclave, bringing the total number of electors to 137. Ninety-nine of them have their hats directly from Francis. With the new creations, as … Read more

Former Cheyenne Bishop Skates on Abuse Charges

The Vatican has exonerated Bishop Joseph H. Hart, emeritus of Cheyenne, Wyoming, on seven counts of child sexual abuse. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handled the canonical process, also said five other accusations “could not be proven with moral certitude.” The accusations against the 89-year-old Bishop Hart involved 11 victims who … Read more

Accusations of Grave Mishandling of Abuse Case Across Church Jurisdictions

A priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Fr Kevin McGoldrick, is quietly seeking voluntary laicization after that archdiocese investigated a claim he sexually assaulted a young woman who had been in his spiritual charge. The Philadelphia archdiocese determined the allegation to be credible roughly seven months after they received it directly from the victim. The … Read more