The Pope and the Black Hole

In a by now familiar sequence of events, the Vatican released a document on Monday which caused instant confusion. “Pope says Roman Catholic priests can bless same-sex couples,” the headlines announced. Optimistic Catholic apologists said the media had misunderstood the document, which permitted no such thing. Pessimistic Catholic apologists said the headlines were, alas, correct, … Read more

Archbishop Fernandez, Preacher of Chaos

Have you heard about the scandalous writings by the new head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office? No, no: I don’t mean Heal Me With Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing, the 1995 pamphlet that has occasioned so much comment since Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández was elevated to Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of … Read more

The Crisis of Catholic Leadership

The Church continues to hit new, dysfunctional lows — and the faithful are noticing. In the last 48 hours there have been two big Vatican stories. First, revelations about the Holy See’s financial crisis; second, and more bizarrely, a furious dispute over statues being thrown into the Tiber. But really it’s all one story, the big story … Read more

Forgetful Francis

Did Pope Francis know? Was he told, five years before the world found out, that the powerful Cardinal McCarrick was a serial sexual abuser? The diplomat who claims to have informed the pope, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, names two dates on which he raised the matter with Francis: June 23 and October 10, 2013. But … Read more

Ex-FBI Agents to Help Investigate Cardinals on Abuse and Corruption

A new watchdog, Better Church Governance, plans to produce a dossier on all the cardinal electors US lay people are launching a new initiative to assess cardinals’ records on combating abuse and corruption. Better Church Governance has signed up former FBI agents as investigators, led by Phil Scala, a former FBI Supervisory Special Agent. Academics, lawyers … Read more

Pope Francis and McCarrick: Where Does the Evidence Lead?

Archbishop Viganò made four major claims. But do the facts support them? Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s testimony, published on Saturday, goes on for 7,000 words and names more than 30 public figures, mostly to denounce them. But at its heart are a small number of very serious allegations about Pope Francis’s treatment of Theodore McCarrick. Since … Read more