New Interview, New Revelations Damage Pope’s Credibility

In his latest interview Pope Francis says that he does not remember whether or not Archbishop Vigano told him about Theodore McCarrick’s sexual misconduct. He also insists that he knew “nothing, obviously, nothing, nothing” about McCarrick’s misconduct. Those two claims do not sit comfortably side by side. If you told me that you studied French in high … Read more

Archbishop Gregory’s Appointment: ‘Safe’ In The Hands Of The Mainstream Media

Reacting to the appointment of Archbishop Wilton Gregory to the Washington archdiocese, Michelle Boorstein, the religion writer for the Washington Post, commented on her Twitter account: “Largely a very safe choice. It will primarily piss off only the far-right.” That’s true enough (although not very elegantly expressed) if you define as “far right” those Catholics who unapologetically … Read more

Cupich Appointment Shows: February Conference in Rome will be All About Damage Control

If you held out any hope that the Vatican might finally respond effectively to the sex-abuse scandal—that the February meeting could possibly prompt some real action—those hopes should have been shattered by the stunning announcement that Pope Francis had appointed Cardinal Blase Cupich to the organizing committee for that February event. This is the same Cardinal Cupich who … Read more

Review Board Chairman Urges Bishops to Resign

Chances are, you’ve only seen quick summaries of the address by Francesco Cesareo, the chairman of the National Review Board, to the US bishops’ meeting this week. I strongly recommend reading the whole text. It’s remarkable. Notice first the tone of the address. Cesareo delivers a series of home truths, in candid language. He is not … Read more

How Could You, Archbishop Vigano?

“How can you celebrate Mass,” Cardinal Ouellet angrily demands of Archbishop Viganò, “and mention the pope’s name in the Eucharistic Prayer?” An excellent question. It forces us to ask whether we have ever imagined that in praying for our shepherds we were thereby paying tribute to their rectitude and decency. Think of the faithful whose priests, … Read more

On McCarrick Scandal, Vatican Responses are Tardy, Not Reassuring

Finally there is some movement. This weekend the Vatican began responding to the dismay of the laity over the McCarrick scandal. The responses are certainly tardy, and still not terribly reassuring. But they are responses, at least; the “stonewall” approach is breaking down. The first response, issued by the Vatican press office on October 6, … Read more

Legatus to Put Annual Donation to Holy See in Escrow

Legatus, an influential association of Catholic business owners, has announced that it will be withholding an annual contribution to the Holy See. Thomas Monaghan, the founder and chairman of Legatus, told members that the group’s board has “decided to place the Holy See annual tithe in escrow, pending further determination.” He explained that “in light … Read more