Sep 6, 2018
Statements by Pope Francis and American bishops reacting to the Church's sex abuse scandal suggest they are serious about getting to the roots of what happened and doing something meaningful about it. That includes the case of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick as well as 1,000 old but for the most part previously unreported abuse cases in six Pennsylvania dioceses.
The expressions of concern by Church leaders are welcome. But talk is one thing, action another. And action is what this spiraling crisis now requires.
A lot attention focuses on the possibility of an "apostolic visitation"-a form of Church investigation-as proposed by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Catholic bishops' conference.
But whether it takes that form or some other, an in-depth investigation is needed, now more than ever, in light of the claim by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former Apostolic Nuncio in the United States, that top people in the Vatican knew of the complaints about ex-Cardinal McCarrick as early as 2000 and he personally told Pope Francis five years ago. Yet McCarrick continued as an influential advisor of the Pope until last June, when the New York archdiocese said it had found credible a complaint that he groped an altar boy nearly half a century ago.