Thursday 20 September 2018

For the Vatican, the enemy is within

The wave of clerical sex abuse allegations casts an increasing shadow over Pope Francis's Irish visit - and his pontificate, writes Paddy Agnew

"If you want to be charitable, you would say Francis is out of his comfort zone when it comes to clerical child abuse. If you want to be critical, you would conclude that, even now, he simply does not ‘get it’."

Paddy Agnew

Was last week the week when the Holy See's handling of the global clerical sex abuse crisis moved from being one of "zero tolerance" to one of "zero credibility"?

As Pope Francis prepares to visit Ireland next weekend, does the current global storm of clerical sex abuse allegations cast a heavy shadow not only over next weekend's visit but, arguably, over the entire Francis pontificate?

By now, anyone who follows the news will have understood that, in the last month or so, from Australia to Chile, from Honduras to Pennsylvania and from Kerala, India to North Yorkshire and Somerset, a global forest fire of Catholic clerical sex abuse has been raging.

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