The managing editor of Crux: Taking the Catholic Pulse lays out the score in a game in which Francis plays a more crucial part than he intended to play when he took on the job.
For many victims of clerical sexual abuse and their advocates, last week offered a stark reminder of how far the Church has to go in cleaning house.
Not only did Cardinal Theodore McCarrick face further accusations of abuse, including minors, but the right-hand man of one of Pope Francis’s chief advisers also resigned after accusations he had targeted seminarians for sexual favors in Honduras.
He’s on the biggest stage of his life, at which the world is watching far more than in Argentina, where he had not the best of success.
Honduran Bishop Juan José Pineda Fasquelle served under Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpas, the coordinator of Francis’s influential “C9” Council of Cardinals, which advises him on Vatican reform and governing the Church.
Another member of the C9, Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz, stands accused of covering up the sexual abuse of minors in Chile.
The C9 Council of close advisors situation leaves his flank particularly exposed.
Increasingly, it’s hard for Pope Francis to distance himself from the fallout. A full 30 percent of his C9 body of cardinals is now tainted by these scandals. Pell, Maradiaga, and Errazuriz are all over 75, so their resignations are on Francis’s desk, unaccepted. Pineda Fasquelle also made a point to mention he offered the pope his resignation “months ago,” yet continued in office until Friday.
Makes you wonder, what is he thinking?
As for getting back in the game, what is there that we know about him that would lead us to believe he’s up to the task?