Destinations Magazine

How Far Will Pope Francis Go in Rooting out Sexual Abuse?

By Stizzard

"WE HEAR THE cry of the little ones asking for justice," said Pope Francis on February 21st to 100 bishops from around the world and other leading members of the Catholic hierarchy who had gathered in the Vatican for a four-day meeting on clerical sex abuse. The conference is the most conspicuous effort yet to extirpate the cancer eating at the world's biggest Christian church.

In the run-up to the meeting, a series of events had charged the atmosphere. Earlier this month, the pope admitted that there was truth in stories that nuns around the world had been raped by priests and bishops. This week a book by a French journalist, Frédéric Martel, was published, claiming that 80% of the clerics in the Vatican are gay. That may seem to have little bearing on the subject of the conference: there is abundant evidence to show that heterosexuals are as likely as homosexuals to prey on the young. But Mr Martel, himself gay, argues that sexually active homosexual priests are reluctant to report abusers for fear of being "outed" in revenge.

Five days before the start of the conference, in an apparent effort to assure the world of its determination to root out predatory clerics, the Vatican threw an ex-cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, out of the priesthood. Vatican investigators concluded that the 88-year-old former archbishop of...

The Economist: Europe
How far will Pope Francis go in rooting out sexual abuse?

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