Time Will Tell

Stephen White of Catholic University reacts to reports that Pope Francis is drawing up a document to govern what happens when a bishop is accused of abuse or of negligence in dealing with a sexual abuse case.

“Pope Francis is right to be wary of legalistic and bureaucratic ‘remedies’ to what is fundamentally a spiritual and moral crisis. But given everything we know about how episcopal and priestly malfeasance has been handled – or rather, mishandled – in recent decades, there is reason to wonder whether Pope Francis’ highly personal, even ad hoc, pastoral approach to wayward bishops is the most prudent model for the Church today. Time will tell.”

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