Does Pope Francis really ‘get it’ over Church’s grim history of sex abuse?

The Pope has to show he can pick up the broken pieces after the Vatican’s failure to confront abuse by its priests and Bishops, writes Paddy Agnew


CONTROVERSY: Pope Francis with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who tried to negotiate an agreement with the Irish State in 2003 and 2004 for Church indemnity over sex-abuse legal actions. Photo: Getty Images
CONTROVERSY: Pope Francis with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who tried to negotiate an agreement with the Irish State in 2003 and 2004 for Church indemnity over sex-abuse legal actions. Photo: Getty Images

When it comes to assessing the Catholic Church’s ongoing global clerical sex abuse crisis, one of the questions most often asked is: Does Pope Francis really “get it”?

Many Vatican observers will point out that he has learned a lot on the subject in the last five years, adding, however, that he has not always been helped by reluctant sections of the Vatican Curia. This is undoubtedly so but does it not rather let Europe’s last remaining absolute monarch off the hook?

Is it not simply much more likely that a man of his age (81) and his formation in the megalopolis of Buenos Aires will be strong on social solidarity and collegiality but perhaps a little “blind” to the heinous crime of paedophilia?

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