- Dec 5, 2019
The obvious question for Pope Francis in his latest news conference was something like: “Last October, you pledged a ‘thorough study’ of the McCarrick case. Especially in light of this week’s news, when can we expect the results, and, based on its results, will anyone be held accountable for failure to act?”
Facing charges by a former papal ambassador to the U.S. that Pope Francis covered up for ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the pontiff on Sunday basically told reporters to examine the charges and reach their own conclusions.
On intercommunion, the pope said: “The code says that the bishop of the particular church, and that’s an important word, ‘particular,’ meaning of a diocese, is responsible for this … it’s in his hands.”
Pope Francis has said that he understands why his words on sex abuse in Chile may have struck victims as a “slap in the face,” but stood by his insistence that a bishop accused of abuse cover-ups is innocent.
You might think coming up with questions to ask Pope Francis would be easy, but experience shows it can sometimes be a bare-knuckle affair.
Sometimes on the Vatican beat in a given week, what you get isn’t one grand narrative but lots of little ones. This was one of those weeks, so here’s a potpourri of nuggets on contrasting antidotes for different diseases, counter-intuitive patron saints, and what to make of papal press conferences in terms of the pontiff’s own personal priorities.