Crux: ROME – Pope Francis opens a monthlong meeting of bishops Wednesday on engaging young Catholics as his Church is again under fire for the way it covered up for priests who raped and molested young people.
One American bishop suggested postponing or cancelling the synod, given the poor optics of assembling the Church hierarchy to discuss a demographic harmed by the culture of concealment the same hierarchy has been accused of fostering.
A Dutch bishop, outraged that the Vatican hasn’t responded to claims that Francis himself rehabilitated a predator American cardinal, announced he was boycotting the meeting altogether. Another American bishop asked Francis to let him stay home to cope with the scandal’s fallout in his diocese. more …
Opinion: The optics of a Vatican Youth meeting in the midst of an ever-widening sex abuse scandal that involves youth is, well, beyond words.
Perhaps a slogan for the synod: “do no harm”
The timing of the synod is especially bad in the US since several states have opened abuse investigations. According to Pam Biondi, Florida’s attorney general, “Florida is at least the 13th state with an ongoing statewide probe of the church.”
“Any priest that would exploit a position of power and trust to abuse a child is a disgrace to the church and a threat to society,” said Biondi in a statement.
The synod includes 256 Bishop’s from 5 continents. The Vatican’s preparatory document made what is believed to be the first-ever reference in an official Vatican text to “LGBT.”
On the outside guess that the 13 states will find a slew of abuses, Pope Francis’ silence on the McCarrick scandal may be just the right formula for a schism that could bring several liberal Protestant Denominations into the fold.