As crisis envelops Catholic Church, is Pope Francis facing a ‘watershed moment’?
ROME For some, the accusations sending tremors through the Catholic Church are a concerted and dubious attack by ultraconservatives on Pope Francis. For others, the accusations are a credible attempt to expose the depths of the Vatican’s struggle to deal transparently with sexual abuse.
But at the centre of the divided church is Francis, whose reputation is being challenged by the unverified accusations that he and other Vatican higher-ups had known for years about the sexual misconduct allegations against a now-resigned cardinal, Theodore McCarrick.
One week after the release of a scathing 7,000-word letter from Vatican ex-ambassador Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Vatican watchers say Francis — who has yet to directly address the veracity of the accusations — is facing the greatest challenge of his papacy.
Some Catholics have criticized him for what they describe as an insufficient response to the crisis. A few bishops have suggested that he call an extraordinary meeting to address sexual abuse in the church. And he faces pivotal decisions about whether to release abuse-related documents or green-light a who-knew-what investigation into McCarrick — with the possibility that such a probe could point fingers back to the Vatican. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)