Hope Amid Doubt?
Much of the world has fallen in love with the new Pope Francis, who’s asked his priests and bishops to stop obsessing over sex and start obsessing over injustice, income inequality and the plight of the poor. To long-suffering American Catholics, Francis’ humble, holy example has been welcome and totally astounding.
But the romance was anything but hot when it came to Thursday’s announcement of a new Vatican commission on the sexual abuse crisis. Our own Cardinal Sean O’Malley, reportedly close to the pope, is the only American among the eight cardinals advising Francis. But O’Malley had barely finished his Rome press conference on the plan’s particulars when it was trashed as half-baked by organizations representing victims of sexual abuse and by some of those same long-suffering Catholics whose skepticism is well-earned.
“What I am hearing is probably much ado about nothing,” said Stephen Sheehan, a devout local Catholic who’s worked with numerous survivors of abuse.