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Robert Royal: Strange Last-Minute Gambit By Pope Stopping American Bishops Shows He’s Part of the Problem

November 14, 2018

Catholic Church commentator Robert Royal says that Pope Francis’s recent request that U.S. Catholic bishops meeting in Baltimore this week take no immediate additional actions to stop clergy sex abuse is head-spinning.

“The Vatican knew for months that the bishops would deal with abuse at their regular Fall gathering. The pope asked them to cancel it and hold a spiritual retreat instead until the heads of bishops’ conferences from around the world meet in February,” Royal writes in The Catholic Thing. “… Whatever the fear, to wait until the very day the meeting opened to request no voting take place is almost without precedent. For many Americans, sad to say, the pope has probably just confirmed what he was forced to admit in Chile: he’s part of the problem.”

News reports of the first day of the bishops’ meeting this past Monday say that Cardinal Blase Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago, who is an ally of Pope Francis, told the other bishops, “It is clear that the Holy See is taking the abuse crisis seriously.”

“Really?” Royal writes. “If it were that clear, it wouldn’t be necessary to say so.”

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