Pope Francis promised zero tolerance of paedophile priests, but his actions don’t yet match his words

Excerpt: 

The additional problem is that Francis appears ambivalent on the issue of clerical sex abuse. It took 10 months of private badgering by O’Malley before he agreed to set up the commission. Several of those close to Francis have told me that though he has a detestation of abuse, he is also wary of false accusations being made against priests.

That may explain why it took him over two years to accept the resignation of the US bishop Robert Finn in Kansas City after his 2012 criminal conviction for failing to report a paedophile priest to the police. Commission members called for Finn’s removal but it was almost three years after Finn’s criminal conviction before Francis authorised action.

Then, even more controversially, Francis promoted a bishop in Chile, Juan Barros, who was accused by abuse victims of covering up for a paedophile priest.

All of that sits uneasily with the policy of zero tolerance that Francis called for in 2014 – after his commissioners had repeatedly pressed him to endorse such an approach.

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