‘Weaponizing the abuse crisis’.
That is how some commentators have characterized the conflicting views about the causes of the widespread abuse which have started to surface since the publication of Archbishop Vigano’s letter.
Austen Ivereigh and The New York Times (who else?) seem to be of the opinion that Vigano is no more than a homophobe with personal grudges to settle. His blaming the whole scandal on a gay mafia with its tentacles in every part of the Church is said to be exaggerated to the point of hysteria.
Pope Francis, by contrast, attributes the rolling crisis to a ‘narrow legalism’ and ‘rampant clericalism’. No surprises there then.
Now, predictably, a group of ‘survivors’ is emerging crying a plague on both your houses, and claiming that the culture wars within the Catholic Church are submerging their pain and their demands for justice and reform.
It may well be that Vigano is a disgruntled traddie, and Francis, after all, has every right to grind his axes. Nothing on earth can stop him. But two things are certain.
The first is that the accusations of a cover-up involving people in very high places must now be transparently and independently investigated.
The second is that those guilty both of abuse and obfuscation must be seen to be punished.
Anything less will further damage the moral credibility of an already wounded Church