Cloak and dagger

With the celebrated Fr Lombardi taking the lead, preparations are well advanced for the meeting of Chairmen of Episcopal Conferences called to address the abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.

If I were you I would not hold my breath. The results of the conference are already easy to guess, and the final document has probably already been written.

These conferences, after all, are no more than an expensive and purely cosmetic exercise, permitting the Holy Father to present his personal opinions under a cloak of general assent. The real dynamic of February’s consultation was made plain at the American Conference of Bishops’ meeting last November in Baltimore, when sensible proposals were peremptorily withdrawn by Papal fiat.

Francis intends to stop all moves which might threaten his protégés or himself. Hence the restrictive remit of the Conference to ‘minors and vulnerable adults’, thus neatly sidestepping wide-ranging consideration of more general homosexual practice.

The foregone conclusion is that child sex abuse will be seen as a symptom of ‘clericalism’. It cannot and will not be allowed to be presented as part of the whole sexual malaise afflicting Western society in general, and the Catholic Church within it.  

That would dig too deep.

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