Law and Order II

The Vigano Testimony was sunk (and its author obliged to go into hiding) by the intransigence of Pope Francis: ‘I will say not a single word’. The Fount of Law and Chief Magistrate refused to countenance accusations against himself.

Now further testimony of malfeasance has emerged.

Martha Alegria Reichmann, widow of a former dean of the Vatican diplomatic corps and author of the Spanish-language Traiciones Sagradas (Sacred Betrayal) has alleged that Cardinal Óscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, the longtime archbishop of Tegucigalpa and convenor of Francis’s C9 cabal of cardinals, was implicit in the coverup of the activities of Bishop Juan Josè Pineda, who has been accused of sexual abuse of seminarians, living in active homosexual relationships and financial impropriety. Pope Francis accepted Bishop Pineda’s resignation last July, but no details of any disciplinary measures have been revealed. Reichmann accuses Francis of being aware of the cover-up and of doing nothing about it.

Mrs Reichmann, it appears, has a grudge against Maradiaga for dodgy financial dealings; but that should not invalidate her other substantiated claims. It is clear that the Holy Father should now institute a thorough investigation – which would include his own involvement in the matter.

In the modern world (whose attitudes in other areas, Francis is eager to embrace) he can no longer hide behind his anomalous status as above Canon Law. Kings and dictators have been made answerable to the law; and so it must be with Popes.

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