What are we to make of the recent interview with Francis (on May 28) by Mexican journalist Valentina Alazraki?
Francis has previously refused to comment on the accusations made by Archbishop Vigano – leaving judgement to the good sense of press reporters. Now he flatly denies having had previous knowledge of the nefarious activities of former Cardinal McCarrick, in clear contradiction of Vigano’s more circumstantial testimony.
Journalists (and others) will ask themselves who is lying: the Archbishop with an axe to grind and scores to settle, or the Pope whose overall credibility is on the line?
The interview itself is a strange one, in which Bergolgio rambles on, like an elderly mafioso, seeking at one moment to discredit his accuser, at the next to profess his own innocence. It is hard not to think that silence was, after all, the wiser option.