Is Pope Francis in reality like a clone of ex-Pope Benedict, but just a better spiritual salesman? That is an important and unanswered question . Wishful thinking Catholics hope Francis really is different in more than his smoother speech. Many Catholics basically gave Francis a free six month pass, when Francis became new pope. He at the time appointed 8 Cardinals to tell him by October 1 how to reform the Curia. Six months seemed like a reasonable time, at least to come up with a specific vision of a reform agenda. Francis and the Cardinals were then , and still are, quite familar with the Church’s problems.
Of course, the eight Cardinals included some of the “usual suspects” who had been part of the clique that either caused the current mess or looked the other way as the ex-pope fiddled while Rome burned.
The group’s chairman, Cardinal Rodriguez of Honduras, had earlier shamefully suggested that the Jewish owners of the New York Times, parent company of the Boston Globe, were mainly behind the bad press Cardinal Law got in the Boston priest abuse scandals. Rodriguez reportedly supported the ex-pope’s ban on condoms for AIDS victims and excommunication of women who had an abortion. And he just suggested the Holy Spirit is guiding his current efforts to help Francis “reform” the Church. Really? Who guided his seemingly anti-Semitic remarks earlier?
As an international lawyer, it is becoming increasingly simpler to assess all of this now. Francis and his Cardinals’ group must either “put up” real reforms soon or else. The “or else” are government prosecutors. Australian prosecutors are currently breathing down the neck of Cardinal Pell, also one of the eight Cardinals. The ex-pope, or even Pope Francis, could well be next. And prosecutors in many other nations, including in Latin America, are stepping up their pace.
Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.