After more than a bad year, will Pope Francis right the ship?

The Globe and Mail

December 21, 2018

By Michael W. Higgins

Every modern pope appears to have had an annus horribilis at some point in his pontificate. For Pope Francis, such times of tumult and catastrophe are not bound to a 12-month cycle with a longed-for terminus: They are the norm, not the exception.

For the current Pope, internal chaos, open rebellion by dissident clerics, dubious professions of loyalty by high-ranking prelates and a cascade of sex-abuse scandals and episcopal cover-ups all make for an unhealthy state of affairs.

It is irregular to have a former papal ambassador, Carlo Maria Viganò, complain publicly about his boss (they do so robustly, but in private), flinging allegations of misconduct against the Pope himself in the public arena and calling for his resignation because he, and his like-minded corruptors, promoted the now disgraced former cardinal of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, with the full knowledge that his behaviour fell well below accepted standards. Indeed, Viganò argues the Pope was remiss in not enforcing sanctions against the errant cleric – sanctions initially applied by Benedict XVI.

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