The Associated Press
December 27, 2018
By Nicole Winfield
Analysis: Francis’ early missteps weakened his moral authority
It has been a wretched year for Pope Francis, whose blind spot on clergy sex abuse conspired with events beyond his control to threaten his legacy and throw the Catholic hierarchy into a credibility crisis not seen in modern times.
The latest development — a high-profile verdict in a faraway country — cements the impression that Francis simply didn’t “get it” when he first became pope in 2013 and began leading the church.
Early missteps included associating with compromised cardinals and bishops and downplaying or dismissing rumors of abuse and cover-up. Francis finally came around in 2018, when he publicly admitted he was wrong about a case in Chile, made amends, and laid the groundwork for the future by calling an abuse prevention summit next year.
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