Revived abuse crisis, newfangled simony dominated the church’s 2018

National Catholic Reporter

December 31, 2018

By Michael Sean Winters

If the year 2018 in politics was dominated by Donald Trump, the life of the Catholic Church in this country in 2018 was marked by two major stories, one a reprise and the other just beginning, and one story that did not happen, the ecclesial dog that did not bark.

In the event, Pope Francis addressed both major stories in his address to the Roman Curia just before Christmas: the clergy sex abuse crisis and the newfangled simony afflicting the church. I shall consider those comments in their proper place.

When I ventured my predictions for the year last January, I did not predict that the clergy sex abuse crisis would return, and return with a vengeance, but it did. Beginning with the removal from ministry of, and subsequent resignation of his cardinalate by, Theodore McCarrick, followed by the Pennsylvania grand jury report, on through the November meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the issue sucked all the air out of the sanctuary.

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