Pope Francis Pulls a Rabbit from his Hat

Days ago, when he was trying to lower expectations, Pope Francis said his child abuse summit would be “a pastoral meeting rather than a decision-making event” (here). Just prayer and sympathy, no legislation or concrete proposals. Apparently that speech didn’t poll too well. So today, Pope Francis opened the summit with a very different message: “Pope opens child sex abuse conference, promising 'concrete' remedies.”

Today, Pope Francis promised “concrete and efficient measures.” Needless to say, he didn’t mention what they might be. Given that they didn’t exist a few days ago, I’m sure they are not fully formulated. Two questions remain. Will these “concrete and efficient measures” actually have teeth and make both priests and their superiors accountable both for crimes of abuse and for crimes of covering-up abuse? Second, will those “concrete and efficient measures” actually be implemented to enforce zero tolerance?

Even if you believe in miracles, what are the odds on this one?


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