Pope Francis: Don’t Do a Thing!!
The U.S. Bishops’ Conference was about to vote on some measures to address the abuse crisis, including proposals to hold bishops accountable. The only criticisms I had heard was that they didn’t go far enough. But at the last minute, the Vatican ordered the bishops not to vote on these measures (here).
NCR reports “the Vatican asked for the delay because of Pope Francis' upcoming February summit on child protection with the heads of all the global conferences.” Apparently all regions of the Church have to act simultaneously.
Reactions to this announcement were not favorable. Even the bishops seemed unable to put a favorable spin on it. Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of the victims’ group BishopAccountability.org, said: “I think this is a disaster, and it's a dark day for Catholics and mostly for victims and survivors, that this feckless and cowardly group cannot act on its own to do the right thing for American children and the People of God in the United States.”
Judge Anne Burke of the Illinois Supreme Court and a member of the 2002 National Review Board that created the “Dallas Charter” said: “The hierarchy is crumbling. They don't see this as a crisis. I can't understand that they can't see beyond their own nose.”
Asserting that the Church must act in unison implies that everything is directed by the Vatican. I believe such a degree of central planning is unprecedented. It’s a good thing the Vatican is more concerned with preventing output than producing it. They can fold the abuse proposals into their next five-year plan.