What will Francis do?

A United Nations’ committee has asked the Vatican to turn over documents pertaining to child sex abuse and cover up.

According to The Tablet:

The UN’s Geneva-based Committee on the Rights of the Child on Tuesday issued a list of demands for detailed information from the Holy See regarding all cases of child sexual abuse committed by clergy and Religious.

The Vatican has until January to compile the information, in time for a meeting of the UN committee at which Vatican officials will be questioned.

The Vatican is asked about the steps it has taken to prevent accused clergy from having access to children, about bishops who have failed to report allegations to the police, about what investigations the Church has run and what compensation or counselling [sic] the Church has offered victims, and about the safeguarding measures the Church has put in place to prevent future abuse.

The real story will be in Francis’ response. The UN has no real authority over Vatican sovereignty  – in fact, Vatican officials have been giving this committee the run-around for years. The only consequences for noncompliance are sanctions. For a nation-state eye-deep in wealth and with a constant income stream from faithful Catholics worldwide, I am sure the Curia could not care less.

So Francis has three choices:

  1. Pony up the documents,
  2. Tell the committee to go pound sand, or
  3. Stall

Considering that the Vatican refuses to remove a bishop who pled guilty to child endangerment and that recent document dumps in LA and Milwaukee were embarrassing and exposed criminal activity, we can assume that Option 1 is off the table.

So Francis is left with Option 2 and Option 3. Will he rise to the occasion (in the tradition of his namesake)?

We shall see …

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