Vatican power struggle bursts open as priests and bishops pounce on Pope Francis.
Pope Francis has been accused of covering up of the churches biggest problem – sexual abuse by the clergy, especially of young men.
It all came to light after a major investigation in the United States.
And that is prompting a slew of new investigations throughout the United States.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro informed the pope before the report became public.
In a personal letter to the Pope he says the “comprehensive investigation” by his office
found “widespread sexual abuse of children and a systemic coverup by leaders of the Catholic Church.”
The Pope never responded.
“The silence from the Vatican is disturbing,” says Massimo Faggioli, a theology professor at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.
“I don’t think the Pope necessarily has to say something today. He needs time to understand the situation. But someone from the Vatican should say something.”
Vatican Power Struggle Bursts Open
As well the Pope is facing intensive political pressure from inside the church.
One arch conservative bishop Archbishop Carlo Vigano calls for Pope Francis to resign over the sex abuse scandal in the United States.
But there is a twist to Vigano’s statement.
Pope Francis removed Vigano from his ambassadorship to Washington.
He did so after Vigano arranged a secret meeting for the Pope during his visit to the United States.
The meeting was between the Pope and Kim Davis, a county clerk from Kentucky.
She had become a conservative Christian heroine for refusing to sign same-sex marriage certificates.
And even on his recent trip to Ireland the Pope never dealt with the sexual abuse issue.
He merely acknowledges the “abuses of power and conscience”.
Instead he asks for forgiveness for all the times the church failed to provide survivors with compassion, justice, truth, or “concrete actions.”
And when pressed on the Vigano issue he responds.
“I will not say a single word on this,” although he adds that after some time passes, “I may speak.”
And pressure mounts on Pope Francis.
The church is facing a rapidly escalating crisis.
This crisis has spread across several continents, from Australia to Latin America.
There is a feeling among Vatican watchers that the conservative element in the church sees the latest developments as a means of paying the Pope back for being so liberal.