There are four persons of interest here. Let me start at the top, with Pope Francis.
I am not Catholic, although I volunteered twice a week at a Catholic charity. For twelve years. I respect the faith of others. I deeply appreciate this Pope’s rapprochement where others want to exclude, to use Francis’ own words, the less perfect.
We may not remember the scandal at the Vatican Bank, where it was actually claimed that money launderers used that facility to conceal and move ill-gotten gains. From what I recall in the news, those claims likely had merit. And, to fix the problem, Francis installed Cardinal Pell as his top financial adviser – the third most powerful Catholic in the world.
Pell is our second Person of Interest. He did seem to be cleaning up the Bank quite nicely. There is a problem, though, and Pell is being accused of turning a blind eye to sexual abuse, and apparently lately, to perhaps having committed some himself.
A year ago Pell refused to travel back to Australia where he was Archbishop at the time of the alleged offences and coverups. His health prevented this. Apparently his health could prevent him from attending the preliminary hearing as well (see above hotlink.)
Our third person of interest is Tim Minchin, who over a year ago posted a video of a song which he wrote challenging Pell to ‘Come Home’ to Ballarat in Australia. Apparently Minchin donated proceeds to help the abused and their relatives to travel to Italy to watch the proceedings. My memory is, they weren’t allowed in and watched via closed circuit TV.
Our fourth person of interest is another Catholic. Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller will not have his five-year mandate as Catholicism’s chief theologian renewed. Müller was appointed by Benedict in 2012 and needs (and won’t get) renewal when five years is up.
Apparently (read the hotlinked article, eh?) Müller has been a bit of a thorn in Francis’ side. Here’s a few quotes from the article. Emphasis mine.
The two did not see eye-to-eye, with Cardinal Müller questioning Pope Francis’s attempts to being more open to “imperfect” Catholics, like those who are divorced.
Earlier this year, a victim of sexual abuse within the Church accused Cardinal Müller’s department of impeding the Pontiff’s efforts to stop internal cover-ups of abuse.
Müller is (was, actually) the second most powerful Catholic in the world.
Tim Minchin is still Tim Minchin.
Luckily, Francis is still, so far as I can tell, exactly what he’s always claimed to be:
- the front face of reconciliation for Catholics who are imperfect.
- financially incorruptible, and trying to clean house where needed.
- sensitive to abuse: it should be stopped, and covering it up prevents that.
May God have mercy on us all. Pope Francis could use a little help here, too, imho.