O'Malley talks LCWR, sex abuse, women's ordination

Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley, a key adviser to Pope Francis, was featured in a lengthy interview on the U.S. television program "60 Minutes" Sunday night.

The interview covered a wide range of topics: from O'Malley's relationship with the pope, to his feelings about the Vatican's investigations of U.S. women religious, to his thoughts on the possibility of women's ordination to the priesthood.

One revelation? O'Malley and the pope regularly communicate via fax.

"Usually ... we fax," O'Malley told CBS' Norah O'Donnell. That method, he said, is "very quick and efficient."

That prompted O'Donnell to respond: "Most people think texting is quicker than faxing."

"Well, the pope and I aren’t about texting," said O'Malley.

Asked why the Vatican holds that women can not be ordained priests, O'Malley said that if he were founding a church he might allow women to be priests.

"If I were founding a church, you know, I'd love to have women priests," he said. "But Christ founded it and it -- what he has given us is -- is something different."


O'Malley also speaks during the interview about his role on both the Council of Cardinals and the pope's new commission on the sexual abuse of minors. Speaking of that work, he responds to questions about Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., Bishop Robert Finn, who was found guilty in 2012 of a criminal misdemeanor count of shielding a priest who was a threat to children. 

[Joshua J. McElwee is NCR Vatican correspondent. His email address is jmcelwee@ncronline.org. Follow him on Twitter: @joshjmac.]

Just $5 a month supports NCR's independent Catholic journalism.

We are committed to keeping our online journalism open and available to as many readers as possible. To do that, we need your help. Join NCR Forward, our new membership program.


Looking for comments?

We've suspended comments on NCRonline.org for a while. If you missed that announcement, learn more about our decision here.