Morning Briefing, Roman Style

Rome — Welcome to the Rome-centric version of your weekly international edition of the daily briefing, where we highlight the most recent news out of or about the Vatican.

First, in an editorial today, NCR calls on Pope Francis to implement a tribunal to judge bishops who mishandle clergy sexual abuse cases.

While the mass resignation of the Chilean bishops was dramatic, "the church still has no system and no independent authority to investigate and hold accountable bishops and religious superiors who enable abuse."

In a column May 23, Michael Sean Winters said it is time to bring back the 2015 proposal, announced by the Council of Cardinals, for such a tribunal.

Winters' column and our editorial come as the story of clergy sexual abuse in Chile continues to unfold.

Late May 22, the Vatican announced Francis will be meeting in Rome with five priests who suffered abuse by notorious criminal Fr. Fernando Karadima. It will be Francis' second such encounter with Karadima's victims in three months.

Among those Francis met at the earlier meeting was survivor Juan Carlos Cruz. A gay man, Cruz revealed May 19 that Francis told him: "It doesn't matter that you are gay. God made you that way and he loves you the way you are." 

The pope also had a busy weekend on other issues.

On May 19, the pontiff approved the canonizations of martyred Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero and Pope Paul VI, setting Oct. 14 as the date of the joint ceremony.

On May 20, the pope named 14 new Catholic cardinals, again diversifying representation in the most elite body of church prelates with selections from places such as Iraq, Pakistan and Japan and solidifying his influence on the group that will one day elect his successor.

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

Enter your email address to receive free newsletters from NCR.

Join the Conversation

Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Learn more here