The Vatican has declined to respond to an explosive grand jury report detailing decades of sexual abuse and cover-ups by priests and bishops in Pennsylvania, refusing even to say whether church officials in Rome have read the damaging documents. “We have no comment at this time,” Paloma Ovejero, deputy director of the Vatican’s press office, said Wednesday.
But in the United States and elsewhere, pressure is mounting on Pope Francis to address a rapidly escalating crisis that has spread across several continents, from Australia to Latin America. In the United States, both liberal and conservative Catholics displayed a rare unity in pressing the Pope to respond to the Pennsylvania grand jury report.
Matthew Schmitz, an editor at First Things, a conservative Catholic magazine, said, “Francis has been unfairly attacked at times for his response to clergy sexual abuse. But his response has been disappointing. I hope that enough pressure can be created that he does act to investigate these issues.”