From the Washington Post:
For some, the accusations sending tremors through the Catholic Church are a concerted and dubious attack by ultraconservatives on Pope Francis. For others, the accusations are a credible attempt to expose the depths of the Vatican’s struggle to deal transparently with sexual abuse.
But at the center of the divided church is Francis, whose reputation is being challenged by the unverified accusations that he and other Vatican higher-ups had known for years about the sexual misconduct allegations against a now-resigned cardinal, Theodore McCarrick. One week after the release of a scathing 7,000-word letter from Vatican ex-ambassador Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Vatican watchers say Francis — who has yet to directly address the veracity of the accusations — is facing the greatest challenge of his papacy. Some say Francis has not yet done enough. In a letter that had collected nearly 30,000 signatures, a group of Catholic women wrote that Francis’s earlier remarks about Viganò’s letter — when he’d said the document “speaks for itself” — were “inadequate.” The editors of America magazine, a Jesuit journal, wrote that the pope was perhaps trying to “stay above the fray rather than dignify a venomous ideological attack.”
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