Action Alert!

Notice something missing?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Oct 09, 2017

When Australian bishops huddled last week with Vatican officials, the top item on the agenda was an Australian royal commission’s inquiry into sexual abuse of children.

Take a look at the announced list of Vatican officials involved in the discussions. Two top officials from the Secretariat of State. The prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. The secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Notice anything missing? Nobody was involved—at least nobody who made it onto the list—from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors: the office directly responsible for the main topic of conversation.

If you have been wondering how much real clout that papal commission has—or, to put it differently, whether that commission is window-dressing rather than policy-making—this is not reassuring.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Oct. 10, 2017 9:23 PM ET USA

    Lay people, who are not beholden to the pope, resign from the commision because they are being blocked by various cardinals. Yet the Pope, who has shown he can get rid of Cardinals for no reason, does nothing to stop the interference. Conclusion? He doesn't want anything to be done.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Oct. 10, 2017 7:17 PM ET USA

    Very little seems reassuring out of the Vatican these days.