Does the Pope want the truth? Now we know.

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Sep 20, 2018

The most important thing about yesterday’s announcement from the USCCB is what it didn’t say.

The leaders of the US bishops’ conference went to Rome to ask the Pope’s approval for an apostolic visitation. They came away empty-handed, and announced the steps that they would take on their own authority. Although they promise “a full investigation into the situation surrounding Archbishop McCarrick,” the sad truth is that they can’t deliver on the promise without help from Rome. They can’t authorize an apostolic visitation. They can’t require Vatican officials to cooperate with an independent investigation. They can’t turn over the files of the nuncio in Washington, or the Congregation for Bishops.

Last week, before the American bishops spoke with the Pontiff, I explained why the meeting would reveal whether or not Pope Francis wants a full and honest investigation of the scandal-—whether he wants the truth.

Now we know.

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 See full bio.

Sound Off! 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 6 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Sep. 21, 2018 11:36 PM ET USA

    Like it or not, the Pope is answerable only to God. If the governments of the world tied up all the church's money, the Pope would have to cooperate.

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Sep. 21, 2018 10:46 PM ET USA

    Forget it folks. There is more smoke coming out of the Vatican. Watch for the fire if files are or if ever released. This Pope is hiding facts about when h knew about Mccarrick. They don't want the truth. Lord help His Church.

  • Posted by: DanS - Sep. 21, 2018 6:44 PM ET USA

    Yes, we deserve an explanation from the Pope. No, he won’t proffer one. Our Pope is a politician given to us by the Holy Spirit to challenge our conviction to defend the Faith and the Bride of Christ in the face of unspeakable evil. Well, where do we stand?

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Sep. 21, 2018 5:38 PM ET USA

    This just in. The Pope patted them on the head and sent them back home after he told them CDL Maradiaga spoke for him when he called mcCarricks behavior of a "private matter" and of an "administrative nature". There you have it. The coverup policy expressed at the almost highest level.

  • Posted by: rjbennett1294 - Sep. 21, 2018 5:36 PM ET USA

    Phil Lawler is right. The bishops cannot require anyone to cooperate with an independent investigation. But US state attorneys general can.

  • Posted by: KC627 - Sep. 21, 2018 1:37 PM ET USA

    Don't we at least deserve an explanation from the Vatican or the USCCB on why Pope Francis has "apparently" rejected the USCCB's request for an apostolic visitation of the American Church?