This time, we’re told, the Vatican is serious about abuse. Really.

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Nov 29, 2018

Archbishop Scicluna says that the February conference on sexual abuse will be “the start of a global process“ to plan a worldwide response to the scandal.

The start? You mean the process didn’t start when Pope Francis formed the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors? And it didn’t start in 2015, when the Pope told abuse victims in Philadelphia that “we will follow the path of truth wherever it may lead?” And it didn’t start when, three years later, as he met with the members of that commission for the first time, the Pope promised “the application of the firmest measures?” And of course it didn’t start when the American bishops approved the Dallas Charter, way back in 2002?

So all those times in the past, when we’ve been told that the all-out response was underway, it actually hadn’t even begun?

Then why, pray tell, should we believe that it’s going to begin in February?

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.

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  • Posted by: space15796 - Dec. 01, 2018 10:31 AM ET USA

    They are conducting themselves in a way that selects only naive or low information followers. Can that be their goal? Their “problem” is the informed and thoughtful faithful. We are not going away…

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Nov. 30, 2018 12:24 PM ET USA

    I continue to wonder where is the concern for "vulnerable individuals"? They are a category that goes part and parcel with the category "children." Our safe-environment training always addresses "children and vulnerable individuals" as a unit. Although seminarians are not to be classified among the elderly, the incapacitated, or the disabled, they are in a defining sense a "captive audience." What qualitative difference does sexual abuse of children manifest that abuse of seminarians does not?

  • Posted by: piloni - Nov. 29, 2018 10:53 AM ET USA

    Because this time, Blase Super Cardinal Cupich is on the job!