Argentina Bishops Delayed Abuse Plan
As the new leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, Pope Francis pledged Friday to forge ahead with measures aimed at stemming sexual abuse in church ranks. But as the church's most powerful official in Argentina, he didn't comply with a Vatican call to create guidelines for handling sexual-abuse allegations in the country.
The delay, which hasn't been previously reported, opens new questions about the new pope's record of addressing the issue of sexual abuse by priests, even as the Vatican vowed anew to address the issue.
On Friday, Pope Francis met with Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, who heads the office in charge of leading the Vatican's global crackdown on abusive priests and instructed him to continue the Vatican's strategy for fighting sex abuse. The pope urged him to "act decisively with regard to cases of sexual abuse, pushing above all the measures to protect minors," the Vatican said. Swift detection, Vatican officials have said, is crucial to stopping abusive priests.
The Vatican highlighted the importance of pressing national conferences of bishops to draw up comprehensive policies for detecting abuse and helping victims. "The commitment of bishops conferences in formulating and implementing the necessary guidelines is so important for the witness and credibility of the church," the Vatican said following the meeting Friday.
Among those that haven't met the Vat...