When forgiving may not be divine

In the last six months countless thousands, if not millions of words have been written about Pope Francis but this apparently minute scrutiny of the new global superstar seems to be missing at least one detail which is not minor — his opinion of Father Julio César Grassi, whose conviction for child-molesting at a children’s foundation has just been upheld. Or perhaps rather more to the point (since Pope Francis now has a universal Church in his charge), the opinion of Jorge Bergoglio who was the cardinal-archbishop of Buenos Aires during all the 11 years which the saga of the Grassi case have lasted so far without any known views on the issue.

Yet however intriguing this question whose answer will also carry some significance for the future of the Church, this issue goes beyond both Father Grassi and Pope Francis. As far as the Grassi case is concerned, there is a need to ask not only about the apparent silence of the man who was Buenos Aires archbishop until early this year but about...

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