You thought Pope Francis would do better, didn't you? But when a papal nuncio (a papal ambassador) made a habit of sexually abusing boys in the Dominican Republic, the pope whisked him out of the country and brought him back to the Vatican. In other words, Jozef Wesolowski, the nuncio, will not be prosecuted for his crimes in the country where they took place. Same old, same old.
But far from settling the matter, the Vatican has stirred an outcry because it helped Mr. Wesolowski avoid criminal prosecution and a possible jail sentence in the Dominican Republic. Acting against its own guidelines for handling abuse cases, the church failed to inform the local authorities of the evidence against him, secretly recalled him to Rome last year before he could be investigated, and then invoked diplomatic immunity for Mr. Wesolowski so that he could not face trial in the Dominican Republic.
This is not what we expected from Francis the Good. It's more like the stylings of Benedict the Bad. And though there will be a "trial" at the Vatican, it seems the nuncio isn't suffering at all.
A Dominican bishop, Victor Masalles, visiting Rome in late June, said in a Twitter message that he was surprised to see Mr. Wesolowski “strolling the Via della Scrofa,” in the city’s picturesque ancient center. He added, “The silence of the Church has hurt the people of God.”
And of course, this unseemly affair is not viewed positively by the Catholic population in the Dominican Republic.
“The people used to say, ‘I want my child to go to a Catholic church,’ ” said the Rev. Rogelio Cruz, a Catholic priest here. “Now they say, ‘No child of mine is ever going to a Catholic church.’ ”
Not that that's a bad thing, mind you. But this interlude is just more of the same. Why can't the church turn their priests in for crimes? In light of the history of such crimes by church members, this is unacceptable. Why can't this church do the right thing?
Roman Catholicism. Same as it ever was.