[Editor’s Note: Melinda Henneberger is an editorial writer and columnist for the Kansas City Star and monthly columnist for USA Today. A graduate of Notre Name, she used to cover Catholic issues for the New York Times from Rome. Earlier this year, she won the prestigious Scripps Howard Award. She spoke to Charles Camosy about her views on Pope Francis and his attempts to reform the Church.]
Camosy: ...you used to work for the New York Times covering a lot of Catholic news out of Rome. Given your experience of how things worked then, and having had more than six years of Pope Francis, how do you think his attempts to reform the institutional Church have gone thus far?
Henneberger: Until recently, I would have given a nice mixed answer. But in the current context, the ship is on fire and sinking while the captain chooses this of all moments to stay silent, the crew argues on like nothing has changed and the passengers are jumping into the lifeboats; bye!
I’ve been very supportive of Francis, but doesn’t he have anyone around him who will tell him how serious this crisis is? Bottom line, the last three popes and who knows how many before that have failed to protect children. They haven’t seen how central a failing that’s been, either, or why if the Church can’t get that right, nothing and I mean nothing else matters.
Who do they think is going to take them seriously on the dignity and worth of unborn children given their demonstrably cavalier attitude towards the already born children they’ve so routinely treated as non-people?