American Catholics’ demands for reform intensify after letter implicates Pope Francis in sex abuse coverup

_103182460_popeplanereu2Source: The Washington Post

August 28 at 7:01 AM

In the wake of a summer of sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, topped this weekend with an explosive letter alleging that Pope Francis himself covered for an abusive cardinal, American Catholics are agitating for major changes in their church.

Perhaps for the first time, Catholics of all political stripes who protected their hierarchy through what had once seemed the worst of the sexual abuse crisis are training their ire on it. They are calling publicly for bishop resignations, Robert S. Mueller-like investigations, and boycotts of Mass and donations. Even the biggest fans of Francis and his reformist agenda are now questioning whether he is actually part of the problem.

“This is a different reaction from the laity than I’ve ever seen before,” said Adrienne Alexander, the founder of a nascent national movement called Catholics for Action that has staged protests in seven cities in the past two weeks, with more planned in the coming days. “Regular old church folks in the pews are saying: This bishop has to go. Or: All bishops have to go. That’s just something I’ve never seen from the laity.”

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