Stephen P. White

Time Will Tell

Pope Francis is right to be wary of legalistic and bureaucratic “remedies” to what is fundamentally a spiritual and moral crisis. But given everything we know about how episcopal and priestly malfeasance has been handled – or rather, mishandled – in recent decades, there is reason to wonder whether Pope Francis’ highly personal, even ad hoc, pastoral approach to wayward bishops is the most prudent model for the Church today.

Pope Francis

See How They Love One Another

As the Church takes a hard look at ways to correct for widespread failures in the clergy, and especially the episcopate, she will have to take care to delineate what sorts of changes are theologically and sacramentally permissible and which are not.

New Leadership in Baltimore and Boston

It’s worth remembering that reporting mechanisms and systems of accountability, while important, do nothing to address the root of the crisis in the Church, which is fundamentally a crisis of fidelity.

The Stakes Are Being Raised

Last week’s summit in Rome focused on protecting minors from sexual abuse. It was a start. But it was, in many ways, very far from the end.

EPPC Fellow Stephen P. White Appointed to New Role at Catholic University

EPPC Fellow Stephen P. White has been named the executive director of The Catholic Project, an initiative launched by the Catholic University of America in the wake of the Church’s sexual-abuse crisis. Mr. White will carry out his new duties in his continuing role as a fellow in EPPC’s Catholic Studies program.

Mr. McCarrick’s Mess

In one sense, laicization would bring Theodore McCarrick’s part in the saga of the clerical sex-abuse crisis in the Catholic Church to a deservedly ignominious end. But of course, the bitter fruits of his sins are still ripening to harvest.

Knowing What We’re Up Against

While the failings of priests and bishops are an obvious place to start for dealing with the current crisis, the way toward genuine reform will require careful thinking and a broader perspective, including the laity’s place in the life, governance, and mission of the Church.

Wuerl Misread the Crisis; Pope Francis Need Not

Pope Francis clearly understands that there is a crisis of credibility in the American episcopate. It is less clear that he understands why.

Giving Due Process Its Due

Care for due process and the rule of law is as important within the Church as without. Without a clear, well-defined, and carefully executed canonical framework for handling abuse allegations, the Church is left with an ad hoc, almost haphazard, legal approach.

Piecemeal but Concrete Beginnings of Reform

The case of a Los Angeles bishop charged with sexual misconduct is a textbook example of the need for independent, lay involvement in the review of allegations against bishops.