Sometimes it seems every pledge of reform by the Roman Catholic Church is matched by one —or more — reports of outrageous behavior.
A permissive policy toward predator priests who molested children appears to have characterized church policy for decades, not just in the United States but also in many other countries. Church officials say they will crack down on that. No longer will molesters be shielded, they vow.
But those pledges of turning over a new leaf have been coming forth for several years.
In 2017, reports surfaced that some church officials working with the Caritas International charity were engaged in pedophilia. The Rev. Luk Delft, a Belgian priest who had been working in the Central African Republic, was accused.
Officials in the Vatican had said they learned of allegations against Delft in 2017, but decided his Caritas International superiors should handle the matter. They did little; Delft remained as Central African Republic director of Caritas International until this year.
A few days ago, it was reported that Delft was appointed to the post even though he had been convicted in 2012 of child sexual abuse and possession of child pornography in Belgium.
A Caritas International offcial claimed he had not known of the 2012 conviction until this year.
How is that possible?
It isn’t, according to some in Caritas International. They have said the organization was notified in 2017 of Delft’s conviction.
Roman Catholic Church leaders have pleaded for trust as they work to establish reforms. Reports such as that on Delft do nothing to inspire trust.