In Ireland, thin gruel for the faithful and other “field hospital” residents

He continues to offer too little, too late.

With recent revelations of institutional cover-ups of sexual abuse in the United States and Chile, many Catholics had hoped that Francis, who has struggled throughout his tenure to grasp the enormity of the scourge, would use the wreckage of the Irish church as a backdrop to announce muscular new measures to protect children in his church.

Instead, on the first day of his two-day visit here for the ninth World Meeting of Families event, he offered a familiar account of his disgust at the sins of priests and bishops, disappointing advocates of abuse survivors who found his remarks too tepid and disconnected from concrete plans to take action.

He’s been talking a good line, in generics, from Day One, but remains sooo cautious in this matter. Why? Has someone got his number among the institutional conspirators that surround him?

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