The Vatican has declined to respond to an explosive grand jury report detailing decades of sexual abuse and cover-ups by priests and bishops in Pennsylvania, refusing even to say whether church officials in Rome have read the damaging documents.
“We have no comment at this time,” Paloma Ovejero, deputy director of the Vatican’s press office, said Wednesday.
In the United States, both liberal and conservative Catholics displayed a rare unity in pressing the Pope to respond to the Pennsylvania grand jury report.
“The silence from the Vatican is disturbing,” said Massimo Faggioli, a theology professor at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. “I don’t think the Pope necessarily has to say something today. He needs time to understand the situation. But someone from the Vatican should say something.”
Faggioli noted that Wednesday is a national holiday in Italy, and many church offices are closed. But he also noted that it was well-known that Pennsylvania’s grand jury report, which was in the works since 2016, would be released on Tuesday.