Pope Francis clearly understands that there is a crisis of credibility in the American episcopate. It is less clear that he understands why. I don’t mean to suggest that the Holy Father’s not paying attention, still less that he doesn’t care about clerical sexual abuse. Not at all. What I mean is that there are signs that he still doesn’t quite grasp the way in which the dynamic of the abuse crisis has fundamentally changed in the United States over the last seven months.
Judging by his letter to the American bishops on retreat earlier this month, the pope is still operating

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