VATICAN—Pope Francis closed the conference on sexual abuse this week with unprecedented measures to stem the abuse by priests and the coverup by bishops who knew and did nothing. He answered many prayers by going “nuclear” and put each corrupt bishop in a two-minute time-out.
“I know it was a harsh action,” Pope Francis said in a press conference following the punishment, “but I feel it was the only thing that would get the message across that we will not tolerate this kind of behavior in the Church that Christ created.”
Many lay Catholics were impressed by the extraordinary move.
“I’m so glad that they decided to do something about this scourge that’s ripping the Church apart. Pope Francis is cleaning house!” Betsy Oning of Dover, Delaware said.
“Sure, these bishops are going to keep doing what they’re doing and nothing will change, but they were put in time-out, so clearly, something is being done!” Brett Foresythe of Chicago said.
Pope Francis said that if the bishops don’t start behaving that he will take away their iPads for a half-hour also.
“That might be going a little too far,” Oning said. “Let’s not get carried away.”