Avoiding another fiasco in February

By peremptorily ordering the American bishops not to vote on local remedies for today’s Catholic crisis of abusive clergy and malfeasant bishops, the Vatican dramatically raised the stakes for the February 2019 meeting that Pope Francis has called to discuss the crisis in a global perspective. How the Americans’ taking decisive action last month would have impeded Roman deliberations in February—the strange explanation offered by the Vatican for its edict—will remain an open question. Now, the most urgent matter is to define correctly the issues that global gathering will address.