On Monday, Pope Francis released a letter responding to the massive sexual assault crisis involving 1,000 victims and 300 priests in the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania. Francis condemned "clericalism," called the entire Catholic Church to fasting and prayer, and presented the scandal in terms of God's judgment on an unfaithful church. In doing so, he may have inadvertently opened up the debate on clericalism that inspired the Protestant Reformation.
"The heart-wrenching pain of these victims, which cries out to heaven, was long ignored, kept quiet or silenced," Francis wrote in a letter published Monday. "But their outcry was more powerful than all the measures meant to silence it, or sought even to resolve it by decisions that increased its gravity by falling into complicity. The Lord heard that cry and once again showed us on which side he stands."