Isolated Pope Francis Faces Yet Another Setback in Pandemic

Pope Francis Vatican Scandals

Title: Isolated Pope Francis Faces Yet Another Setback in Pandemic

Author: Francis X. Rocca

Publisher: The Wall Street Journal

Date: 07JUL2020

Coronavirus comes as the Vatican has struggled in recent years with scandals and financial woes

VATICAN CITY—The world-wide restrictions on public events to deal with the coronavirus pandemic are the latest blow to Pope Francis, whose pontificate has been struggling in recent years to sustain the progressive hopes that the Argentine raised early in his reign.

The pandemic has hindered Pope Francis’ ability to communicate his teachings and promote his causes, from the environment to the rights of migrants, as well as his efforts to tackle the Vatican’s financial troubles. The lack of public events and personal interactions are particular burdens for a pope who is more at home communicating with crowds than in dealing with the Vatican’s bureaucracy.

Even before the pandemic, the early progressive trend of his pontificate, exemplified by openings toward divorced and gay Catholics, had run out of momentum amid internal church divisions. A series of scandals over clerical sex abuse of minors in various countries around the world, as well as affairs involving financial mismanagement at the Vatican, had cast a shadow on the institution.

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