On a rooftop overlooking St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Italy, CBS 60 Minutes reporter Nora O’Donnell interviewed Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, who’s the head of the Roman Catholic Church’s new commission to fight sex abuse. O’Donnell, who was raised Catholic and majored in philosophy at the Jesuit-run Georgetown University, didn’t beat around the bush. “For many people…the biggest scandal isn’t the predators but the bishops who protected them, and lied about them, and moved them from parish to parish.” Some of the predators have been prosecuted but the bishops have not. Why not? asked O’Donnell. O’Malley said they’re looking into protocol, to see how to respond.
O’Donnell pushed for more. She brought up Robert Finn, the current bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph who pleaded guilty to a criminal misdemeanor for not reporting a priest who was taking lewd pictures of children. The bishop is still in place. “How is that zero tolerance?” O’Donnell asked. “What does it say to Catholics?” O’Malley said “it’s a question that the Holy See needs to address urgently.” O’Donnell doesn’t appear satisfied. O’Malley is painfully careful with his words when it comes to Pope Francis. O’Donnell tries putting words in the mouth of the cardinal: “There is a recognition of that…from Pope Francis,” O’Donnell says encouragingly. O’Malley repeats her words, “There is recognition from Pope Francis.” If O’Donnell wasn’t Catholic and if her devout Catholic parents didn’t “love Cardinal Sean O’Malley” perhaps she might have simply asked, “What the hell is taking so long?”