Here is a point that is so obvious that I am surprised no one has made it yet.
Some people are talking – as they did in 2005 – about the election of a cardinal from the “emerging” Church. Several names have been mentioned as “papábili”.
Cardinal Electors who may be thinking along these lines might want also to consider that, once one of their brothers is elected, investigative journalists will start looking for clerical sexual abuse in dioceses in which he has ever breathed air.
They will bring divining rods, Geiger counters, scalpels and microscopes.
The shoes have not yet dropped in lot of places.
Remember how the newsies found a thin story about something that happened in Munich when Pope Benedict was still Cardinal Archbishop there? They beat him with that story for months. They are still beating him with it.
I propose to Their Eminences that it could be better to elect someone whose record on clerical sexual abuse we know a lot about.
Otherwise, in this media age, the next Pope’s pontificate could be hobbled from the starting gate.
In some countries, such as these USA, Ireland, Canada, a little bit in some European countries, the press has been crawling all over diocesan bishops for years and a great deal has been exposed to the light of day.
This has not yet occurred in the “emerging” Churches, such as in The Philippines or Brazil.
In fact, has it happened yet even in Italy?
If a cardinal from one of these places is elected, it will happen a lot faster wherever they have served.
Do any of us want to discover that the next Pope screwed up something about the abuse of kids in his diocese?
I just want you to consider what you are calling forth. Know what you are getting into.