While Pope Francis is a highly regarded leader, having established a reputation as a genuine humanitarian and having even been selected as Time magazine’s person of the year for 2013, as head of the Catholic church, he will have to answer questions regarding the Vatican’s record on child sexual abuse.
A U.N. committee formed by the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child is conducting the investigation of the Catholic church, which is intended to conclude today.
The Committee is expected to issue its final analysis and recommendations on February 5.
Pope Francis has implemented several improvements since his leadership began. These include criminalizing sexual violence against children, directing the church’s enforcement arm, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to act more decisively on abuse cases, and establishing an internal commission on sexual abuse by priests the focus of which is intended to be emotional support for victims.
However, a number of victim’s groups, while holding out hope for improvements, believe the steps are too little too late.
For more details on this subject, please see this Time Magazine article: Pope Francis’ Vatican to be Grilled by U.N. on Child Sex Abuse.