Ahead of the first anniversary of his papacy, it's a good time to review the Pope's handling of the child abuse crisis, which so plagued the papacy of his predecessor. Few would dispute that clerical child abuse was the most pressing issue, given that his predecessor's lamentable performance on this was widely thought to be the main reason that a papal election took place.
Perhaps the biggest question that this examination raises is the extent to which Francis wishes to - or indeed is able to - start coming clean over child abuse by requiring reporting to secular authorities, and cooperating with them by providing information which the Vatican has hitherto kept secret and instructed others to do likewise.
When Savile reportedly laughed in the face of one of his victims who threatened to report him, he had clearly come to regard himself as legally untouchable, and this impunity was due to at best an extraordinary willingness of the various institutions he was involved with to turn a blind eye to his crimes.
The Catholic church now maintains that it abhors child abuse and that it wants to root it out. If the Catholic church is serious about this then in my view it has a responsibility to come clean about past abuse. And there's a simple way for the Catholic church to do this - open its secret archives to the police.
The Catholic Church could be forced to pay millions of pounds to sex abuse victims following a landmark decision by the High Court. Following Tues...