Holy Smoke

Is the Catholic Church falling apart?

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In this episode

Damian Thompson

In the last episode of Holy Smoke, I discussed Pope Francis's brutal and petty new document which seeks to ban as many Latin Masses as possible. This week we look at the other recent developments, which are arguably just as disturbing: two criminal prosecutions in which close allies of the Pope are accused of a range of hair-raising offences – and the question of how much Francis knew about their activities still hasn't been answered, either by the Vatican or its tame press corps.. Also, I touch on a new explanation for Rome's dreadful pact with China. Did the Pope's Secretary of State sign away the freedom of Chinese Catholics because Beijing was threatening to release data relating to the use of the gay hook-up app Grindr inside the walls of the Vatican? We may never find out. But one day there will be a new pope. Is it too much to hope that the college of cardinals will learn from the disasters of the past eight years?