Priest retraction

Former Massachusetts parish priest Father Robert Emmett O'Regan has clarified a statement made in his Worcester Observer interview in March. From the doorstep of his new schoolhouse in Bogota, Colombia, he called a press conference for a number of foreign correspondents at the behest of his former archbishop.

His former archbishop himself

While maintaining that he only abused girls, Fr. O'Regan has amended his admission by adding: "I want to make absolutely clear here this evening that I think that there is nothing wrong with molesting little boys."

The priest had been vilified with the publication of the interview in March, with his statement that he "only liked girls." The change in tone today may be an indication that members of the clergy are finally coming to accept the social harm they have done. The upper echelons of the Church, meanwhile, have had more pressing problems to address in the last year.

Pope Francis would appear to be taking a less liberal course. The new pontiff has made recent reference to the "gay lobby" in the Vatican, a pilastered corridor that runs the length of Saint Peter's Basilica. He has consulted with a number of archbishops with expertise in stonemasonry about the possible removal of the offending hallway. Pope Francis was elected earlier this year after the retirement of Benedict XVI.