No Bark, No Bite

Sherlock Holmes’ “dog that did not bark” is something of overused cliché in public matters. But there are times when the absence of something that ought to be there – and loud – is the strongest evidence of what has really been going on. Witness the extraordinary consistory, which ended yesterday evening with a Mass celebrated by the pope in St. Peter’s for the Cardinals, who spent the past two days in private discussing the present and future of the Church.

It usually takes some indirect sources to sort out Vatican events like this, and people who follow them know how to put together the basic picture from various bits and pieces. This time, however, the fragments are few and add up to very little. It would be distressing to think that is the only result of what the Cardinals and the Holy Father just spent their time doing.

Still, that may very well be the case.

The official spokesmen haven’t spoken much. What we’ve mostly been told are the usual PR cliches: that the pope invited the participants to speak out frankly. But when you even have to say that, who ever really does it? Read more.

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