PRIME Minister Scott Morrison has two questions to answer, rather than one, after failing to respond to a US news report that he sought to have Hillsong Church leader Brian Houston invited to a White House State dinner with Donald Trump in September.
Is it true? Why won't Mr Morrison give us a simple yes/no answer? And if it keeps going we'll soon be asking a third and a fourth - does Mr Morrison have a conflict of interest here and is he blind to it?
These questions need answers as we mark the first anniversary of the national apology to victims of institutional child sexual abuse on Tuesday, delivered by Scott Morrison.
It's been a month since the Wall Street Journal reported the PM was "determined" to bring Brian Houston "as part of his delegation" but "the White House vetoed the idea, telling his office that Mr Houston was not invited".
"Weeks before Mr. Morrison's arrival in Washington, the standard advance-planning process hit a bump in the road," the Wall Street Journal said.
"After several rounds of discussions across the 14 time zones between Washington and Canberra, Mr. Morrison agreed to leave the pastor at home, according to several people familiar with the matter."
Mr Morrison batted away Australian media questions with the unfortunate use of the word "gossip". He wasn't responding to "gossip". He refused again in federal parliament last week.
This is playing out against a NSW Police investigation into how Brian Houston and the Assemblies of God - Australian Christian Churches since 2007 - responded to child sex allegations about Mr Houston's father, Frank, from 1998.
Mr Morrison is a friend of Brian Houston. The two men are entitled to that friendship regardless of the police investigation, in private, and with the caveat that true friends are open and challenge each other, particularly where objective facts are available, as is the case here. But the PM seeking to have Brian Houston at the White House, if true, is the opposite of private support.
It is a prime minister giving the most public endorsement possible to another person, despite enough objective facts on the record for the White House to say no. Again, if that is what occurred.
We can't dismiss this as the Wall Street Journal getting it wrong because Mr Morrison hasn't come out and said the article was rubbish or it didn't happen. He hasn't denied the report in any way to address the concerns, and they are legitimate concerns. He's just gone silent.
His office did not respond to my questions on this issue late last week, as it hasn't responded to other journalists' questions.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found Brian Houston had a conflict of interest when the allegations were first raised with him in 1999, months after they were raised with other Assemblies of God members.
The royal commission showed the delay was, in part, because Brian Houston was national president of the Assemblies of God when the allegations were raised. For a crucial period he was the sole conduit of communications from Brett Sengstock - the boy who was sexually abused by Frank Houston from the age of seven - Frank Houston and the Assemblies of God national executive tasked with responding.
In a book published in June, 2015 - after an October, 2014 public hearing revealed the church did not report allegations about Frank Houston to authorities, but before formal findings were released in October, 2015 - Brian Houston said "I believe with all my heart that I handled an impossible situation with transparency and honesty".
But that was an "impossible situation" Brian Houston put himself in, with the assistance of a church leadership that failed to challenge his handling of the matter at crucial points. Possibly Mr Houston has some insight now into why his 2015 statement was a concern. It showed a man still struggling to see the conflict of interest.
When his church's national executive finally released an "extremely confidential" first report to ministers on December 24, 2001, it described Frank Houston's "serious moral failure", but didn't mention he sexually abused at least seven boys, one as young as seven. The "extremely confidential" report also advised ministers "We cannot see any reason for this to be announced to your church or further afield". A reasonable person might beg to differ.
Brian Houston should have been challenged by church leaders in 1999 about having any role in the response to allegations about his father. The church leadership should have challenged itself.
Brian Houston, Hillsong and Australian Christian Churches are being challenged now about the narrative put forward since 2015, and whether it conflicts with royal commission findings, documents and transcripts.
They're being challenged by Brett Sengstock who was turned away when he sought compensation from a church that proclaims love on behalf of Jesus.
Australians are entitled to challenge Scott Morrison about that White House dinner list and anything that flows from his answer.
On October 22, 2018 Mr Morrison stood in Federal Parliament and told Australians: "Today, we reckon with our past" and "our actions will give true and practical meaning to this apology".
Prime Minister, it starts with a simple yes/no.