Authors Greg Erlandson and Matthew Bunson continue the discussion they began in the book from Our Sunday Visitor, Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis: Working for Reform and Renewal. Send us feedback at email@example.com. Kindle Edition available for download at amazon.com.
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We’ve made the case here that Pope Benedict XVI has been a leading force for change in the Church’s handling of clerical sex abuse cases. And now we’ve got the documents proving he’s been that way for more than two decades.
In a remarkably personal letter, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged men around the world studying for the priesthood not to let their vocation be shaken by the scandal of sex-abuser priests.
"Instead of guiding people to greater human maturity and setting them an example, their abusive behaviour caused great damage for which we feel profound shame and regret. As a result of all this, many people, perhaps even some of you, might ask whether it is good to become a priest; whether the choice of celibacy makes any sense as a truly human way of life....
Greg Erlandson, president and publisher of Our Sunday Visitor Publishing and co-author of "Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis," is one of a handful of American representatives at a Vatican conference on the role of the Catholic press....
This blog has been pretty critical of mainstream media coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's involvement in the handling of specific cases of U.S. priest-abusers. By and large, the American journalistic narrative of taking down the man at the top of the organization (and perhaps a latent animus to Catholic Church teachings, particularly on sexual morality) has led too many respected U.S. media organizations to don ideological blinders and ignore basic principles of journalistic ethics.
So I am happy to report that the Associated Press, in a recent story, is a shining exception to that trend.
The head of the Belgian Church's commission to investigate clerical sex abuse says Pope Benedict XVI should resign to set an example to other Church leaders and to seize "a historic opportunity to return a moral standard for all other institutions to draw."
Child psychologist Peter Adriaenssens...
Pope Benedict XVI's been talking a lot these days about Church renewal, and it's hard not to imagine that for him the clerical sex abuse scandal plays the central role in his statements' context.
The latest example came yesterday morning in a speech to a group of Brazilian bishops...
At his weekly general audience this morning, Pope Benedict XVI recalled his historic trip over the weekend to Great Britain, including his private meeting with five abuse victims.
According to the Vatican Information Service report:
Later in the apostolic nunciature, "I met with some victims of abuses committed by members of the clergy and religious. It was a moment of intense emotion and prayer," said the Holy Father. At his meeting with people responsible for protecting children and young people in Church environments "I thanked them and encouraged them to continue their work, which is part of the Church's long tradition of concern for the respect, education and formation of new generations."
Deacon Greg Kandra, of the Deacon's Bench blog, did an informal test and finds that Americans — including Catholics in the pews — got shortchanged in media coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's historic visit to Great Britain last weekend.
Most people, he believes, came away thinking that the pope went for the main purpose of meeting sex abuse victims, and that Brits by and large weren't happy about him being there.
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