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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Kindle Edition available for download at amazon.com.
by John Norton
A quick look at Pope Benedict XVI's first day in Great Britain:
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On the plane this morning to Great Britain where he'll be making a four-day visit, Pope Benedict XVI told journalists traveling with him he was deeply saddened at clerical sex abuse and that the Church was going through a period of humility and repentence.
"These revelations were for me a shock, and a great sadness. It is difficult to understand how this perversion of the priestly ministry was possible," he said. ...
Pope Benedict XVI continues to sound a message of Church renewal through penance and conversion — not structural reform — in the wake of the clerical sex abuse scandal. In today's general audience, he focused on the work of St. Hildegard of Bingen, a 12th-century German Benedictine, who toward the end of her life became a traveling missionary for ecclesial renewal.
Last week on this blog, we relayed a report in the Irish Times that contradicted the common interpretation of Pope Benedict XVI's recently announced decision not to accept the resignations of two Dublin auxiliary bishops as a rebuff to their boss, reformer Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.
There's just one problem: Turns out Archbishop Martin hasn't talked to the pope since February.
At least in the English-language world, commentary on the latest allegation of clerical sex abuse — this time levied against a Belgian cardinal — has been necessarily tentative because most of the source documents remain in Dutch, and even then appear incomplete.
But in a nutshell, two Dutch papers have published the (partial) transcripts of secret tape recordings made by a sex abuse victim in April meetings with Cardinal Godfried Danneels, who retired in January as head of the Mechelen-Brussel archdiocese.
The abuser? A fellow Belgian bishop who resigned in disgrace shortly after the recordings were made. The victim? His now 42-year-old nephew, whom he had abused for 13 years, both before and after his 1985 consecration as bishop.
But the fresh scandal is that the transcripts show Cardinal Danneels...
Catholic News Service's Julie Asher has a new article on what led to the writing of "Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis: Working for Reform and Renewal."
Here's how it opens:
Greg Erlandson decided to write a book on the clergy sex abuse crisis because the secular media kept raising questions about Pope Benedict XVI's handling of cases in their coverage of a new wave of clergy sex abuse in dioceses around the world.
For him, there was a "genuine curiosity about...
As Canadian Cardinal Marc Oullet heads to Rome to head up the Congregation for Bishops — arguably one of the most important Vatican offices to renewing the Church after the clerical sex abuse scandal — he's pledging transparency and an approach that offers greater recognition to the harm done to abuse victims.
Here's the salient section from a television interview he did with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:
Don't miss this Rome Reports video interview with the authors of this blog and the book described by some as "essential reading" to understand facts of Pope Benedict XVI's handling of the clerical sex abuse crisis:
By now, the Associated Press should know that its coverage of the role of Pope Benedict XVI -- then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a top Vatican official -- in the awful case of the child-abuser and former Oakland, Calif., priest Stephen Kiesle was ill-informed and based on a faulty understanding of basics about the Catholic Church.
And yet, five months after its first report on the case, it is repeating the same gross error.
One of the abuse victim plaintiffs whose lawyer dropped their suit in Kentucky against the Vatican last week has reconciled with the Church -- after 80 years.
The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal has the story:
In the end, (James) O'Bryan reconciled with the church because of the actions of a priest — the same reason he said he left in the first place.
O'Bryan, now 89 and living in northern California, was one of three plaintiffs who sued the Vatican in 2004, alleging that the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church had orchestrated a cover-up of sexual abuse through centuries of secret policies. He said he was sexually abused by a Louisville priest in 1928.
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