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.
When the world's cardinals gather in Rome at the end of next week to greet 24 new fellow members of the College of Cardinals, they will all attend a day of "reflection and prayer" at the Vatican on November 19. And one of the topics to be covered is the Church’s handling of the sex-abuse crisis.
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An unauthorized demonstration was rewarded with an unofficial letter, as a small group of anti-clergy abuse protesters held a protest near the Vatican marking “Reformation Day.” The protest was organized by a group called “Survivors Voice,” founded by Gary Bergeron and Bernie McDaid, two U.S. victims of clergy sexual abuse. The unexpected and conciliatory letter came from the the head of the Vatican's press office.
In the weeks leading up to the canonization of St. Mary MacKillop by Pope Benedict XVI last Sunday in Rome, the proposal was made by some that she be honored not only for being a Catholic pioneer and a model for Australians but also as the patron saint of abuse survivors or whistleblowers of sexual abuse by the clergy.
This looks like vindication for observers (like us) who were slow to interpret Pope Benedict XVI's decision not to accept the resignation of two Irish auxiliary bishops as a "rebuff" to Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.
Irish media are reporting, some with a degree of surprise, that this week the archbishop received a hero's welcome at a massive gathering of lay faithful in Italy, and that sources in the Vatican say he's been in regular, extensive contact with Pope Benedict XVI on the clerical sex abuse crisis.
A French intellectual and Jewish convert to Catholicism says the clerical sex abuse crisis has damaged the Church's worldy reputation but "the Church is not a cover girl. She does not live on her image in the media."
In a recent interview, Fabrice Hadjadj, a 39 year-old French convert from Judaism twelve years ago and former atheist and anarchist, told the French newspaper Le Figaro that the current crisis lived by the Church is not unprecedented.
If the Irish episcopate was not already racked with controversy, now comes word that Pope Benedict has not accepted the resignations of two Irish auxiliary bishops that were given to the Holy See last December at the height of the sex abuse crisis in Ireland. The surprising news was announced in a letter to the clergy of Dublin sent by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin Aug. 10.
A Jesuit researcher is questioning the "strange silence" about sexual abuse of children in any other arena but the Catholic Church. In a recent interview with Mercatornet, Father Giovanni Cucci wonders why society doesn't seem to be taking the problem seriously — beyond an occasional flurry of media outrage....
As has been anticipated for months, and as we predicted in our book "Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis," in coming weeks the Holy See is planning to issue an update to the 2001 norms for how cases involving sexual abuse of minors by priests are to be handled. What to expect? Basically a codification of current policy and practice to make the lessons learned from handling the flood of cases originating in the United States available to Church leaders in other parts of the world.
According to the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation, the world’s largest public service broadcast network that exists under a Royal Charter) is planning to celebrate the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to England and Scotland in September by putting the pontiff “on trial.” The 90-minute show will offer a hypothetical trial of the pope for covering up child sex abuse cases by priests.
The New York Times once again attacked Pope Benedict XVI in its July 1 edition with another poorly researched and error-filled article. Having failed to stir up any major controversy with the article, the Times editors railed anew in an editorial on Friday expressing explicitly the biases that were so implicit in its earlier article. In the July 1 article, the Times claims that then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger failed in his responsibilities to claim jurisdiction over sex abuse cases in the 1990’s.
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