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.
This probably falls in the category of "only in America."
A new organization that calls itself a grassroots group of Catholics upset with the hierarchy's current handling of the sex abuse crisis is asking Catholics to voice their disapproval of Pope Benedict XVI by ponying up only a penny when parishes do the Peter's Pence collection later this month that provides humanitarian and emergency relief for people around the world.
The website of the group is evolving. Yesterday, it accused the pope of "disgraceful handling" of the global clergy sex abuse crisis and said he was "making a mockery of both Catholics and their universal Church." It offered no evidence to support these claims.
Today, that language on the website is gone, replaced with a slightly more polished indictment:
The pope’s response to the clergy sex abuse crisis has been woefully inadequate, lacks a sense of urgency, is long on words and symbols, but short on substantive actions. In brief, the pope’s response is unacceptable. The Peter’s Pence collection on June 27 provides Catholics a unique opportunity to cast a NO vote of confidence on Pope Benedict’s abuse crisis performance.
Catholics can certainly debate whether Pope Benedict needs to do more. But it is simply a smear to say he's somehow asleep at the switch or isn't taking the crisis seriously. The facts — and most sober analyses — point to him setting a more aggressive tone on this (like his remarks on the way to Portugal) that other Church leaders have scrambled to catch up to.
It doesn't take much to detect that there are other agendas at work here. And who has the most to lose? The world's poor and suffering.
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