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.
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....
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Catholics in England are worried about the level of anti-Catholic hostility that has exploded in their country months before a planned state visit by Pope Benedict XVI. A week ago, Telegraph blog editor Damian Thompson noted the a Tweet sent out by a columnist at the Times of London: “The Catholic Church: They hate women and gays, and f*** kids. On a day-to-day level, that’s a tough sell.” (I saw it pop up on Tweetdeck, too, and saw it get retweeted dozens and dozens of times.)
The Vatican’s unforgivable mistake, you see, was including other canonical changes and clarifications about the Eucharist, about confession and, most importantly, about women’s ordination (all prohibitions against various types of sacramental misuse). So headlines across the United States yelped that the Vatican was equating the ordination of women with child sexual abuse.
OK, I agree with those critics who say that the Vatican should have seen this one coming. There are simply not enough of us public-relations cynics advising Vatican officials that no good deed will go unpunished when you are judged by the grand inquisitors of middlebrow newsprint to be on the wrong side of history....
Even the Vatican’s staunchest friends are aghast at its public relations disaster yesterday. I have yet to find a single voice defending the decision to accompany its much-anticipated revised norms on clerical sex abuse with the announcement that it is adding the attempted ordination of women to the list of “grave crimes” in Church law.
The Vatican has issued — as predicted across the Catholic news and blogging world and in our book — a new set of revisions to Church law that are intended to strengthen and streamline the process for handling cases of sexual abuse of minors by the clergy.
British journalist and opinion writer Cristina Odone is one of the handful of commentators who have noted the ironic dissonance between how the cultural elites are treating convicted child rapist and filmmaker Roman Polanski — and how they treat Pope Benedict XVI.
With uncommon fairness and a moderated tone, OSV contributing editor Russ Shaw has a fresh critique of the reporting of The New York Times on Pope Benedict XVI’s handling of the sex abuse crisis.
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.
Try this thought experiment: A priest in California drugs and rapes a 13-year-old boy. He's caught, and is convicted of the crime. But before he is sent to prison, he hops a plane in Los Angeles and flees to the Vatican, hiding behind the sovereign walls of the Holy See. The United States requests the priest's extradition. The Vatican refuses, arguing in part that the priest has visited the Vatican on numerous occasions recently, and had an expectation that visiting "would not entail any legal disadvantages" for him.Would there be outrage?
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.
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