March 25, 2010
The Pope and the Scandal
New York Times, New York Times
Pope Benedict XVI’s latest apology for the emerging global scandal of child abuse by predatory priests — an issue that the Roman Catholic Church should have engaged years ago — is strong on forgiveness but far short of the full accountability that Catholics need for repairing their damaged church.
With the scandal spreading across Europe, Benedict apologized to Irish Catholics last week for the “sinful and criminal” sexual abuse of thousands of children across decades. But he made no mention of the need to discipline diocesan leaders most responsible for shielding hundreds of priests from criminal penalties by moving them from parish to parish to continue their crimes.
The pope’s apology fell short not only for Catholics in Ireland, but...