April 13, 2005

U.S. Catholics, Vatican differ on sex-abuse scandal

Contra Costa Times

Knight Ridder Newspapers

ROME - The decision by Vatican officials to have Cardinal Bernard Law preside over a high-profile mourning Mass for the late pope is the latest example of the chasm that separates how senior Vatican officials view the priest sex-abuse scandal and the way many American Catholics see it.

While Pope John Paul II and other senior Vatican officials repeatedly condemned child sex abuse by priests and endorsed American bishops' efforts to combat it, church officials in Rome never saw the revelations as the kind of confidence-shattering, life-changing event that many Americans did.

Some senior church officials - including Honduran Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez, who's considered a strong papal candidate - continually suggested that the scandal was a creation of the American news media.

"We all know that Ted Turner is openly anti-Catholic, and he is the owner not just of CNN but of Time Warner," Rodriguez said inaccurately in May 2002, in a broadside accusing the former CNN chairman and U.S. news outlets of "persecuting" the church. He suggested it was because of the Vatican's pro-Palestinian outlook. Rodriguez continues to stand by his remarks.

Posted by kshaw at April 13, 2005 07:48 PM