April 14, 2005

To the Vatican, U.S. priest sex scandal fading

The Arizona Republic

Michael Clancy
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 14, 2005 12:00 AM

ROME - From the Vatican's perspective, America's priest sex-abuse scandal has diminished, and all that remains is to regain the trust of the faithful and clear a backlog of cases that still await official review.

The scandal is not likely to play a big role when it comes to choosing Pope John Paul II's successor, said the Rev. Thomas Reese, a Vatican expert and editor of the Catholic weekly magazine America.

"The abuse problem needs to be solved at home," he said. "It will not be solved at the Vatican. The Vatican did not move priests from parish to parish."

Vatican officials would not say how many cases, including some from the Phoenix Diocese, still need to be reviewed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, the Vatican agency responsible for clergy discipline. Nor would they release how many already had been reviewed.

"The congregation is trying to help American bishops to resolve this issue, diocese by diocese, so that they can say that they have no other abusers in the ministry," said the Rev. Augustine Di Noia, undersecretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and one of the higher-ranking Americans in the Vatican who is not a cardinal.

Posted by kshaw at April 14, 2005 05:52 AM