April 20, 2005

In clergy sex abuse epicenter, Ratzinger seen as block to reform

Telegram & Gazette

Associated Press Writer

BOSTON— Massachusetts Catholics, still dealing with the clergy abuse crisis that shook the Archdiocese of Boston, are regarding the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the next pope with cautious optimism - hopeful he understands the hurt caused by sexual abuse of children by priests, but worried that his conservative stance will alienate reform-minded Catholics.

James Post, president of the lay reform group Voice of the Faithful, said he hopes Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, understands the dimensions of the crisis.

"He understood quite clearly that the moral credibility of the church was compromised by having perpetrators of abuse in the church and the cover-up that the bishops were involved in so I think there is at least the hope that he will take some action in these areas," Post said.

The Rev. David Convertino, a priest at St. Anthony's Shrine in downtown Boston, said Ratzinger must continuously address the Boston Archdiocese's sex abuse crisis.

"How a pope does that I'm not quite sure - how he intervenes at a local level like this without interfering, while at the same time supporting the victims of the abuse in the whole diocese," Convertino said. "I'm sure he'll be supportive."

Posted by kshaw at April 20, 2005 02:05 AM