April 21, 2005

Another hard-liner in charge at Vatican

By Bernadette Brooten
Thursday, April 21, 2005 - Updated: 03:27 AM EST

I met the who would become Pope Benedict XVI in 1972. I was a young, nervous Catholic theology student attending a seminar in Germany on papal infallibility. The teacher, Hans Kung, argued that the pope is not infallible, while Joseph Ratzinger, a guest in the seminar, argued that he is. I critiqued Ratzinger's position - to his face - on theological grounds. Papal infallibility severely limits the pope from undoing past mistakes, I insisted. ...

U.S. Catholics, still shaken by the clergy sexual abuse crisis, will wonder how Pope Benedict XVI will respond to its implications. In 2002, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, meeting in Dallas, passed a series of rules to address allegations of sexual abuse by priests, but later that year a commission composed of four Vatican and four U.S. bishops weakened these reforms. The revisions included a narrowed definition of sexual abuse, defined diocesan review boards of lay people as purely consultative and limited the requirement that bishops report allegations of the sexual abuse of minors to the civil authorities.

Posted by kshaw at April 21, 2005 04:54 AM