April 28, 2005

New pope must address priest sex abuse crisis

Asbury Park Press


Pope Benedict XVI continues to make news. When he held his first meeting with members of the media Saturday, he spoke for about 15 minutes, making general comments about the good the media can do in providing information. The pope also reminded the media that they should observe the ethical requirements of their profession.

I was disappointed that the pope did not invite questions. If I had been there and been able to ask questions, I would have asked him about sexual abuse by priests.

Although in the past year or two, members of the Catholic hierarchy have tried to assure American Catholics that the sex abuse crisis is "history," until significant aspects of that crisis are resolved it will continue to undermine the credibility of the Church.

When the College of Cardinals elected Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to the office of supreme pontiff, they chose a person who has a mixed record in addressing the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests. Pope Benedict XVI needs to apologize for the wrong things he said and the poor policies he implemented before his pontificate will be able to move forward.

The biggest problem facing the new pope is that he is on record as having said in November 2002 that he thought that the media in the United States were spearheading a campaign against the Catholic Church.

Posted by kshaw at April 28, 2005 09:22 AM