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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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In a recent speech Tom Doyle described the Catholic church in the United States as 'a swamp of toxic waste', and he accused the US bishops of running 'a self-serving public relations campaign by which they continue to try to flip the whole mess around, make themselves look like victims and demonise anyone who has ever challenged their collective stupidity, cruelty and total lack of compassion.'
Tom Doyle, welcome to the program. Do these repeated apologies by Pope Benedict and his decision to meet with some of the victims, represent a real breakthrough moment in the clerical abuse crisis?
Tom Doyle: I think it is a breakthrough moment in a number of ways. I think it's a breakthrough moment because he did more, said more, and communicated more truly human concern in six days that Pope John Paul II did in 25 years with regard to the issue of sexual abuse of clergy, and you have to remember that although this has been front and centre in people's concerns and in the media since 2002, the public awareness of the issue has been going on since at least 1984, starting in the United States.
Stephen Crittenden: You even were involved at that time.
Tom Doyle: I was very much involved.
Stephen Crittenden: Warning the Vatican.
Tom Doyle: Yes. And the Bishops Conference in the United States. And they knew it. And there were several major explosions since then that received a tremendous amount of media coverage over here, but they would always subside, and we'd lose the momentum somehow or other. Boston January 2002, the momentum has not stopped.
Stephen Crittenden: Was this apology something that also had to happen? Because if it hadn't happened, it would have cast a pall over the entire trip.
Tom Doyle: I think that's a good observation and I totally agree. There was a lot of skepticism when the trip was announced months ago, would he say anything about this issue? Would he do anything about this issue? Then even up to just before the trip started, the feeling was that he would probably mention it at least once, possibly once or twice. But there was skepticism that anything concrete would happen.
Stephen Crittenden: I must say I was very surprised that he actually met with victims. I wasn't expecting that at all.
Tom Doyle: I was very surprised myself.
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