Religion and Ethics Newsweekly: Catholic Sexual Abuse Scandals

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[BOB] ABERNETHY: But when he sent the letter last weekend to the Irish bishops, yes, he apologized and apologized, but he also did not go nearly as far in terms of discipline as a lot of people wanted to see.

{THOMAS] REESE: I think that’s true, and the difficulty is that I think that the pope needs to be on message. In that letter he said a lot of things. He said good things. He said he was sorry, he said that this was a terrible crime and sin, he acknowledged the fact that bishops didn’t respond adequately. Those were good things that he said.

ABERNETHY: So what should he do? What should the church do, learning from what the US experience was?

REESE: Well, I think that the European bishops really need to learn from the US experience. They need to put into place a zero-tolerance policy, which means that any priest that is involved in abuse is never going to be acting as a priest again. They need to cooperate with the police in reporting these accusations. They need to have a child protection program in parishes and churches, where people are trained. They need to apologize over and over and over again.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenSexuality* International News & CommentaryEurope* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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