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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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The sexual-abuse crisis which has engulfed the Catholic Church is, above all, an occasion of profound regret at the damage done to the victims. But it is also an occasion of anger at the way the Church has treated those victims. The pain caused by clerics has been exacerbated by the misgovernance of bishops. So deep is the hurt that the victims feel, that it is understandable that attention has turned to the role of the Pope himself in the crisis. Calls for Pope Benedict’s resignation have come from victims and groups representing them, for only such a cathartic action would be proportionate to the anger and hurt they feel. Nevertheless, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster was right to say on television last weekend that there were “no strong reasons” for Pope Benedict to resign.
Contrary to the impression given by recent, increasingly aggressive coverage by the media, Pope Benedict’s actions have reflected concern for the victims and a deep desire to clean up the Catholic Church. The Pope’s letter to the Catholic Church in Ireland was unsparing in his condemnation of offenders and of bishops who failed in their leadership and made grave errors of judgement....
A serious question about the CDF [the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] does remain unanswered. Why did it take the Congregation in particular and the Vatican in general so long to realise that such an instruction about reporting all cases to Rome was necessary? By then, hundreds of priests had been dealt with on a pastoral or administrative basis, and were subsequently reinstated, often after reference to a therapist, but many then resumed their abuse of children. What triggered the change of approach?
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