This is a scandal with substance and body that strikes at the moral core of the Catholic Church. The policy to conceal evil acts of abusive priests is tantamount to perpetuating and enabling further sins and rewarding the sinners with continued sustenance. Is that not the polar opposite of moral leadership? This eats away at the church and it diminishes the prescriptive value of every organized religion worldwide.
Papal letter fails to calm anger over Irish abuses
By SHAWN POGATCHNIK
DUBLIN – Pope Benedict XVI's unprecedented letter to Ireland apologizing for chronic child abuse within the Catholic Church failed Saturday to calm the anger of many victims, who accused the Vatican of ducking its own responsibility in promoting a worldwide culture of cover-up.
Benedict's message — the product of weeks of consultation with Irish bishops, who read it aloud at Masses across this predominantly Catholic nation — rebuked Ireland's church leaders for "grave errors of judgment" in failing to observe the church's secretive canon laws.
The pope, who himself stands accused of approving the transfer of an accused priest for treatment rather than informing German police during his 1977-82 term as Munich archbishop, suggested that child-abusing priests could have been expelled quickly had Irish bishops applied the church's own laws correctly. He pledged a church inspection of unspecified dioceses and orders in Ireland to ensure their child-protection policies were effective.
He also appealed to priests still harboring sins of child molestation to confess.
"Openly acknowledge your guilt, submit yourselves to the demands of justice, but do not despair of God's mercy," he wrote.
But Benedict offered no endorsement of three official Irish investigations that found the church leadership to blame for the scale and longevity of abuse heaped on Irish children throughout the 20th century.
The Vatican refused to cooperate with those 2001-09 probes into the Dublin Archdiocese, the rural Ferns diocese and Ireland's defunct network of workhouse-style dormitory schools for the Irish poor.
The investigations, directed by senior Irish judges and lawyers, ruled that Catholic leaders protected the church's reputation from scandal at the expense of children — and began passing their first abuse reports to police in 1996 only after victims began to sue the church....more...