The Church's Response to Sex-Abuse Scandals

The Church's Response to Sex-Abuse Scandals



EWTN - Vatican Meeting of U.S. Cardinals on Sex-Abuse Scandals in the United States
An index page with addresses and other documents relating to the meeting of U.S. Cardinals in Rome on procedures for dealing with sex-abuse by clergy.
· Opening address by Cardinal Sodano
· Address by Pope John Paul II
· Final communiqué on resolutions reached
· Message to U.S. priests

ZENIT - The Scandals in the U.S.
The key problem involving scandals with priests in the United States isn't what the media generally lead us to believe, says a Catholic psychologist. In a two-part ZENIT interview, Dr. Gladys Sweeney, president and dean of the Institute for the Psychological Sciences, gives her insights into what lies behind the scandals that have rocked the U.S. Church in 2002.

ZENIT - Catholic Psychiatrists Look at Roots of U.S. Scandals
In the wake of the clerical sex abuse scandals, a group of psychiatrists from the Pewaukee, Wisconsin-based Catholic Medical Association sent an open letter to the U.S. bishops, analyzing the causes of same-sex attraction, and offering recommendations for avoidance of future problems of this sort among the clergy.

Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons

The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States – A Research Study Conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice

ZENIT - George Weigel on the National Review Board's Report
George Weigel thinks the U.S. bishops' National Review Board has turned out a report that is a "real service to the Church" as Catholics face the question of genuinely Catholic reform in light of the John Jay study of clerical sexual abuse.

ZENIT - Archbishop Buechlein on the Sex Abuse Report
Though troubled by the National Review Board's report (2004) on clergy sex abuse, Archbishop Daniel Buechlein hopes the Church will learn from its mistakes and make positive changes. He shared with ZENIT his thoughts on the importance of continuing the Church's "learning curve" on the issue and the factors that may have contributed to the crisis.

ZENIT - Seminary Reform Needed in Wake of Sex Abuse Study
Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons, of the Catholic Medical Association, believes that, in view of the recent study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the clerical sex abuse crisis shows the need for human and spiritual formation programs for priests and seminarians. Fitzgibbons shared his views with ZENIT.

ZENIT - The Psychology Behind Homosexual Tendencies
The Vatican Instruction on the priesthood and homosexual tendencies mentions a range of conditions, from deep-seated homosexual tendencies to transitory same-sex attractions. To learn more about the nuances of the range of homosexual tendencies and their treatment, ZENIT turned to Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, a psychiatrist, author and contributor to the Catholic Medical Association's document "Homosexuality and Hope."

Pope Benedict XVI - Pre-Visit Papal Interview During the Flight to the United States
On Tuesday, 15 April 2008, during the flight to the United States, the Holy Father spent 20 minutes immediately after take-off answering the questions of five of the approximately 70 journalists on board. The questions were introduced by Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., Director of the Holy See Press Office and of Vatican Radio.

Fr Federiko Lombardi, SJ - On Cases of Sexual Abuse
Here is the text of the note issued on 9 March 2010 by Vatican Radio Director Fr Federico Lombardi, SJ, concerning cases of the sexual abuse of minors in ecclesiastical institutions. While acknowledging the reprehensibility of such cases, he notes their fractional part in a much broader problem, to the solution of which the Church is willing to contribute for the benefit of society at large.

Pope Benedict XVI - Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Ireland
On 19 March 2010, the Holy Father signed a letter to the Catholics of Ireland, in which he addressed the scandal of the sexual abuse of young people by a minority of clergy and religious. In his letter, the Pope sternly rebuked these latter, as well as those bishops who failed to apply canonical norms to the guilty. To the innocent majority of priests and religious, he spoke words of encouragement, and he expressed his sorrow to the victims, proposing a path of "healing, renewal and reparation."

LOR - The Church Confronts Delicta Graviora
The Church does not like to showcase justice but that does not mean she is not rigorous in her investigation of sexual abuses by diocesan and religious priests. In an interview with Avvenire (3/13/2010), Mons. Charles J. Scicluna, Promoter of Justice of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, confirmed that "in principle, the condemnation of this kind of crime has always been firm and unequivocal."

Archbishop Aidan Nichols - Clear and Total Disclosure
On 26 March 2010, The Times newspaper published an edited version of an article by Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster regarding child abuse committed within the Roman Catholic Church. This is the full and unedited text of the article written by Archbishop Nichols and offered to The Times on 25 March.

LOR - There Was No Cover-Up
L'Osservatore Romano responds to a charge, made by the New York Times that Cardinal Ratzinger, while Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was involved in a cover-up of the sexual abuses committed by a Milwaukee priest.

VIS - CDF Guidelines on Sexual Abuse Allegations
This 14-paragraph guideline clarifies the procedures followed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in response to sexual abuse allegations towards minors. It is not a new document, but simply a summary of procedures that have already been defined, as "an aid for laypeople and those who are not canon lawyers." 

Carl Anderson - Benedict XVI's Papacy a Failure?
Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, responds to the charge that the papacy of Benedict XVI has failed. The charge has no merit, but is an expression of wishful thinking on the part of those objecting to the Church's opposition to their secularist agenda.

Fr John Zuhlsdorf – Time for Some Fair and Balanced Reporting on Clerical Sexual Abuse

ZENIT - Politically Incorrect Numbers
Numbers might not be politically correct, but they shouldn't offend anyone, according to an author who says the current discourse on pedophile priests is a typical example of a "moral panic." In a ZENIT interview, Massimo Introvigne, director of the Center for Studies on New Religions, discussed the link between pedophilia and homosexuality.

Editors, National Catholic Register – 12 Things Every Catholic Should Know About the U.S. Scandals
This article from the National Catholic Register, 25 April 2010, provides a list of facts regarding the U.S. sex abuse scandals. These are facts with which every Catholic should be familiar, in view of the ongoing attacks made on the Catholic Church in the mainstream media.

ZENIT - Catholic Psychology and Sexual Abuse by Clergy
Pedophiliac behavior — as in cases of child sexual abuse by clergy — cannot be equated with homosexuality, but research reveals that the two are not disconnected, says a Catholic psychotherapist in this ZENIT interview. Gerard van den Aardweg has worked as a therapist for almost 50 years in his homeland of Holland, specializing in cases of homosexuality and marital problems.


The World Over - 9 April 2010
w/ George Weigel on the sex abuse scandal and Catholic response

The World Over - 16 April 2010
w/ Robert S. Bennett on the current clergy sex abuse controversy in the Catholic Church

The World Over - 23 April 2010
w/ Philip F. Lawler on the sex abuse controversy

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