In Defense of the Pope

Having criticized particular Catholic cardinals for blaming everything–including the Church’s sex scandal–on “the Jews”, let me now come to the defense of the Pope and of the Church itself on this issue.  To begin with, this is an extraordinarily complex problem, because the Church has at least five important traditions that make it difficult to move quickly and aggressively in response to complaints of abuse.

The first tradition involves confidentiality, particularly not exclusively the confidentiality of the priest with regard to the penitent.  But there is also a wider spread tradition of confidentiality within the Church hierarchy itself.

Second, there is the tradition of forgiveness.  Those of us outside the Church often think, perhaps, that the Church goes too far in forgiving.  I was shocked when the previous Pope immediately forgave the man who tried to assassinate him.  But this episode and other demonstrate that the tradition of forgiveness is all too real.

Third, there is the tradition of the Church regarding itself as a state.  The Vatican is, after all, a nation state.  The Catholic Church is not big on the separation of church and state, as are various Protestant denominations.  The Catholic Church, like Orthodox Judaism, believes that matters affecting the faithful should generally be dealt within the church, without recourse to secular authorities.

Fourth, the Vatican prides itself on moving slowly and in seeing the time frame of life quite differently than the quick pace at which secular societies respond to the crisis of the day.

Fifth, the Catholic Church has long had a tradition of internal due process.  Cannon Law provides for scrupulous methods of proof.  The concept of the “devil’s advocate” derives from the Church’s effort to be certain that every “t” is crossed and every “I” is dotted, even when it comes to selecting saints.

None of these explanations completely justify the long inaction of the Church in coming to grips with a serious problem.  But they do help to explain how good people could have allowed bad things to happen for so long a period of time.  Nor is the Catholic Church the only institution that has faced problems of sexual abuse.  Every hierarchical body, especially but not exclusively religious ones, has faced similar problems, though perhaps on not so large a scale.

The problem of hierarchical sex abuse has only recently emerged from the shadows.  Singling out the Catholic Church, and for stereotyping all priests  is simply wrong.

Pope Benedict, both before he became Pope and since, has done a great deal to confront the issue.  He changed the policy that kept allegations of abuse within the authority of local bishops, and he acknowledged that the local option had encouraged shifting abusive priests from parish to parish, thereby hiding their sins from potential new victims.  He also met with abuse victims and recognized their victimization.  Nor has he tried, as other members of the Vatican hierarchy have, to publicly blame the problem on “the Jews”, “the media,” and others.

It is obvious that despite Pope Benedict’s good efforts, more must be done, and not only by the Catholic Church but by all institutions that have experienced hierarchical sexual exploitation.  They must create structures that assure prompt reporting, a zero tolerance policy and quick action, so long as these processes are consistent with due process and fairness, not only to alleged victims but to the accused as well.  It’s easy to forget, in the face of real victims with real complaints, that there have also been false accusations as well.  Processes must be put in place that distinguish true complaints from false ones.

Most important, this tragedy should not be used as an excuse to attack a large and revered institution that does much good throughout the world.  Blame must be placed with precision and praise should be given with precision as well.  The eleventh Commandment, Thou Shalt Not Stereotype, must never be forgotten.

  • richado

    Why hasn't NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Love Association) been condemned? In the recent past they have actively lobbied for the lowering of the age of consent. They state they are opposed to sexual abuse, yet they assume man/boy associations to be consensual, which they cannot be, as there are obvious differences in development and age between adults and boys.Many of these adults are in positions of trust and can exploit them to their advantage if holding NAMBLA views. This is the kind of stuff concocted by the late pseudo-scientist-sexologist of the 50s Alfred Kinsey , who rationalized promiscuity , both heterosexual (Playboy philosophy) and homosexual behavior , including 'studying' the sexual responses of infants. His 'work' seeped into our culture and laws, and the Church was no exception. With this came the eventual over-sexualization and homo-sexualization and liberalization, as for example,of entertainment industry and educational systems. In short, Kinsey's views became mainstream, giving impetus and reason even to those who found child pornography privately 'self-fulfilling'.
    Dr.Judith Reisman provides research into how the Kinsey doctrine spread even into the American RC Church, as a result of a lack of vigilance by those who should have known better.

    And about NAMBLA:


  • Martha Dancy

    I don't think it is fair to tar all single people with the same brush as child molesters. When people say that celibacy is not normal, well, are single lay people abnormal? Many of us are school teachers and many other professions and sexual immorality is not part of our lives. Many people just don't find the right person for marriage and we want good marriages so we choose to be single rather than mistreated by the wrong person. Some single folks take care of aged parents, etc, and we are not child molesters. When one blames celibacy for this bad issue, then they are including all single and divorced people with the abnormal label.

  • Martha Dancy

    The abuse issue can be solved with good bishops with a vigilant eye and stricter screening of candidates for the priesthood. I am a member of a traditional parish (fssp) and all of our priests are good strong christian men with no tendancies to harm anyone. We have had many come in and have had no problems and we are swimming in kids. The parents seem happy with things and we keep a vigilant eye on all the kids.

  • walt kovacs

    mr dershowitz,

    as an atty, you must know that there are reporting laws regarding child abuse and these exist in every state.

    these laws do not exempt the church and its rules of confidentiality.

    ignorance of the law is no excuse

    • Benedictineacc

      Actually, Walt, at one time there was no such law in Massachusetts, which is why Cardinal Law cannot be charged with failure to report. I believe there is one now, but back at the time of the Geoghan case there was such rule.

      This is why there has not been any extradition or requests for such, or charges filed against Cardinal Law, who is currently at a church in Rome, Italy (not the Vatican itself).

  • Julianne Wiley

    I wish to thank you, Mr. Dershowitz, for your fair-minded survey of the facts concerning child abus, and your defense of both the Pope and the Church itself as an institution.

    Many writers have wrongly focused on the issue of "defrocking" abusive priests, faulting the Pope or Vatican officials for not "defrocking" them fast enough. This proceeds from a mistaken premise: that "defrocking" has anything to do with protecting victims and preventing abuse.

    The job of overseeing clergy is local. If there is an allegation of abuse, the local Bishop can –1) report the priest to the police; 2) remove him from all ministry.

    There’s no need even to inform Rome about this.

    The only way (until 2001 or in cases of abuse of Confession) that it ended up in Rome is if the priest appealed the bishop's decision.

  • badaboo

    The Catholic Church is indeed a font of forgiveness , and rightly so . And penitent pedophile and sexual abuser preists should be forgiven by the church ….AFTER THEY HAVE DONE PRISON TIME FOR BREAKING THE LAWS OF SOCIETY >

  • Major Major

    You know, if Richard Dawkins had had the sense to hire Dershowitz, this article would have been raking the Pope over the coals for fostering pedophilia, pederasty, and coverups, describing the Roman Catholic Church as one of the most evil organizations ever to pollute the face of the Earth.

    No one can take Dershowitz the weathervane seriously. His conscience is in his client's pocket.

  • Barb U

    Any abuse of anyone is a terrible crime. To rob a child of their innocence should never happen. Anyone in a position of trust who harms an innocent one is guilty of a terrible act. That being said, the Church as come a long way in working to correct this. Even one terrible such act is one too many. The Church has a long history of educating children, helping the poor and treating people in their hospital systems. There is an incredible amount of good performed by many good people and many good priests and religious. The percent of abuse amounts to 1.7%. In Protestant denominations the percentage of abuse is about 10% and in public school systems the record of abuse statistically speaking is 38%.

  • ~Maureen

    In this society, which has lost it's sense of the sacred, sexual perversion abounds. The Catholic Church is the last bastion of cohesive moral teachings that endure. This crisis, brought about by the Illuminati, responsible for placing these homosexuals in the priesthood-then protected them as the damaged young men, WILL NOT destroy the Catholic Church. The Church came from Jesus, and He promised it would be there until the end of time. For those totally ignorant of what the Church teaches and why, and you are legion, go online and look up the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Many non-Catholic Christians love what is happening to the Church right now and it is out of ignorance. You'll get your turn but never fear for the Church will be there to defend you.

  • lovezion

    Mr. Dershowitz, this is the 3rd time you disappoint me! First, you were a strong leftist liberal. Okay, you moved a littlmore towards center, fine. But then you voted for YOUR president!!! Look how he's trying (and will succeed) to ruin Israel and hence the rest of us Jews!!! And now you are condoning the Catholics for totally "UNCONDONABLE" sinful crimes they committed and doing little or nothing about it! Besides there's plenty to do to help our own Israel and Jews conflicts that you shouldn't be nosing into the Catholics' ones!

    My goodness, please clean up your act before opening your mouth so often!

  • ~Maureen

    It is so typical for those steeped in sin, (gays, porn users, adulterers, birth control/abortificients users, etc.) to want to silence the Authority left by Jesus who tells them they are running afoul and ruining themselves. Isn't it apparent that the media is after the Church, NOT for the homosexual behavior of sick priests, but rather for HER FAITH AND MORAL TEACHINGS?! Wake up. These evil fallen men who were using teens for their sick homosexual hook-ups are the fodder being used to try and destroy the Church. Last year it was the ridiculous re-write of history when the NY Times forgot it's own position on "Hitler's Pope" back in the day, when they pointed out all he did FOR THE JEWS defense, risking Hitler's wrath. Next? Who knows. NYT's drags out old cases and presents them over and over, making the blathering idiots who get their education from the Simpsons. The only people who bring up the past are women, the Devil and the New York Times.

  • tired

    2% of all married men are sexual predators. What does celibacy have to do with molesting children? With that type of logic rape is ok because you can't control yourself. Use your brains you idiots.

  • alie

    A very good article. The truth is Benedict has done more than anyone to address this problem, punish the bad guys and create policies of prevention and prosecution. Those policies, according to John Jay's study, have been very effective, although more can always be done. Benedict is being used by the press as a scapegoat for the church at large, as a means to diminish its authority and eventually see it overtaken by lawsuits and prohibitions, at which time an "American" catholic church will appear and be duly sanctioned by the press and the government.

    Aside from the sickening abuses, which are being addressed, the second worse thing about all of this is how quickly and obediently so many rise to the media's pavlovian bell, and start barking. There are lambs, and then there are sheep.

  • alie

    GBullough wrote: Victims are told to "forgive" so they'll shut up and go away.

    Well, no. If you know anything about being an abuse victim (I do, I bet you don't) you know that ultimately the victim must finds a means of forgiving, or he/she will never be able to heal.

    The forgiveness comes after being heard, though. Benedict has made it clear that he has HEARD the victims. That's important.

    As any psychotherapist. Forgiveness is not about shutting up. It's about surviving and transcending.

  • Odile H. Williams

    The word ephebophelia is the correct term not pedophilia.
    # 5 Agenda : of the Marxist Agebda, The Bank Takeover ;politicization of bishops , the priests made social workers , inflatration of seminaries especially of the missionary orders. Taking the pope out ; ridiculing Mary , sin , Rosary , confessional
    Benedict is not weak , he has Jesus , the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ghost ; we could help out a bit ., it is an investment to support the Holy Father Benedict.

    Stalin's agenda for the Catholic church's destruction.
    Stalin , Mao and Hitler in that order were the worst terrorists of the twentieth century..
    Agenda #5 the bank takeover is #5 of the Marxist agenda
    Look up Mao,, Stalin,, Alimsky,,Lenin , Marx . they were doing..some to find out too late they were dupes.
    I .

  • Sally

    The child abuse scandal within the Catholic Church was caused mostly by homosexual pediphiles and the Bishops, many of whom who followed physciatrists advice that these men can be cured. They should have immediately called the authorities and had these men prosecuted. That would have discouraged further aggressors, punished the abusers and limited the damage to the children. The saddest part is that the good and holy Priests who dedicate their lives to the service of God's people are smeared with the same brush as the guilty. It must be a terrible thing to live with. The percentage of abusive Priests is low…but , as many have said, the media is intent on destroying the Catholic Church because its' teachings contradict the sinful agenda of the leftist that they espouse. Please pray for holy Priests and proper teaching in the Seminaries….without the Mass and sacraments, we have no Church. I know that the "Gates of Hell" will not prevail but many people, both Priests and laity, will continue to be hurt.

  • ciao

    I appreciate your not condemning the Holy Father. You do have some things wrong, however. The Pope, or any leader of a country, does not have direct knowledge of every sin that goes on in the Church, in the whole world. After all, so far, there is no one, global leader of the whole secular world. You say the Church is slow to act, I disagree. The Church is very good at taking quick action. Priests are directly responsible to their bishops. When it happens that a serious crime has been committed, it is up to the bishop to bring the case to the proper church authorities and to the civil authorities for punishment. That was not done in these cases where the sinner was moved around. In schools, there is so much cover up moving abusers to other public schools, the teachers have learned to refer to them as "moving the trash". Bishops, should take responsibility if they have done this. Now, just like a psychiatrist, condfidentiality is very important. In the Church it's protecting the faithful and the innocent. And the Church has done more than any in offering help and apology, and compensation to these unfortunate victims. Many lawyers are making tens of millions of dollars on the law suits in which they benefit more than the victims. A lot of the big hype is just to get more and more money. The Holy Father is innocent until proven guilty. Yet, you all take the word of the NYTimes and others, that "suggest" he should have done this or that and that makes him guilty without the true facts. Pope Benedict most resembles Jesus, as he was falsely accused too. By the way, independent studies have come out, that identify men who are attracted to boys, are homosexual. I'm sorry if that comes as an unwelcome discovery, but it does explain why boys and older boys are the usual very unfortunate victims. The Church has forbidden any homosexuals from becoming priests. The Church is cleaning house. Now the rest of the world has to clean up it's stinking abuse of innocent children.

  • Guilda

    When I was a little girl, I have an uncle who put me on his lap and then later put me in between his legs while playing with me. At 6-7 years, I had that knowledge something is not right. I just know because the way he held me tight against his you know what…………? Please, please do not be too sure around your own family so start from there. I would not just trust my children even a family member. Takes time.

    It was the best exposure to happen because now everyone is wanting to know more, reading more and digging why the catholic church/pope, what makes them tick, where did they come from, when and how. Where the catholic church was unheard of, now there is curiosity to educate themselves.

  • S.P.

    Thank you Alan, for your intelligent & reasoned article. To those who think he or the Church condones sexual abuse or perversion of any sort read again. To those who've responded as if they know the Bible … read again (and remember one has to interpret scripture in the context of the whole of God's word) … on purifying the Church first, then everyone else … read I Peter 3 … on celibacy, both Jesus and St. Paul speak on it, saying marriage is the natural call for most men, but celibacy (abstaining from sex & marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of God) is "for those who have ears to hear, hear it" is a supernatural call ("I wish that all of you would remain as I am [chaste & single for the Lord], but not everyone has the same gift")

  • S.P.

    … First of all, it is for those who have been called and therefore gifted for it … which is why careful screening of candidates is so important both on a natural/physical/psychological/emotional level and on the spiritual level … discerning the vocation (call to priesthood or celibate religious life) and the ability of the man/aspirant to be able to live it out fully and faithfully … then a solid formation for those accepted is critical … on the human, spiritual (prayer life is key) and theological/philosophical level. The 60's & 70's & maybe even the 80's in some seminaries were very tumultuous/screwy paralleling the secular world … lots of change and experimentation was going on – with philosophy, theology and liturgy (as well as psychology … sexual revolution … anything goes … and the formation was seriously affected and undermined … remember some of those guys became bishops. Also, unfortunately many of the offenders in their time entered the seminary for high school or just after, for their college years and in my opinion did not have the opportunity to mature, to date, have normal co-educational interpersonal relations with the opposite sex … that system produced saints (St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina) but also sinners.

  • S.P.

    It is much more complex a situation, as Alan has said, than you who are rushing to judgment … one has to understand the times … both in the Church and where society was at during those times … no fax, no internet, undeveloped knowledge of the problem in its scope and depth and how to deal with it … But one thing is perfectly clear, the Church which has taught from the beginning that sex is reserved for man and woman in marriage for a lifelong faithful union, as taught by Christ, from the creation of our first parents whom we name Adam and Eve to become one and to be fruitful and multiply … and like it or not, chafe at it or not, the Church, as Christ's voice in the world, has always taught that any genital use of sexuality outside of marriage (as traditonally defined according to the plan of the Creator – God Almighty) is seriously sinful. Therefore a priest who has sexual activity with men, women, adolescents or children is breaking his vows of chastity and God's law.

  • S.P.

    The remedy for anyone's sin is sorrow, asking for God's forgiveness in prayer and the Sacrament of Confession, doing the prescribed penance and making a sincere purpose to amend one's life. (And often within the confessional the penitent is counseled to make amends to the other person or persons besides God, where possible and where doing so would not further do harm to that person.)

  • S.P.

    For a priest to be a faithful priest, his life must be rooted in prayer and the Liturgical life of the Church … because by doing so he will make himself available to the graces which will sustain him … and on the human level maintain good chaste friendships in the fraternity of priests and with lay faithful, being able to receive and express affections normal to human life but chaste … "Be friendly but not familiar" "Avoid the near occasions of sin" Some of the best priests I know make a daily holy hour, are faithful to praying the Divine Office … make an annual retreat and have other holy, wise priests as a spiritual director to help them stay on track … as one wise priest said, "No prayer, no priesthood." But also strive to maintain good relations with fellow priests and lay people, plus have some healthy hobbies or recreational pursuits …

  • S.P.

    This, all in the context of a very demanding, busy life … tending to the needs of the flock entrusted to his care: preparing homilies, saying Mass, hearing confessions, visiting the sick and homebound, those in jail or prison, tending to administrative & clerical/office tasks, budgeting & raising funds for a new roof, furnace/air conditioner, paving the parking lot, going to countless meetings, making sure the needs of the youth, married couples, singles, and elderly are met

  • ginjar

    Mr. Dershowitz I beg to differ. Good people could NOT have allowed bad things to happen for so long a period of time. Calling all respected people "good" is simply adding to the evil that these so called "good" people allow to happen for their idea of the "greater good".

  • S.P.

    … it's a lot … when my dad was taken to the hospital late at night, I called the nearby parish and the pastor answered the phone, got out of bed and immediately came to counsel with the family and give him the last sacraments (Anointing of the Sick) … probably was there until 2 or 3 am, then had to go back get rest and be up for morning Mass and a full day's schedule … think of that the next time you think the priest is grouchy or brief with you … That's what we expect from our priests and more!
    But they can't just think of themselves as social workers, community organizers or administrators … or else they're sunk … they have to above all maintain that relationship with God, that intimate union with Him, so that we will experience God's unadulterated love, wisdom, truth and Revelation through him, the priest and the Bishop.

  • Frank

    Its ridiculous how people try to blame celibacy for the scandal. Over 80% of the molestation cases in the US Catholic Church were between men and boys over 12 years of age. So, for you married men out there, if your wife left you/shut you off from sex for the rest of your life, would you start molesting teenage boys as a replacement? Of course not! This isn't about celibacy but homosexuality in the priesthood. That's the problem but people don't want to see the facts.

  • charlene

    Many of these comments reflect on the amount of brainwashing the media has done through television and the amount of television required to get the masses thinking in this stupid dumbed down way. This article was articulate and well thought out and yet all these mindless stupid comments pour forth. Television is a raging success at creating stupid people.

  • Old roman Collar

    Every one shut up and pray for the Holy Father and our priests.

  • MCJ

    You know, I can't make excuses for my church but I wonder why no one remembers that Christ chose Judas and yet he betrayed him. Why should we expect our priest to be perfect. They have chosen a vocation to follow Christ and feed his sheep. We are warned that some come in sheep clothing and as such should be ever watchful. The smoke of Satan has surely entered the church and now more than ever the church militant needs our prayers. We know that in the end that Christ will be triumphant. But we also know that Christ also said that he wondered if he would find faith when he returns. Could this be the sign that many will fall away greater than during the reformation. I wonder sometimes. Pray JMJ

  • robert c

    Congratulations Mr. Dershowitz on a well reasoned approach that helps to stymie the hysteria coming from the distortions of the uber left, whose sole purpose is to hurt the Catholic Church because of their positions on social issues, Celibacy is not an issue for the church since it is a personal decision willingly entered into, as much as the real issue is enlisting young males into seminaries well before they have begun to develop their own sexual identities, and then make an educated life decison upon embarking into the priesthood.

  • Silent Archer

    In 1 Corinthians 7, St. Paul actually endorses celibacy for those capable of it: "To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion" (7:8-9).

    Paul even goes on to make a case for preferring celibacy to marriage: "Are you free from a wife? Do not seek marriage. . . those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. . . . The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband" (7:27-34).

    Paul’s conclusion: He who marries "does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better" (7:38).

    Jesus Himself taught, "Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom it is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of God. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it" (Matt. 19:11–12).

    The Catholic Church forbids no one to marry. No one is required to take a vow of celibacy; those who do, do so voluntarily. They "renounce marriage" (Matt. 19:12); no one forbids it to them. Any Catholic who doesn’t wish to take such a vow doesn’t have to, and is almost always free to marry with the Church’s blessing. The Church simply elects candidates for the priesthood (or, in the Eastern rites, for the episcopacy) from among those who voluntarily renounce marriage.

  • Silent Archer

    Wild Jew (above) is, sadly, misinformed. Far from "feeding the Jews to the Nazi wolf" Pius XII was waging a subversive, clandestine war against the Nazis in an attempt to save Jews.

    Instead of getting his "facts" from a work of fiction — a stage play called The Deputy, written after the War by a little-known German Protestant playwright named Rolf Hochhuth (who ironically admitted that Pius XII was materially very active in support of the Jews) — he would do better to read How Pius XII Protected Jews

  • kirk3

    Prof. Dershowitz,
    The second tradition you mention, forgiveness, does not apply to pedophile priests.
    In Mark 9: 42-47 Jesus says (King James Version):
    "And whosoever shall offend* one of these little ones that believe in me**, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
    Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
    And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
    Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:"

    See also Matthew 18: 6-10, and if you still doubt Jesus' meaning, please check out what Jesus says in Matthew 19:12:
    " … and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it."

    Even if a few pedophile priests had been castrated, everybody, including the castrated pedophile priests, would have been much better off now. Mind you in Mark 3:29 Jesus says:
    "But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin." Doesn't a priest who rapes a child in the church or rectory , blaspheme against the Holy Spirit?

    * Note: Other translations use "trespass" or "scandalize" instead of "offend".
    ** Note: Other translations use “in my name” in lieu of ”that believe in me”.
    *** Note also that this "fix" applies only to those who offend/trespass/scandalize kids in Jesus’ name. It seems not to apply to a priest who molests nonebelieving kids while masquerading as a lay person. It certainly does not apply to a lay person offending another adult.

  • Gina101

    Well, written indeed, Mr. Dershowitz. But those foaming at the mouth, wailing and gnashing their teeth to try to bring down (after 2,000 years of trying) the Holy Father and the Catholic Church will yet again be disappointed. The Holy Spirit guides the Church the Son founded. Its unrepentant sinners will pay the ultimate eternal price, but the Church will always be, for as the Lord said, "The gates of hell will never prevail" in trying to bring Her down.

  • Jake

    So where are all you righteous sinners on the public school child rape epidemic? Something like 50 more children are raped in public school, but those children mean nothing to KEVIN and MARIE JALSEVIC. Only their self obsessed hatred of the Church means anything to them.

    Like Christopher Hitchens, they're Satan..only their beliefs and their hatred means anything to them. Don't let them fool you with this false compassion for victims.

  • Jake

    *something like 50 times more children are raped in public school

  • Chris

    Carolyn et al:

    Re: the facts in this case, the abuse in question in the case of the Catholic Church is what Leon Pannetta and Bob Bennett pointed out in their report on the Crisis in the Church in America in 2004: 81% of the cases are homosexual predators abusing boys and teenage boys, with the biggest target those aged 11-14. See their report, pp 80-81.

  • T. Lewerenz

    THank you for giving an objective and unemotional evaluation of the Church's handling of the abuse scandal. I am impressed with your knowledge of Canon Law and other workings of the Church.
    Do you think it would be possible to expand, as you have suggested, unveiling the truth, as it exists, within other organizations. If it is truly to be uprooted the scope needs to be broadened. I am particularly distressed by the abuse taking place in the public school systems. Reports I have read show the problem there to be far greater than anywhere else. In addition, judges often give nothing other than a slap on the wrist to serial rapists and child molesters once they are brought before civil authorities. It would be interesting to hear you thoughts on this. Thank you again. I hope that you will be of some aid in bringing justice to a very widespread problem.

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