A step in the right direction.
Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday blamed the church's own sins for the clerical abuse scandal — not a campaign mounted by outsiders — and called for profound purification to end what he called the "greatest persecution" the church has endured.
His strong comments placed responsibility for the crisis squarely on the sins of pedophile priests, repudiating the Vatican's initial response to the scandal in which it blamed the media as well as pro-choice and pro-gay marriage advocates for mounting what it called a campaign against the church and the pope.
"Many are tiring of hearing about his 'strong comments.'" They want to see strong action," said David Clohessy, director of the main U.S. victims' group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
I suspect the Pope is issuing these statements as a precursor to the "strong action" Mr. Clohessy is asking for. The thing about the Holy See is that they don't do anything in a hurry. I, for one, am glad to see the Pope positioning the Church to be more humble and repentant for its sins and crimes. The knee jerk reaction of the clergy who pointed to an organized campaign of outsiders enraged me. The Church has her enemies but none worse than the abusers in their own ranks. I wanted JPII to call Cardinal Law and his ilk to Rome, have him kneel before the See of Peter and stripped of his mitre, ring and pectoral cross. Publicly. The world needed to see examples made of them. That is not to say that I do not want them to be denied the chance to confess their sins but many of them do not believe they even did anything wrong. Throw those guys to the wolves. Publicly defrocked and jailed. If they then persisted in their defiance, excommunicate them.