Pope Francis' comments about clerical sex abuse make it clear that he is using the same tired and irrelevant playbook bishops have worn out over the past few years.
Examining the Crisis
Commentary: One way to stop people from doing wrong is to punish them for doing wrong. It's an approach that St. Paul-Minneapolis Catholic officials might consider.
Opinion: Pope Benedict should bar Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony from the gathering that will elect the next pope because of his role in the sex abuse scandal.
Opinion: There are several bishops who have been involved in sex abuse cases who should not be allowed at this week's annual meeting.
Two years ago I wrote an article for NCR titled "Surely Rome Can Do Better." It described the complexity of resigning from the priesthood — especially if you wish to get married — and was published in the "Examining the Crisis" section of the website. Forty-five people wrote comments to the article, but it was a phone call I received from an attorney that really caught my attention.
We know the 900 Sister leaders representing 320 religious communities at the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) have a full plate for their meetings that begins today in St. Louis.
We don't think anything on the plate should keep the Sisters from opening the door to the survivors that will be outside the hotel where they are meeting.
I found out something significant about the Code of Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church as I sat inside Judge M. Teresa Sarmina's criminal courtroom in Philadelphia April 30 and listened to Msgr. Kevin Michael Quirk, a church canon lawyer from the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, W. Va.
In a none too subtle posting on his Archdiocese of New York blog, Cardinal Timothy Dolan -- the newly minted and over the top feted eminence -- confirmed the bishops’ new strategy: playing hardball against victims and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) in particular. Any reader of a diocesan newspaper knows that bishops are experts at the coy, the obfuscating, the lovely sounding but non-relevant tinkling brass and clanging symbol approach to communication. When they do otherwise it pays to take heed.
SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, came into existence in 1989, just five years after national attention was first focused on sexual molestation of minors by Catholic clergy. SNAP came into existence because the institutional church, i.e., the bishops, could not and would not do anything to help the victims of the priests they were supposed to supervise.
Both Pennsylvania and New York will have an uphill battle to get any legislation dealing with the sexual abuse of children discussed, let alone signed into law, regardless of what has been happening lately at Penn State, Syracuse or any other educational, religious, public or private institution.