Pope Benedict XVI leaves mixed legacy on clergy sexual abuse

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pope benedict XVI

(1981) Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a leading theologian and archbishop of Munich, West Germany, has been named by Pope John Paul II to head the Vatican Congregation for Doctrine - the office charged with upholding orthodoxy. RNS file photo.

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(RNS) Pope Benedict XVI has at times publicly addressed the issue and even met with victims of clergy sexual abuse. But victims' advocates remain skeptical and critical over his handling of the matter, particularly the failure to punish bishops who protected abusers.

  • I find it disturbing that you end this piece by quoting HBO’s documentary, “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God.” This work is flawed, and can be seen in the central claim the producers make “tracing” the paperwork to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. That claim itself, originating from The New York Times, is questionable itself, as a mere Google search would show.

    If the lawyers and activists in SNAP and BishopsAccountability.org, as well as the producers of this “documentary” are really interested in pursuing justice for the victims, they should be reminded that levying fallacies and false suspicions is not the way to achieve it.

  • RNS Reader

    “The Catholic Church, from the papacy to the smallest parish, has been focused on protecting the institution, not the youth.”

    Just a quick look at how hard both the diocese of L.A. and Milwaukee fought to keep the names of those in the chain of command who knew about the abuse and did nothing from the public proves this statement.

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