What impact did the the clergy sex abuse scandal have on Pope Benedict’s resignation? What impact will Pope Benedict’s resignation have the on clergy sex abuse scandal? The answer to the first question is none. The answer to the second is probably none.
Cover up scandals across Ireland, Australia, the U.S., Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and Germany came to light during his almost eight years as Pope. Yet his focus remained on European evangelization efforts which ultimately failed. A failure that can be linked back to fall out from the abuse scandals.
Pope John Paul II had even assigned Pope Benedict, then Cardinal Ratzinger, the responsibility of dealing with sexual abuse cases as head of the Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith. A tad ironic, since while he was Archbishop of Munich, a known molester was reassigned to ministry that allowed contact with children. Sound familiar? Maybe Cardinal Rigali is in line for the papacy now? After all, he has that on his resume.
No. Not likely. Cokie Roberts, whose mother served as ambassador to the Vatican, put it best. The U.S. is seen as a source for funds, not as a source for Popes. For more on the Vatican and money, please refer to “Render Unto Rome.”
Coming from the same well, the new Pope will be certainly be conservative and the Italian Cardinals will push hard for one of their own. Mired in bureaucracy and narrow perspectives, not much has changed since medieval times. Held behind closed doors, there’s little room for fresh air or the Holy Spirit. One can pray for a miracle upset – a real father figure.
The word pope comes from the Latin “papa” for father. Our Pope is the father of the Catholic Church. What kind of father allows his children to be sexually abused? That ranks up there with starvation and genocide. Note that the Vatican is investigating nuns for their work. It seems those shady sisters are helping the poor.
Our new Pope has the opportunity to leave an indelible mark on humanity where Pope Benedict has left blank spaces. Unlike his predecessor, let’s pray he has the courage to tell Bishops that they must, in no uncertain terms, contact the civil authorities in cases of child sex abuse. If they don’t – they will be excommunicated. Let’s pray he makes specific global reforms rather than vague statements and empty assurances. Let’s pray he represents Jesus.
Click here to read: “Pope Benedict XVI Says He Will Resign,” by Elisabetta Povoledo and Alan Cowell, The New York Times, February 10, 2013