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The Pope Answers Calls to Address Abuse Crisis

A victim support group for some 9,000 Americans who say they were sexually abused by Catholic clergymen pressed Pope Benedict XVI Tuesday to take action to protect children from pedophile priests.

Barbara Blaine, head of the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP), has big expectations of Pope Benedict's visit next week.

We are looking for the Holy Father to hold the enablers and wrongdoers accountable. Across the United States, we know that thousands of predator priests have been named... we know that tens, maybe even hundreds of thousands of children have been abused by predator priests. . .When a predator is enabled and empowered, those who give him that power are equally culpable and we would like the holy father to take action to hold them accountable.

Blaine herself was sexually molested by a priest when she was 12.

The Vatican's second in command says Pope Benedict XVI recognizes the damage and pain caused by the clergy sex abuse crisis and will seek healing during his US trip next week.

Time magazine's cover story this week features the Pope's relationship with the US. Did you know his nickname used to be "God's Rottweiler"?

Do you expect controversy surrounding the visit? Is "seeking healing" enough?


Join The Conversation
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
"The church just need to find out why these boys keep reporting the 'indescressions'" - South Park That was an incredibly funny episode
stephley stephley 9 years
The repression question is interesting because nuns are supposed to be celibate as well. I've known a number of nuns who have indicated that at some point they had affairs with men (often priests), but no public scandals that I'm aware of. I read of a murder in a convent in India that police suspect may have had a sexual motive, but otherwise nothing. I thought Buddhist monks & nuns were celibate too.
remedios remedios 9 years
is there data to support the idea that sexual abuse happens more in the Catholic church than other churches, or for that matter, what about compared to society as a whole? I'd be very interested in this as well, but I would think this would be hard to find. I'm sure this will be something looked at years down the road when we have a lot more evidence and a touch of objectivity. Things, I'm sure, are going to come out. A few things that come to mind that might skew the results - are people more or less likely to come forward when it's a priest v. when it's a relative (which, I believe, is the largest category)? There will still be priests that may have confessed their sins but will be protected, I'm sure. Something slightly more unique to Catholics would be the repressed sexuality. (not sure if there are other religions that do this too). Since priests are not allowed to marry/have sex while priests, they are suppressing a natural part of the body. Again, this would take years of study and objectivity to really determine if that might lead to higher rates of molestation. Of course, you hope that priests became priests because they're good people, which in turn would lead to lower rates. So who knows. Right now, I think any study that might exist probably just isn't going to be objective enough. Just in case this needs to be said (I can hope it wouldn't but...) I am not condemning any individual Catholic nor do I hold Catholics as individuals responsible for the actions of the church. I do have a problem with the actions of the church, however. Priests are representatives of the church. They are the face of the religion. But I'm quite confident that my Catholic family had nothing to do with this.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
No I think I take the cake on this one guys.
syako syako 9 years
whose mind is always in the gutter?? ;) :innocent:
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
:rotfl: I need to :clean: it up!!!!!
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
your mind is always in the gutter...
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
I *TOTALLY* wanna condom all religions!! :rotfl: Ohhh Cine... you're the best!
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
HAHA! You said condom! Way to take the wind right out of your sails! :)
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
I never said other people do it as a defense. I am trying to say, if you are to condemn an entire religion for actions of a few people, you would have to condom ALL religions. And I believe I stated that it is not a defense multiple times. And I did not say you were the only one who heard the stories, but there are a lot of Catholics in this world, and would say a majority of them did not hear the stories. That is why WE should be SOME.
stephley stephley 9 years
No one said the Catholic religion is bad. I took care to identify myself as a Catholic; I am sending my daughter to a Catholic school where I often volunteer. As a military brat, I moved a lot as a kid and attended Catholic schools in several states and one in Germany - and I'm not the only one who had heard stories. To some other Catholics, defenses like 'other people do it' are offensive. To use an admittedly harsh example, it's akin to officials in Sudan trying to shrug off Darfur by saying the Rwandans did it too. Does that help anything? Does that help us feel confident about the people leading our parishes? A lot of us are at Church trying to move forward, but it is going to take a long time to feel confident that our leaders are men of God and not politics or p.r.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Thanks sashak!
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Steph, maybe YOU heard about it for years and remained silent, but that does not mean ALL Catholics did. And no, one Rabbi story is not the same, but you think there is only one? Or one Baptist minister, etc? And if I am not mistaken, the Jewish faith and other Christian faiths are not set up the same as Catholicism. There is not the same hierarchy, so if there are cover ups, it is on a much smaller scale and would not be as news worthy. It happens EVERYWHERE, in every religion. These are bad people with in the religion, it does not make the religion bad.
syako syako 9 years
or that it's the only one that "counts"
syako syako 9 years
steph - First off the Catholic church is unique in that it's one of only a few Christian denominations that has a worldwide presence at such a large scale (according to wiki it's got one billion baptized members) so when something happens in say a "Church of Christ" church where there's a scandal involving a high ranking member that's one out of however many are in that denomination (which would be nowhere near one billion). So while I'm not excusing (and neither is cine I assume) the actions of the catholic priests you can't compare apples to oranges and say just because the catholic church has this ____ number of scandals and other denominations do not come close to that ____ number that it's the only religion/denomination where this is happening.
stephley stephley 9 years
WE had heard about it for years and remained silent and when you say some, you are talking about very high ranking members of OUR church who still hold very important positions. And one rabbi story doesn't come close to the Church scandal.
sashak sashak 9 years
Again... :notworthy: cine_lover
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
WE Catholics did not cover up, SOME Catholics did. There is a HUGE difference in those two words. I never intended by saying it happens in other religions to be a defense, but to make it seem as though all Catholics were part of a vast conspiracy theory is just plain wrong. It has in fact happened in other religions besides Catholicism. If anyone needs an example there was the Rabbi who was caught going to the home of a young boy. It should never have happened, and is a scar that the Catholic church will have to wear, but I am getting pretty sick and tired of that being the only focus of the church. It is not what Catholicism is, or what it should be tied too. They, priests, nuns, parishioners do a lot of good in this world, and maybe people should start to publish articles relating to the good, instead of focusing so much on the bad few PEOPLE, which is separate from the religion.
stephley stephley 9 years
There's abuse everywhere and no one's denying that, but what I think makes people so upset about what we Catholics did was the decades of covering up the abuse. It exposes a serious lack of personal responsibility among Church leaders and it set up all priests to be held in suspicion. To say it happens in other religions is not a defense and weakens in the face of the great power the Catholic Church wields in the world. As a Catholic, it doesn't help me get over it when I see that nuns are being forced to pay a price for something they had absolutely no control over, or when I have to read notices about the issue in the weekly bulletin that clearly are written by lawyers.
sashak sashak 9 years
Unfortuantely child abuse happens all over the world by all kinds of people who are supposed to be on the side of good. And, as I stated before, many of the accused priests have died & thereby escaped earthly punishment. I bet they're all roasting in Hell now thoug
sashak sashak 9 years
:notworthy: Thanks cabaker27 & cine_lover!
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Thankyou Cabaker. Just when my blood started to boil I read your post and I calmed down. "And my devoutly Catholic step-grandmother wonders why I hold so condemnation for the Catholic church?" You think this does not happen in other religions? Give me a break. It does not make what these men did right, but it is not as if all priests are out there molesting children. There are more priests devoting their life to charity, and helping others then hurting the innocent. Maybe you should focus some of your negativity on reading stories about hope and help that the Catholic church has given communities globally, then focusing on the terrible stories that the media enjoys ever so much to focus on.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
haha amen! :pray:
syako syako 9 years
:halo: amen cabaker.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
To add to that, is there data to support the idea that sexual abuse happens more in the Catholic church than other churches, or for that matter, what about compared to society as a whole? Obviously this is a serious problem that should be, and should have been, dealth with more severely, but to write off the Catholic church as a whole doesn't seem right.
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