Speaking in St. Peter's Square Wednesday, Pope Benedict said the church would take action to confront the priest sex abuse scandal. E.J. Dionne, of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution, talks to Steve Inskeep about how Catholics stay committed to their faith when they question the institution.
Today, speaking in St. Peter's Square, the pope said the church would take action to confront the scandal. Now, the church's response to all this is of intense interest to E.J. Dionne. He's a columnist for the Washington Post, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution, regular guest on our program ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, and he's Catholic. Photo
Now, I want to start on a kind of a personal note, if I might. What has it been like in your church the last few weeks?
Mr. E.J. DIONNE (Columnist, Washington Post, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution): Well, our pastor gave a very powerful sermon on Easter, about the scandal. And he said a lot of things that needed to be said, not only about individual culpability, but also about institutional culpability. And I think the church is...
INSKEEP: Did he say, we, the church, are guilty here?
Mr. DIONNE: Yes, he did, but he also was at the end, a little bit defensive, talking about enemies of the church and he sort of defended Pope Benedict. And I happen to love our pastor; he's a wonderful man. My sense is he would've been more effective just short of saying the mea culpa.
You know, I think that the nuns used to tell us that there's nothing like a good confession. And I think that the church's problem is that they haven't found it easy - to put it charitably - to talk about the institutional problem, to say that, yes, there were moments when we put the institutional interest above other interests. Read more or listen - by Steve Inkeep NPR & E.J. Dionne, of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution
Ignorance about human sexuality is harmful to children.
“Someday, maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well considered and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit.” Erik Erikson