VATICAN CITY -- As Benedict XVI prepares to mark the fifth anniversary of his election as pope here on Monday, he is beset by devastating reports about the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests -- and about his own role in the crisis. The reports have prompted sharp condemnations of the pontiff as well as a backlash of media criticism from papal defenders in the Vatican and around the world. Amid the firestorm, myths have emerged that only complicate the search for truth, healing and accountability.
1. Pope Benedict is the primary culprit in the coverup of the abuse scandal.
Between 1981 and 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's office for doctrinal orthodoxy. A few abuse cases (some from the United States) came before him, and the evidence shows that he did not move with any urgency to defrock priests. In 2001, as the number of cases coming to light worldwide increased, Ratzinger convinced Pope John Paul II to let his office have jurisdiction over all of them. Though the Vatican says church confidentiality did not preclude bishops from reporting crimes to civil authorities, some see Ratzinger's move as an attempt to keep the cases secret. Read more - by David Gibson – The Washington Post
David Gibson is the author of "The Rule of Benedict: Pope Benedict XVI and his Battle with the Modern World." He covers religion for PoliticsDaily.com. He will be online on Monday, April 19, to chat with readers. Submit your questions and comments before or during the discussion. Read more
“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