Crisis in the Catholic Church

Can the church recover from the widening sex-abuse scandal?

  • By:Roland Flamini
  • Content Type: Report
  • Publisher: CQ Press
    • Publication year: 2011
    • Online pub date:
  • DOI:


Almost as soon as the white smoke began rising from the Sistine Chapel confirming his election, Pope Benedict XVI began seeing his pontificate hijacked by ongoing revelations of sex abuse by thousands of Roman Catholic priests. The scandal, which first erupted in the United States during his predecessor's pontificate, has become a global phenomenon, with fresh allegations of pedophilia and other priestly abuses — most of which occurred decades ago — in Ireland, Belgium, Germany, England and elsewhere, from the Philippines to Brazil. Supporters of Benedict say he has acted forthrightly to deal with the crisis; critics say that earlier, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Benedict did not react forcefully enough. Experts now ask what long-range impact — if any — the scandal will have on ...

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