Tune in at 16:00 London, 19:00 UAE

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Is this a tipping point for the Vatican?

March 17th, 2010
03:12 PM ET

The head of the Irish Catholic Church, Cardinal Sean Brady, admitted Wednesday that the church's response to abuse had been "hopelessly inadequate."

How will the Vatican deal with the crisis?
How will the Vatican deal with the crisis?

"The church must continue to deal with the enormity of the hurt caused by abuse of children by some clergy ... and the hopelessly inadequate response to that abuse in the past," Brady said Wednesday.

Church leaders must "own up to and take responsibility for any mismanagement or cover-up of child abuse," he said.

Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday he has finished writing his official statement, or pastoral letter, on the child abuse scandal facing the Catholic Church in Ireland.

He will sign the letter Friday and send it "soon after," Benedict told the faithful in an address on St. Patrick's Day.

"My hope is that it will help in the process of repentance, healing and renewal," he said.

Hundreds of allegations of sexual or physical abuse of children by Catholic clergy have come to light in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands this year.

As the Vatican deals with the crisis facing the Catholic Church, an increasing number of critics are wondering if it has already reached a tipping point.

We want to know what you think.

Are the latest allegations of child abuse going to be too much for the Vatican to handle? How will the church recover?

Posted by ,
Filed under:  General
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello CNN friends,

    This is a tipping point for the Vatican.
    For the realization of a Healthy Catholic Community Worldwide,
    Everybody in Vatican should be Tested
    otherwise Our Churches and Communities Worldwide will be Destroyed!

    The United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
    should Firmly Investigate this matter, in order that Child Abuse Really Stops
    in the Vatican and all the Catholic Communities.

    Conclusion:
    OUR HEALTH IS IMPORTANT!

    Advice
    Let us Now make our world
    a Better Healthier and Beautiful World
    for You and for Me!

    Greetings,
    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname
    Latin-American

    March 17, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  2. Thomas Mathew

    1.Of course the latest allegations of child abuse will be a very tough task for the Catholic church to handle. According to an average Catholic like me, persons with unnatural leanings should not be allowed to hold any responsible positions in the church. If anybody is suspected of such conduct, the matter should be examined thoroughly ,and if proved correct, such persons should be banned permanently from holding any position .Therapy, repentance, healing -all are good but when the would be victims are innocents like children who do not understand what they are subjected to and who cannot resist , no further scope for transgression should be left.

    2.The church’s' opposition to the proposed British law prohibiting discrimination on the basis sexual orientation ,is quite justified. But the irony is that the church ,being always a whipping boy of the intellectuals and media , is drawing a lot of criticism on this issue , from the British press ,which is beyond my comprehension.

    March 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  3. Mike Wills

    I think it should be brought to the attention of the public that the current pope was in charge of the office for relocating the pedophile priest within the clergy before he became the pope. This is not news . If the church was really sincere they would give up the names of all pedos to the appropriate authorities.

    March 17, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  4. Mark

    hello,

    Jesus was compared to a shepherd. He protected his sheep(his disciples). These people are not God`s representitives, far from it.
    These people are to care for people, not molest them. Makes me sick to see this continue on and on and on. When religious people committed these extreme sins they threw them out of the congregation to protect the rest of the people. They could come back only if they accepted spiritual help from the qualified men, not send them somewhere else so they could offend again.
    Read Please Matthew 7:13 to 23.

    March 17, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  5. John Dinwiddie

    No. Its support base remains in denial, and the Church itself
    is a top down affair that is very resistant to opinions from beneath,
    ruthlessly indifferent where necessary.

    But the Vatican is under unprecedented pressure, including
    the pressure from the general decline of Christianity. We'll
    see action, of sorts, and there should be some improvement,
    less abuse due to the vast exposure. We will not get much
    catharsis out of what is done however. The Church never
    wears a convincing hair shirt in front of the world, never.

    March 17, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  6. Tubin

    There is a grotesquely hyperactive reporting on abuses by Catholics while a criminal underreporting of same abuses by other faiths and even public schools. Moreover, the goal of this negative publicity seems to be to launch costly billion-dollar lawsuits to rob parish members of their offerings and property.

    The fact is that this behavior is extremely rare among catholic clergy, protestant clergy, and public school teachers. Sure it's ugly whenever it occurs, but it's not any kind of epidemic or "crisis." People who portray this news otherwise have a financial and political motive

    The few abuses simply aren't representative of the overwhelming majority of priests. But you'd never know it from the way it's being reported.

    March 17, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  7. Char Hinners

    It's about time, and long overdue, that the RC church faces the hypocrisy it has been living in for literally hundreds of years! Recent popes such as John 23rd and others since have strived to bring the church to a sense of reality, especially where the clergy are concerned! We had married priests for the first 1,000 years after Jesus came and His church started. How can you tell ALL men entering the RC priesthood that they must stay celibate and cut off all sexual sides of their lives?? This is not the whole answer, none of us are allowed to sin in our sexual lives, but I think the time has come to be able to look at celibacy as an option, not a mandate, that doesn't seem Christian to me and many others! I am an old Catholic Christian lady who has felt this way most of my life!

    March 17, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Reply
  8. Phil

    Mike Willis. It WAS brought to the attention of the current pope when his predecessor was pope. The then Cardinal Ratzinger instead of addressing it then, decided to issue a papal bull that all documents pertaining to any abuse be sent to the Vatican for "safekeeping" . In other words swept under one of the Vaticans very extensive rugs.

    March 17, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  9. Ron

    The issue is not how common or rare the incidences of abuse were. The issue is cover ups by the church. This is not acceptable whether the offenders are priests, ministers in other churches, or in public/private schools. The church clearly wanted to cover these issues up. And the only reason they are coming more clean now is because of the pressure they are under. Sorry, the church needs to clean house all the way from the top down.

    March 17, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  10. Jason

    The catholic church will cover this up and we will be having this same discussion again next year.

    March 17, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Reply
  11. craig

    you can always fall back on saying...the devil made me do it

    March 17, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Reply
  12. Bob

    No. The very fact that someone would pose a question such as: 'Is the Catholic Church at a tipping point?' implies what little the secularists, and even MANY Catholics, know about the Church's history as well as the "present crisis" of sexual abuse.

    First of all, the vast majority of this abuse occurred an entire generation, if not two generations ago.

    Secondly, the number of priests abusing is of course high, (1 would be too high) but the percentage of abusers are similar with other religious clery and public school teachers.

    Finally, the entire "scandal" is a blip on the radar relative to past trials – Arianism, Albigensianism, Docetism, Gnosticism, Protestantism, Muhammedism, etc. The Church, in all honesty, is probably the strongest it has been since the Reformation.

    March 17, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Reply
  13. IG

    It's about time the Catholic Church is brought down and destroyed. I was brought up Catholic and have not stepped into a church in many years and would never allow one of my children to be alone near a priest. The abuse of children and the cover ups are absolutely disgusting and must stop.

    March 17, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  14. DMD

    Allowing Catholic priests to marry will not erase the crimes of the pedophile priests. The key word here being pedophile. Pedophiles will get jobs and vocations where they have any easy and abundant access to kids. It doesn't matter if they have to become a priest, a teacher, coach, school janiter, pediatrician, boy scout leader, etc. The will become whatever it takes to get to kids. Sadly, this dillmma will reverberate for the Vatican for decades to come. I feel sorry for the Vatican, even though they put themselves in this position by not acting swiftly and harshly against these perpertrators. It's like they knew they had a problem with pedophile priests but didn't know what to do with them. As an analogy, if here in New York they can put a bad teacher in a "rubber room," why couldn't the Vatican have done the same or something similar to these bad priests? God help us all.

    March 17, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  15. giancarlo

    the fact is, and i know the dynamic, there are two types of priests,majority live their chastity quiet and properly (generally who was not ordered priest too young and had occasions to taste sex, but this is not an absolute rule),a minority lives her sexuality with huge problems,they abuse children because their sexual 'clock' remained frozen at that age,but also in this case this is not the absolute rule.
    anyway this problem,i think, is not only an exclusive of chattolich church.
    all the best.

    March 17, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Reply
  16. Bruce

    <>

    Then why aren't these other churches and school districts etc being investigated like the Roman Church? There is plenty of evidence to suggest that it needs to be done. More so in child services and law enforcement. Yet none of you care about that. Are those children less deserving or is the cover up less heinous?

    I myself do hold the church to a high standard in cases like this, to be sure. I'm just a little cynical about the over looking in my mentioned examples. Why is it ok there? Why do you all act like there isn't a bigger issue of child safety going on all around?

    Is it money or what? A need to stick it to the Rome? Some old hatred? I can understand the shame and sickening feeling that the church should have done the most from the start. What I don't understand are all the haters acting so smug.

    March 17, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Reply
  17. Daniel R.

    The Vatican will be able to handle this situation. For them, there is too much to lose and, behind closed doors, I'm sure they'll go to any lengths to keep what Catholicism has demanded for so many centuries: power and money. Unfortunately, for the Church and religion, history is tallied, its remembered, and as time passes, new generations will come to learn of the undeniable discrepancies and pitfalls of organized religion and its extremists. The Church's history coupled with the increasing number of Agnostics and Atheists could prove disastrous in the long run. Quite possibly, in 300 to 700 years, generations will look back at our time as though we were just on the brink of venturing out of the "Dark Ages."

    March 17, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Reply
  18. mike m

    Every Catholic who has minor children cannot, in good conscious, allow them to be alone in any Catholic institution, yet alone any Catholic church. To do otherwise, would be gross negligence if measured by any legal standard. That reality should send chills of both horror and utter moral repugnance running up and down one's spine. Although I have not suffered personally from the hands of the clergy, a dear friend of mine still suffers 30 years later from the rape (never made known to anyone else) she suffered two days before her marriage from the priest who was instructing her class on the virtues of marriage.

    March 17, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Reply
  19. Tip

    Isn't it about time we stop believing in fantasy land. It is against all natural law that a man or woman should live as a priest or a nun do. As if they do not have hormones, this invites trouble.
    The church has swept all these things under the carpet too long, this is just another event, it will continue and be forgotten in a few weeks.
    Society still allows these organizations to operate yet,TAX FREE, when will we wake up on this issue.
    How many more children have to suffer? Just imagine if any CEO of a corporation swept such things under the carpet, he would be arrested for obstruction of justice. Of course this will can not happen to the POPE , as he has Diplomatic Immunity, the Vatican is a sovereign nation.
    What a joke.

    March 17, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Reply
  20. Ellenor Burke

    The devil is alive and well and working throughout Christ's church.
    If all right thinking members of the Catholic Church do not speak up and remove that whole generation of priests/ bishops, etc., responsible for covering up this awful abuse then the church will not survive. What wil survive will be a church which will not act or behave in the manner which God would wish. The Institution in other words will survive and this is unfortunately what people had faith in but the faith will not reach the hearts and minds of people. For a church to refuse to allow its priests to marry, when Christ never forbade it, is just unbelievable. Cardinal Brady only released this present information because a civil court case is looming over his head.

    March 17, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Reply
  21. Art C

    Does anybody see the elephant in the room?
    The celibate Priesthood is neither a scriptural nor a natural doctrine but a doctrine prompted and encouraged by a pagan emperor around the third century after Christ.
    " neither is the man without the woman ..."
    " a man shall leave his mother and father and cleave unto his wife.."

    The Pope will not fix the problem unless he returns to the scriptures.

    March 17, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Reply
  22. Pat Redmond

    No.

    March 17, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Reply
  23. Joe

    Tip's point is goofy. How many public school teachers have been convicted for sexually abusing children? At least as many as there are Catholic priests. Is Tip suggesting we stop supporting public schools with our tax dollars?

    The solution is simple: (1) throw the book at the actual offenders, (2) put the Bishops who were in charge out to pasture, (3) take a harder look at the men admitted to, and graduated from, seminary, and (4) permit no second chances. A pedophile Catholic priest might be able to change his ways, but he cannot remain a priest.

    March 17, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Reply
  24. ZAKK

    I joined the Mormon Church.

    March 17, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  25. Chris

    The abuse and cover-up has come from the very top of the Roman Catholic Church. Some of the abusers are very likely those very top positions. Popes and Cardinals started as parish priests. The continual voicing of apologies concerning abuses from the very top, rings hollow as it has for centuries.

    March 17, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Reply
  26. Rick

    this could happen anywhere. the Catholic church is not at fault and should not take any blame for this.

    March 17, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Reply
  27. Leonard Nijssen

    Abuse by priests is nothing new when one really READS history. Now it is coming more in the open since more people are willing to talk about it.
    From old, "people are/were not supposed to talk negative" about priests.
    A great number of priests are doing good work, some very good work.
    Personally, while a "church goer", I am quite disillusioned by the number of scandals coming to light and, looking at the statistics, church attendance has dropped off quite substantially.
    To me, celibacy is not conducive and leads to more problems, sexually as well as physically due to suppressed frustrations. It is my opinion that any church that advocates/demands celibacy is asking for more problems and the Catholic church is just one example.

    March 17, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Reply
  28. Juan Ming

    With over 7000 arrests of priests and 2.9 billion paid out in out of court settlements... and many kids hurt... when is it gonna stop... I am sick of the whole church ... this goes all the way to the pope. In 2001 Ratzinger wrote a letter sent out by the pope then that instructed Catholic bishops around the world to cover up cases of sexual abuse or risk being thrown out of the Church.

    The 69-page Latin document bearing the seal of Pope John XXIII was sent to every bishop in the world. The instructions outline a policy of 'strictest' secrecy in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse and threatens those who speak out with excommunication.

    Look up Crimine Solicitationies for yourself

    March 17, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Reply
  29. Reagan

    I think the Catholic Church will recover just fine. There are plenty of mindless folks clinging to their Bibles that will simply blame it on gay people.

    To those saying the media is biased b/c it does not report on other church's/school's with pedo problems...those churches and schools did not cover it up. They reported it to the police and fired those individuals. The worst part of all of this is not only did these men molest young children, but those in the organization did everything in their power to ignore it.

    March 17, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Reply
  30. Alex

    It is profecied in the bible (Revelation 17:15, 16) that the "Wild Beast", (The United Nations-Political Governments) will hate the harlot (Babylon the Great – False Religion – Christendom) and will make her devastated and naked, and will eat up her fleshy parts and will completely burn her with fire."

    The actions of the Catholic Church (Babylon the Great) is driving away it's followers (represented by the waters of the river Euphrates that protected ancient Babylon), that "river" is drying up. That will allow the UN led Governments to step in and completely devastate her.

    The Church's wealth will not protect them, instead, it may hasted their destruction, for the vision in Revelation shows that their hatred on her they will strip off her royal robes and all her jewelry (The Harlots). They will plunder her wealth. They "make her naked".

    God will use human rulers in executing his judgement. (Revelation 17:17). This all-out attack on Babylon the Great comes as an expression of God's unalterable judgement on the great harlot, and is put into the hearts of world leaders by God himself, as his word will not fail.

    March 17, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Reply
  31. ramgolfball

    We can only hope that a tipping point has been reached, and that the (Holy) House of Cards will finally fall.

    March 17, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Reply
  32. mario

    You are now seeing the beginning of the end, of the Roman Catholic Church

    March 17, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Reply
  33. Sir Crispin

    This may be a tipping point in western countries, but the Vatican still has lots of illiterate, poverty stricken souls under their sway in Africa and Latin America...just the way the Church likes them, because poor people that can't read and are dependent on the charity of the Church are less likely to criticize them for their abuses.

    March 17, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Reply
  34. DC

    The Catholic Church has pretty much devolved into a cult - it has purified the ideology to the far right, excommunicated or drove out the left, solidified the power structure, and above all, covered up transgressions and protected power. Only when absolutely cornered by history or the facts, the Church makes an "apology" with so much drapery that one is almost swayed for a second (e.g., the regal apology for being complicit in the fascist governments of Hitler and Mussolini). It can no longer be debated - the Church itself has very little to do with the message of Jesus Christ. For example, by supressing the use of birth control worldwide, especially in places where it could make all the difference, the Catholic Church has done more than any instiution or government in history to add to the suffering of human beings. The suppression of women, the twisted suppression of human sexuality, the "vow of chastity" and the awful repurcussions in the form of the sexual abuse of children and women by male clergy. I would say the Church is well past its tipping point. It is just a cult now. Join it or leave it. If you grew up Catholic, like me, try saying this out loud: "sorry mom, but I have had enough, yes I pray for guidance from Jesus but the Church is just an institution, two thousand years removed from Jesus, and one that has failed the people - I must walk a better road. I shall not look back, nor be bitter. I simply do not care to participate. There is too much good to be done in the world and too many good groups doing true, good deeds (like the distribution of condoms) - I think I will forge ahead and take my chances with them during this life I am blessed to have. As for the afterlife, I am ready when my moment comes - may my ashes be blown far and wide."

    March 17, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Reply
  35. GLO

    Please pray for our Church. The Church will survive. It always has. No abusive priest is going to take It away from me or my family or even my parish community.

    It is very easy for we Catholics to get lost in the swirl of these news headlines.....getting our Catechesis from the likes of CNN or other news outlets. The reality is, WE are the Church and we can overcome those in the smallest of minority (whether they be the child molestors or the secular media) that want to destroy our Church.

    Peace to all.

    March 17, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Reply
  36. RS

    The simple turth is that the CC tried to keep this covered up until it became so wide spread that the cover up could not continue. Then they tried to hide the church's money so it could not be seized by the people who won lawsuits..

    March 17, 2010 at 11:51 pm | Reply
  37. KG

    The church is without a doubt under severe criticism, much of it of its own making. To hide the abuse of a few has tarnished the many. So many of the good priests and good bishops who have given up so much to serve the people are being painted with the brush of the few who did such evil.
    I would suggest that the bishops who tried to hide the problem did so more out of ignorance on how to handle the problem than out of spite.
    I'm sure one of the solutions to be instituted to prevent this in the future is to provide training to the bishops and others on how to deal with this and provide a system on doing do instead of just hoping that they instinctively know what do to.
    It is obvious that many more safeguards must be put in place, and it is being done so now. But the media are having a field day trying to knock down the church along with greedy lawyers and false victims. This is not to say that there are real victims out there that need to be cared for and should be. And reading some of the comments, there are many people who are taking the opportunity to jump in out of some other hateful reasons or settle old scores.
    But the say that this is some kind of tipping point that may forecast the end of the church is ridiculous. It is a trial and a warning, and it will be taken to task and dealt with. However, this will not bring down the church.

    March 18, 2010 at 12:10 am | Reply
  38. Paradowski

    For me, the Catholic Church as lost all credibility a decade ago, and stories of abuse and cover-ups continue on and on, and have persisted from the beginning (300s AD) of the church's mass control over people. The church is no place to put the trust of your faith in God - the Great Spirit.

    March 18, 2010 at 12:59 am | Reply
  39. bill

    Pedophilia is an abomination. Pedophila is a capital offence and pedophiles deserve swift and sure execution. What kind of people can we be if we tolerate our children being held as prey by these evil people
    I am sick of our organizations letting us down...government officials willing to take our nation to financial ruin...and the ruin of western civilization which will follow.
    As a practicing Catholic, sick of the Church not clearing house now. Priests must be allowed female carnal comfort,now,and cleanse itself of the abominables. The Church is the Faithful,not the clergy. Let us find new clerical leaders if we don't get action.
    Yes,I believe we have reached many tipping points.

    March 18, 2010 at 1:09 am | Reply
  40. A 13 year old Catholic

    I don't believe the church is at a tipping point, and never will be. People will always believe in a God, and on Earth that God tends to be the Christian God. Although what these priests have done is terribly and horribly wrong you can not judge an entire religion based upon a few pedophiles that deserve to be excommunicated. Every time there is a group of united people one of them will do something wrong, even though there actions are unexcuseable, you can't judge an entire population based on that. That would be like thinking everyone from the Southern States, yes I'm a Catholic American, is prejudice againast Africans. It's obviously not true. I'm 13 and have no problem being around preists at my church, they're usually very friendly. However, like I said earlier there are a few pedophiles out there who should be excommunicated.

    March 18, 2010 at 2:18 am | Reply
  41. Terrance Jordan

    We worry about sexual predators in our neighborhood.What makes the catholic church so different?There should be no catholic churchs within 100ft of any schools where our children are in harm's way!They try to heal themselves;RIght! They try to cover their dirt and their sins!So that they could do it again!

    March 18, 2010 at 2:39 am | Reply
  42. Religious Scholar

    ...the RC church will "recover" in one way:
    every Catholic needs to demand that the Vatican disband and remove themselves from the church.... sell all the assets, all the artwork and real estate that has nothing to do with the spiritual life ... transfer all power to the local parishes ... when a parish priest gets out of line, let the local parishioners take care of HIM or HER in the appropriate manner.

    March 18, 2010 at 3:25 am | Reply
  43. Jeff

    Celibacy is abnormal and psychologically unhealthy. Abnormal people (such as pedophiles) tend to flock to organizations and institutions that incorporate abnormal practices. In what way does one's love for Christ have to do with being married or not married? It doesn't. On a similar note, in what way does the gender of a person have to do with their ability to say mass? It doesn't. Priests need to be able to marry. It is my confident opinion that perverts wouldn't feel nearly as drawn to the church if it stopped embracing practices which foster abnormality. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH NEEDS A THIRD VATICAN COUNCIL AND IT NEEDS IT FAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wake up and smell the coffee. Stop enforcing archaic rules that have nothing to do with Christ's expectations of us whatsoever. I have never before been this ashamed of my faith.

    March 18, 2010 at 5:09 am | Reply
  44. Justin

    The Church has allowed these abuses not because of too much priestly discipline but too little. But this flyby quality of the coverage by the media, without deep examination of the issues involved is all too familiar. Some of these charges of abuse concern SLAPPING. As if slapping is anywhere NEAR as important as sexual abuse.
    Another post actually pointed to the celibacy rule. Well, it's good thing no married men ever abuse children...what a spurious arguement...
    The prejudice which these stories burden the priesthood would not be allowed for any other walk of life, much less different races, ethnicities or creeds.
    All offenders with credible charges (which they won't all be) should be subject to all the penalties of civil authorities which has been the Church policy.

    March 18, 2010 at 11:55 am | Reply
  45. Patrick O'Ryan

    As a nation we must weigh separation of church and state on the issue of a pedophile cult operating within our borders under the guise of a church.

    Are we willing to have our children molested, raped and abused under the protection of the First Amendment? I don't think that we can afford to have child predators hiding behind the cloth.

    But the only way to get rid of the problem, is to have as many civil lawsuits go forward, confiscate church property to pay the awards, have the awards be as huge as possible.

    All these "people" understand is money, so take away their means of supporting and hiding these problem.

    Get rid of the Catholic Church, quit paying tithes to these pedophiles.

    Revoke the diplomatic status of the Vatican, making the Pope unable to come to the United States and "enjoy" diplomatic immunity.

    If this wasn't a church, RICO would have already been used to rein these pedophiles in.

    Being this large of a problem, it is an environment issue, we will never know how many priests HAVE NEVER touched a child. Apparently it is a seminary course they take and abusing a child is the final exam.

    March 18, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  46. Andrew

    Don't be ridiculous. The church has over 1.1 billion members, there are going to be problems when you have such a large organization.

    March 18, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  47. Gill Bates

    The male-only patriarchal attitude of the church MUST change.
    Limiting the role of women is a serious flaw.

    However the church has not shown much real wisdom – even in regard to its own survival.

    The abuse is rampant and only the very tiny tip of the iceberg has been exposed.

    March 18, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  48. Devo

    The church is part of Babylon The Great and she has already fallen we
    are just waiting for the beast like governments ti finish her off

    March 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  49. Stormchaser2

    The church will not recover from this, as you can see by some of the outraged comments, the balance has tipped against this church. If you are in or affiliated with this group, I suggest you take a good look around and see..this is the time to get out, before (like it was prophesied in the bible) its too late....before God puts it into their hearts as stated at Revelations 17:16..."and completely burn her with fire"
    As we have seen many times in the past couple of years, churches are more and more becoming the target, Texas church fires!!!! Earthquakes, and natural disasters in one place after another.......... Like it or not...this is prophesy being fulfilled, and is literal, and is happening.

    Churches going against bible teachings such as Homosexuality, the bible says "..men should NOT lie with men" this is not figurative, this is something detestable to god, along with lying, stealing, and greed and more. But the Catholic church has done so much of its own blood shed through not following Jesus' example, that it may already be too late for those who are still associated with this church, and others like it.
    To finish I would ask any Catholics to quickly reference the scripture in Rev18:8...this scripture proves that it is not man who has judged her,,,but God himself, and as if ".. in a day her plagues( current trials and troubles) will come". This is talking about not just the catholic church, but all churches that God knows are having a form of godly devotion...but proving false to its power.

    Call it what you will.......you cannot deny that its demise is close!

    March 18, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  50. Henry

    I am an Anglican. There is no doubt that the best and happiest parishes in which I have lived had a married Priest/vicar whose wife could be active in pastoral duties and so on.
    Also apart from the unhealthy strain that celebacy inevitably imposes, how can a man ignorant of the opposite sex possibly advise on family problems?

    March 18, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  51. Jack

    As tragic and sad as this is – there will never be a "tipping point." A tipping point to what? The Catholic Church is the representative of the body of Christ. Does the body of Christ die or be destroyed? Men do die, as men sin – we are all sinners, even priests. The question should be – if the Vatican had a hand in the "cover up," what steps are going to be taken to stop this from happening again. Jesus is the savior for sinners – the body of Christ will not be swayed by the actions of men. We should pray for all involved (even the priests,) and continue on without jumping to blazoned conclusions about the future state of the Church.

    March 18, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  52. Marcus

    It better be a tipping point! Priests should marry & women should be priests! Any explanation otherwise is ridiculous. I am currently ashamed to be raised Catholic. Forget what you think about the media "overblowing" this story, I can count several priests within my own experience throughout my life that I've found strange and many have told me 1st-hand experiences about how their priests "all of a sudden" were plucked out of their diocese (to Rome?) after decades of allegations spreading word of mouth around the local community.

    This problem truly is rampant and this better be a tipping point. The Vatican has already proved they are not infallible by formally forgiving Galileo in the 1980s. Enough with the divine charade, we know you are human beings. It's the faith, symbolism, and acheiving that Christ-like spirituality, which matters for Catholics, not what sex you are. Priests should marry & women should be priests!

    March 18, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  53. Shawn

    If by a tipping point it is meant that the Catholic Church is in danger of extinction, than no, this is not a tipping point. Abuse happens whenever there are people involved, even if they are clergy, and the fight against clerical abuse of all types has been fought by the Church throughout its history. Any study of the Papal reform in the middle ages will quickly show that this generation has presented nothing new against the Church. The Church has stood through much worse. By that I do not mean that the preistly abuse that we are hearing about is not an abomination, but rather that it is not universal as we are being lead to believe.

    There is essestially no difference between rates of pedophilia among priests as compared to the general population. Yet we have acquired a taste for hearing about priestly abuse. Especially for those outside the Church, we enjoy hearing about it, even though it is also rampant in the public schools we send our kids to. Despite the exclusive media coverage on this one problem of the Catholic Church, it is quite easy to Catholics to prove wrong the extent to which it is believed to occur. They do so every Sunday when they go to Church and interact with good, holy men who have devoted their lives to ministering to their congregation. All that said, of course the Church is in need of continual reform and drastic measures to rid itself of pedophilia and all its other problems that are still unknown. The Church has been on a tipping point for two thousand years, and the fight against evil that is both external and internal is part of its very nature.

    March 18, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  54. Richard Davis

    I find it hard to believe that the Pope is "distressed" over the situation facing the Irish Catholic Church and others, in view of the fact that he was the author of a May 2001 letter addressed to every bishop in the world. This letter called for a policy of strictest secrecy for both the perpetrators and victims of sex abuse and threatened those who spoke out with excommunication.
    This letter clearly shows not only a desire to shelter abusive priests, thus allowing the practice to continue but also created the foundation for an absolute case of obstruction of justice.
    Attempting to cover up his tracks at this late date does nothing but compound his already pitiful papacy.

    March 18, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  55. Victor Tonelli

    The Catholic Church is a vestige of a by-gone era, hanging on in the midst of growing global irrelevance.

    I was raised 12 years of Catholic school.

    I am now an ardent atheist.

    Perhaps if the clergy would simply STOP RAPING CHILDREN and start having sex with women, things might change.

    Hopefully, I doubt it. They are deserving of their demise.

    VT

    March 18, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  56. oconm

    I think that the cover ups are another manifestation of a deeper problem in the Church which is the institutional antagonism between church hierarchy and laity. Although following Vatican II, "they" made empty overtures toward giving the laity a larger role, nevertheless "they" remain in charge of the decision making processes. There is no financial transparency; there is no "discussion" of "closed" issues like birth control, celibacy, women in the priesthood, or Papal infallibility.There is no still accountability for offending bishops.

    I believe that what happened with the cover ups was more than a cowardly closing of ranks. Bishops who reassigned dangerous priests in some sense believed that the children (and adults too, I guess) were theirs; i.e. souls put into their care by God. "They" are in charge of all of the laity and believe they know what is best for us. We, lay persons, believe that our children are, not only ours, but our sacred responsibility. Our authority regarding their welfare supercedes all other claims. We are the ones who should decide who we want to be,or not tobe, in their company. Our rights, and our childrens' innocence, were violated by church authorities withholding information the laity had an absolute right to receive.

    Do I detect the sound of hatred in this "whore of Babylon" crap?

    March 18, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Reply
  57. Rob - Toronto

    Will take more than this to bring down the Vatican. They will continue to bleed members until they reach a genuine level of transparency and honesty about all matters and stop worrying about their image and the bottom line. They have been given the choice of continuing to poison their institution with lies and cover ups, while destroying individuals in the process or simply doing all they can to help people and remediate the problem in an honest fashion. I find it shocking that so many learned men, may of whom are highly regarded and published ethicists, don't understand the damage caused by a simple lie and that in the end, the truth would have served everyone better.

    They have clearly put money and image above souls.

    March 18, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  58. Natalie

    Note to Catholic church members: Reading dismissive comments like "abuse happens everywhere, in schools, etc." is upsetting. The issue is not where it happens, but how it is handled, once discovered. The Catholic church (professing to teach the word of Jesus Christ) obviously chose to cover it up by moving priests around and did not try to get to the root of their pedophilia problem. Members of the Catholic church can no longer claim abuse cases are isolated incidents when reports are coming out of several countries. How can this be considered isolated? I find the defensiveness of Catholic church members to be very sad. Members of the church should be asking questions and demanding change. Why attack those who are appalled that your leaders have covered up a criminal element? How can you rest easy at night knowing that your leaders were (and I'm sure, still are) allowing children to be molested? Oh, I know, your local parish priest is a nice guy, so as long as you have not been personally affected, who cares. These must be isolated cases, since your priest is so wonderful. The Catholic church is the same as a "good old boy" network where the priests/leaders look out for one another and cover up misdeeds/crimes. This is what happens when there is too much power and not enough accountability. I don't know how you can continue to support the Catholic church, but I'm sure you are living in a deep enough denial to forge ahead and put your money in the offering plate, lest you go to hell. Or at least that's what they tell you. I would be thrilled if this was the tipping point and the Catholic church began to crumble. Sadly, there has been too much brain washing going on over the years by the church, and I really don't see it happening.

    March 18, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Reply
  59. GE

    72 yrs as a catholic, with perhaps the last 30 as a 'semi-devout' catholic, trying to live up to the faith I was taught in parochial school by nuns, and that I try to study now and then.
    I see the hierarchy wearing crowns – yes, crowns, aka mitres – a coat of arms for bishops and above, royalty-like monikers "Your Reverence, Your Holiness", richly embroidered silk, red and white garments and slippers, all the luxurious privileges and trappings of royalty. Did Jesus wear other than a simple white garment and sandals? Is there any doubt why we have no respect for the hierarchy? Are they transformed as soon as they put on the crown (mitre)? A humble, spiritual parish priest recently told me to "just walk past it." We, the Catholics, are burdened with 2000+ years of all-male theology.

    March 18, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  60. http://childrescuebill.org/

    There are no excuses for this type of behavior.

    And to the 13 yr old above, your generation will see the realities of the harm caused to children. Just maybe we can all fix it now so you won't have to.

    March 18, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Reply
  61. Anthony

    The Catholic Church has been for too long beyond the reaches of the law and the results of this continue to emerge – even from the Pope's previous diocese of Munich & Freising. There is no real humanity in this duplicitous organisation.

    My own experience as a catholic youth included literally fighting off a pedophile priest when I was 15. The only reason the abuse did not occur was that I literally punched him and no doubt, hurt him as much as he planned to hurt me. But even after that I was too scared to tell anyone due to the power he held.

    It is about time that governments around the world start to take the gloves off and place legislative constraints on this secretive and abusive organisation. I am horrified by the misery and pain they have caused to countless generations – this is by no means a 20th century phenomenon!

    People need to vote with their feet and leave their churches permanently empty. They have lost any claim they had to godliness!

    March 18, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Reply
  62. Daryl King

    In the Bible in Genesis at the beginning of the creation of mankind God said, "it is not good for man to live alone" and because of that He gave Adam a wife. Men and women were designed by the Creator to need each other and to meet each other's sexual needs. It seems rebellious now for the Catholic church to say that it is good for priests to live outside of marriage to a wife. If having a good marriage to a woman was a requirement for being a priest I believe the Catholic church would not have the sin in its ranks that it now has.

    March 19, 2010 at 12:08 am | Reply
  63. Stephanie L

    It is time the Catholic Church allows priests to marry and allows for female priests. I've thought this for many, many years. The rules of the Catholic church are draconian. As long as the Catholic priests are only males and unmarried this abuse will continue..... What is the purpose of a celibate priest anyway? They can't relate to their parishioners who they are supposed to be helping.

    I can't belong to a Church that allows this despicable behavior to go on and to be protected. It sickens me.

    March 19, 2010 at 3:51 am | Reply
  64. Jerry C

    The solution is simple. Stop supporting the Catholic Church. All Catholics should consider immediately ceasing financial support of the Catholic Church. If you donate, do so only to the local school or parish programs that you support. Insist that none of your money goes to the Bishops or the Vatican. Hopefully, the Vatican will be held financially responsible to the victims. Let the Vatican go broke.

    Out of the ashes of financial ruin good men and women together on a spiritual path are already working to spread the message of Jesus, as he lived. These people already exist within the Church, but more will be able to see the path when the power and control of the Vatican ceases, and the artificially imposed Catholic doctrines cease or are fully ignored. Support life, health, and education at your local level.

    Remember, it is no longer a mortal sin to eat meat on Fridays. You won't go to hell for any of these artificially imposed Catholic doctrines that come from the Vatican and the Bishops. Without the Vatican and its power and grab for money, and control of your minds, people will seek and focus on the message. There is freedom there!

    God bless the good priests, and also the good women who are called to the priesthood. Be the leaders you are called to be. Courage!

    March 21, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  65. Thomas Mathew

    In reference to Jerry C:
    I am not convinced regarding the practicability of supporting local parish and doing away with Bishops and Vatican. My doubts are:
    1.The pedophiles are priests ,mainly priests working in parishes , and not a single case of any bishop molesting children, seems to have been reported. The bishops’ lapses were mainly acts omission – not using judgment , not stopping the continual of pastoral services by the erring priests et al
    2. In the absence of Bishops or similar hierarchy how the priests will be trained ? Who will monitor their conduct ? Or do you mean that priests do not require any training and monitoring and spiritual calling as claimed d by the priests themselves alone would suffice?
    3.You are not questioning the validity of the church as institution, your ire is against the bishops and Vatican. But is there any institution sans hierarchies?

    March 22, 2010 at 9:34 am | Reply
  66. Dennis Gan

    THE TRUTH REVEALED – IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Mary "If i have God within me, who would die for us? Who would die for him? Protection of the World". After this, people stopped believing and Mary "Virgin by faith but i am saved".

    March 26, 2010 at 7:43 am | Reply
  67. Naush

    As long as any institution enforces an un-human practice like forced celibacy it will become a factory churning out pedeophiles and child molesters.

    March 26, 2010 at 11:51 am | Reply
  68. kenneth

    I left the church many years ago for reasons which had more to do with theology than the abuse problem, but last summer, I formally renounced membership through a procedure called formal defection. I did this because their handling of the abuse crisis, a scorched earth campaign against the dignity of gay people, and other actions are unconscionable in my eyes.

    I did not want to be associated with them even in name only. The procedure is simple: a letter to the diocese in which you were baptized, declaring your defection "Actus Formalis ab Ecclesia Catholica", and demanding that it be noted in the records. People who no longer want to be associated with the church should do this instead of being "lapsed Catholics" who are still counted as members, giving the organization more political clout. For more information on the process, visit http://www.countmeout.ie.

    For those who want to remain in the church, it's imperative that you take action to make the bishop's current position untenable. Boycott Mass and do not give them a dime until they change the leadership and culture all the way to the top. If you simply continue business as usual or circle the wagons and blame the abuse on "the media," you will be complicit in evil.

    March 29, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  69. Joe

    All these problems of abuse are avoidable. If the catholic church will amend the law that forbids marriage by priest and make it optional as the Bible puts it – let he that cannot stay alone get married. Marriage has been a matter of opinion throughout the Bible, particularly the new testament.
    However, "There is a way which seem right to man but the end leads to destruction" Proverbs 14:12, so that is the epidemic the Catholic Church is facing today. we should not claim to know better than God.

    March 30, 2010 at 11:24 am | Reply
  70. simone cavalcanti

    I really wish JC would come down just for one day to clean up the Vatican just like he cleaned the temple, claiming that his Father´s house was a house of prayer not a house of commerce.
    The pope & bishops in those ridiculous colorful attires, long skirts, pink, red, fucsia, lace, silk, all kinds of hats, surrounded by gold, with expensive rings on their fingers, most of them hypocrites pretending to know all about creation and damning people to hell (if there was one, it would be filled with them), they have NOTHING in common with Jesus and his apostles. They do not practice poverty, humility, honesty...I left the Catholic church at 18 when I realized that I was not going to follow its teachings and did not agree with most of what they preached. And have not regretted it for a minute. I consider myself a Christian because I follow Christ´s teachings and have raised my children this way. With just the Sermon of the Mountain to guide me. No phony theology for me. For those who need religion rites, priest have to be able to marry and women have to be allowed to become priestesses. The Catholic Church has abused too many people for too long. Let´s say ENOUGH!

    March 30, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  71. Tom Lancaster

    Quacks like a duck, walks like a duck.....Catholicism is another man made religion formed on self appointed traditions and passed on from generation to generation. Like all denominational and non-denominational religions created by man this represents his futile attempt to worship within his self. God approves religion and worship which is well defined in James 1:27 just as worship is in John 4:23-24. The challenge becomes knowing the difference between spirit, soul and body; for in the flesh it is impossible to please God.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 322 other followers