Pope Benedict XVI and Clerical Sex Abuse

Some links to recent statements and articles about Pope Benedict XVI's handling of clerical sex abuse cases

In recent days a number of stories have appeared in the media which question Pope Benedict’s handling of cases involving sex abuse of minors by clergy. In light of these stories we think it is important to recognize that Benedict XVI, both before and after being elected Pope, has worked energetically to address these cases and to eradicate sexual abuse in the Church. Many people have expressed a wish to know more about this matter. While we do not endorse everything stated here, we make available some links to recent articles that address Pope Benedict’s record.

We also include a link to the statement of the USCCB, which contains the following words: "We know from our experience how Pope Benedict is deeply concerned for those who have been harmed by sexual abuse and how he has strengthened the Church’s response to victims and supported our efforts to deal with perpetrators."

Guide to Understanding Basic Procedures of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) concerning Sexual Abuse Allegations , published by the Vatican, April 12, 2010.

Ed Koch (former mayor of New York), “He That is Without Sin, Let Him Cast the Next Stone - Enough Already ,” in The Jerusalem Post Blogs .

Statement of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops expressing concern for victims of clergy sexual abuse and thanking Pope Benedict for his leadership, March 30, 2010.

John Allen, “ A Papal Conversion ,” in The New York Times , March 27, 2010.

Raymond D’Souza, “ A Response to the New York Times ," in National Review Online , March 27, 2010.

William McGurn, " The Pope and the New York Times ," The Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2010.

Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna (Promoter of Justice for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who handles the cases brought against abusive priests),  " Church on Strict Patrol ," March 14, 2010.

Fr. Thomas Brundage, JLC (presiding judge for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in the case of Father Lawrence Murphy), " Setting the Record Straight in the Case of Abusive Milwaukee Priest Father Lawrence Murphy ."

Cardinal William J. Levada (successor to Cardinal Ratzinger as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), “ The New York Times and Pope Benedict XVI: How it Looks to an American in the Vatican ," March 26, 2010.

Pastoral Letter of The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI to the Catholics of Ireland , March 19, 2010.

George Weigel, First Things Online , March 29, 2010.

The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States: A Research Study Conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice . For the Executive Summary, click here . For a graph showing the number of alleged incidents between 1950-2002 click here . Note that the number of allegations has declined steeply ever since 1980.