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  • What's It All About?
  • Recent Headlines and Opinion
  • How Are Catholics and Others Reacting?
  • What Happened at the Bishops' Meeting in Dallas?
  • Is Celibacy to Blame?
  • Which Dioceses Are Affected?
  • How Bad Is Clergy Abuse in Other Faiths?
  • How Much Is This Costing?
  • How Has the Vatican Responded?
  • How Have Innocent Priests Been Affected?
  • Why Are Gay Priests Under Discussion?
  • What's Happening in Other Countries?
  • Polls: Catholics Respond
  • Prayer Resources
  • The Papal Summit in April
  • More Stories

    Headlines and Opinion Essays

    April 2004: Boston Archdiocese Sells Headquarters to Cover Abuse Settlements

    February 2004: Report: 11,000 Abuse Complaints since 1950

  • Key Figures From the Catholic Abuse Survey: From the John Jay College of Criminal Justice's report on molestation of minors by U.S. Roman Catholic clergy.
  • January 2004: Interview with Boston's New Archbishop

    Sept. 2003: $85M Deal in Boston Church Abuse Suits

    Augustr 2003: The Coming Catholic Church: How the Faithful Will Reshape U.S. Catholicism
    The scandal exposed the Church's worst flaws, but also points the way to positive change, says journalist David Gibson

    July 2003: Massachusetts Attorney General Says Number of Victims May Top 1000

    July 2003: Can the New Archbishop Save Boston?
    Profile of Sean O'Malley

    June 2003 Bishops' Meeting

  • A House Divided: Where Are the U.S. Bishops Heading?
    As the abuse scandal continues, Catholic bishops will be judged by their worst member. Can they overcome their divisions? By David Gibson
  • Catholic Bishops Shoot Themselves in the Foot--Again
    Despite everything that's happened, they still hide behind legalisms when their only salvation is transparency. By Fr. Andrew Greeley

    Head of Abuse Review Board Resigns
    Governor Frank Keating blasts coverups

  • What's It All About?

    February 2004: Report: 11,000 Sexual Abuse Complaints Since 1950
    From the John Jay College of Criminal Justice's report on molestation of minors by U.S. Roman Catholic clergy.

  • Key Figures From the Catholic Abuse Survey
  • Past Sex Abuse Cases (AP)
    Answers to common questions about the current scandal and past cases of clergy sexual misconduct.

    Common Misperceptions (USA Today)
    Nov. 2002: An overview says that very few accused priests remain in positions where they could abuse minors.

    Who's Who in the Catholic Church
    Basic facts about who makes what decisions.

    Q&A: Psychiatric Issues in Pedophilia
    Accessible answers to frequently asked questions by a psychiatrist specializing in clergy pedophilia.

    Are They Really Pedophiles?
    A researcher analyzing earlier data says that many victims of priests are adolescent boys, not children. By Philip Jenkins

    Catholic Reactions

    "A Crisis of Fidelity"
    George Weigel on the culture of dissent (Summer 2002)

    Time for the Laity to Step Forward
    Interview with Garry Wills (Summer 2002)

    "The Catholic Church's Watergate" (Summer 2002)
    Beliefnet's interview with Catholic League's President William Donohue reveals a typically staunch defender of the Church indicting it instead. (Spring 2002)

    Spring 2002: Pope Denounces Sex Abuse
    In an annual letter to priests, Pope John Paul II says the current "scandal" casts a "dark shadow" on all priests.

    Spring 2002: U.S. Bishops' Conference Issues Formal Apology

  • Full text of Bishop Gregory's statement
  • Restoring Trust: The Response to Sexual Abuse
    Op-ed piece by the Chairman of the Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse

    Nuns Call for Reform in Wake of Abuse Crisis (August 2002)

    Opinion Polls for Catholics: Cast Your Votes
    Have you decreased your contributions to diocesan collections? Has your priest preached about the scandals? Beliefnet invites Catholic users to respond to polls.

    Spring 2002: Cardinal Law Should Resign
    Even conservative Catholics agree that some prelates have failed God's children. By Charlotte Hays
  • Poll for All Users: Should Law resign?

    Another Look at Cardinal Law
    Do Law's actions rise to that level of offense for which resignation is the only recourse? To analogize from politics, Nixon's cover-up of Watergate did rise to that level, Clinton's cover-up of Monica did not.

    What the Media Is Missing
    In focusing on the admittedly terrible events of the past, the press is not covering systemic changes the Church made in the 1990s to combat clergy sex abuse. By Bishop Joseph Galante, member of the Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse

    Spring 2002: An Ecclesiastical Enron
    Molesters and sexual deviants among the Catholic clergy, episcopal negligence and coverups, stonewalling chanceries and empty claims that at long last the Church is going to clean house: This is not a new story. And that is the real scandal. By Rod Dreher

    Spring 2002: Odd Attempts to 'Explain' the Pedophilia Crisis
    Both liberals and conservatives are playing the blame game--and are usually way off the mark. By Eugene Kennedy

    Spring 2002: For Catholics, a Special Kind of Horror
    Pedophile priests: The phrase brings instant and visceral reaction: anger, revulsion, fear. For all people of goodwill, it's a dual tragedy: the violation of a child and the betrayal of a trust.

    Chicago Cardinal's 'Sexist' Comments Anger Critics (April 26)

    February 2002: How Should Catholics Respond to the Scandals?
    The great St. Francis of Assisi lived in a time of terrible immorality in Italy. Priests were setting horrible example. Lay immorality was even worse. Then, as now, the only adequate response was holiness.

  • The Celibacy Issue

  • Official Roman Catholic Church Teaching on Celibacy for Priests

  • Why It Would Be Possible to Drop the Celibacy Requirement
    The tradition is a discipline, not a dogma.

  • The Catholic Church's requirement is burdensome--and can lead to trouble. By Eugene Kennedy

  • It's the seminaries, not the celibacy. By Fr. James Gill

  • In a sex-saturated society, the witness of celibacy is crucial. By Fr. Marcel Taillon

  • Creating Intimate Relationships Within Celibacy By Brother Joseph Kilikevice

  • Answering the Priest-Bashers
    It's self-serving for men who have repudiated their promise of celibacy to attack those who still try to keep it. By Andrew Greeley

  • Spring 2002: Boston Diocesan Newspaper Calls for Church to Examine Celibacy Question

  • 'Spiritual Fertility': John Paul II's Letter to Priests
    "Celibacy is a precious gift given by God to his Church and as a sign of the kingdom which is not of this world -- a sign of the undivided love of the priest for God and for God's people."

  • Which Dioceses Are Affected?

    Bishops' Worst Mistakes
    Plus: Avoid "Simplistic" Judgments: The bishops' conference responds

    Bishop-by-Bishop Overview
    (Dallas Morning News, June 2002)
    Specific abuse cases and alleged coverups across the country.

    Catholic Crisis Spreads Abroad

    Your Diocese's Statement/Policies:

  • Atlanta
  • Baltimore
  • Belleville, IL
  • Boston (January 9, 2002)
  • Boston (Dec. 2002)
  • Brooklyn
  • Chicago
  • Cincinnati
  • Cleveland
  • Denver
  • Detroit (PDF)
  • Indianapolis
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Milwaukee (Rembert Weakland statement)
  • Milwaukee (Project Benjamin)
  • New Orleans
  • New York
  • Newark
  • Oakland
  • Oklahoma City
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix (PDF)
  • Pittsburgh
  • Rockville Centre, NY
  • San Diego
  • Seattle
  • Spokane
  • St. Louis
  • Washington
  • Find Your Diocese's Web Page

    Not Just Priests
    Clergy sexual abuse of minors and adults is a problem in all faiths. By Anne Simpkinson

    Clergy Sexual Misconduct Resources
    Links for individuals and communities dealing with sexual misconduct and prevention.

    The Cost to the Church

    Sept. 2003: $85M Deal in Boston Church Abuse Suits
  • Diocese to Mortgage Properties to Pay Settlements

    Feb. 2003: Scandal Costs Account for Over Half of L.A. Archdiocese’s $13.4 Million Deficit

    Nov. 2001: How Much Is This Costing the Church?
    A pre-scandal estimate said U.S. dioceses may already have spent as much as $1 billion in payouts to victims.

    No Deep Pockets
    If Catholics are successful in their crusade to punish the church through its pocketbook, who will they really hurt? By Fr. Andrew Greeley

    Spring 2002: Chicago Cardinal Suggests Selling Church's Mansion for Funds

    Fall 2002: Despite Scandal, NY Diocese Fundraiser May Set Record

    Spring 2002: Scandals Won't Bankrupt the Church
    Even with the prospect of fresh lawsuits that could double the billion-dollar tally of settlements already reached, the bankruptcy of even a single diocese is unlikely, church financial analysts say.

    How Have Innocent Priests Been Affected?

    Fall 2002: Due Process for Priests
    By Fr. Andrew Greeley
  • Priests' Rights Could Be Next Victim
    Some clergy say recent moves constitute a "witch hunt" that could affect innocent priests.

    In Defense of Good Priests--and Celibacy
    Do marriage and sex turn you into a mature adult? Will priests grow up if only they marry? Does marriage automatically produce maturity? By Andrew Greeley

    Prayer Resources

    Guided Prayers for Catholics Struggling With the Scandals
    Dealing with feelings of anger and betrayal. From the Daughters of St. Paul.

    Beliefnet Prayer Circle for Victims of Child Sexual Abuse

    How Has the Vatican Responded?

    Dec. 2002: Vatican Approves Revised Sexual Abuse Policy

    September 2002: Vatican Likely to Require Abuse Policy Changes
    May request changes to Dallas charter

    The View from Rome: How the Crisis Sank In
    An excerpt from "The Courage to Be Catholic" by George Weigel

    Summer 2002: Vatican Journal Slams U.S. Media for Scandal Coverage

    Spring 2002: Pope Denounces Sex Abuse
    In an annual letter to priests, Pope John Paul II says the current "scandal" casts a "dark shadow" on all priests.

    Journal: Bishops Not Responsible for Abuse
    Influential canon lawyer says bishops should not turn over allegations of sexual abuse by priests to civil authorities.

    Summer 2002: Vatican, U.S. Bishops May Be at Odds
    Cardinal Theodore McCarrick says the Catholic Church responded too slowly to the sexual abuse crisis, and the heat is on bishops to fix it now.

    Spring 2002: Gays React to Vatican Comments
    As a Catholic pedophilia crisis expands, some Catholics are denouncing implied links between homosexuality and the reported incidents, especially after recent remarks from the Vatican.

    Vatican Apparatchiks: Clueless and Arrogant
    Comments by bishops abroad reveal they know nothing about U.S. society, culture, and law--or about American Catholics. By Andrew Greeley

    April 2002: The Papal Summit

    What Did the Pope's Statement Really Mean?
    Read the text and an analysis.

    U.S. Catholics Welcome Pope's Speech

    Top U.S. Clergy Agree to Defrock "Notorious" Sex Abusers

    The View from Rome: How the Crisis Sank In
    An excerpt from "The Courage to Be Catholic" by George Weigel

    More on the Papal Summit

    Homosexuality and the Priesthood

    Official Church Teaching on Homosexuality

    Vatican View: "A strong tendency towards an intrinsic moral evil"

    August 2002: Survey Suggests Gay Priest Culture

    Spring 2002: Gays React to Vatican Comments
    As the abuse crisis expands, some Catholics are denouncing implied links between homosexuality and the reported incidents, especially after recent remarks from the Vatican.


    Should Gay Priests Be Screened Out?

    The Question of Gay Seminarians
    By Fr. Donald Cozzens

    Abuse Crisis Spotlights Gay Priests

    Related Link: The Gay Priest Problem
    A Navy chaplain says that the church needs to address the epidemic of homosexual priests.

    Related Link: In Defense of Gay Priests
    By Chuck Colbert

    Beliefnet Member Discussion

    More Stories

    Supreme Court Ducks Clergy Case

    Cardinal Law Blames Bad Advice

    How to Save the Church
    By Michael Sean Winters

    Spring 2002: Boston Archdiocese Needs Cash for Lawsuits

    Spring 2002: Ex-Boston Priest Shanley Arrested for Child Rape

    Chicago Cardinal's 'Sexist' Comments Anger Critics

    Cardinals Show They're Slow Learners
    (NYT, April 29)
    By Maureen Dowd

    Death Penalty for Serial Child Molestors?
    (April 27, ABCNews.com)

    Trusted Ally of Pope Accused of Abuse
    (ABCNews.com, April 26)

    Defining "Spiritual Scandal"

    176 Priests Removed in 28 States
    (April 26)

    Cardinal Law Opposes Formation of Parish Groups

    Female Victims Often Overlooked
    Experts believe troubled priests and other clergy are more likely to abuse females.

    Complete Boston Globe Coverage

    News Roundup by Poynter.org

    What Happened at the Bishops' November 2002 Meeting in Washington, D.C.?

    Forgiving Abusive Priests: Bishops, Victims, and Laypeople Respond
    Bishop after bishop wrestled with questions of forgiveness and accountability. There was even a mention of purgatory.

    Fuzzy Language
    The bishops vote on confusing changes made earlier this month to their policy, adopted in June, dealing with clergy sex abuse.

    What Happened at the Bishops' June 2002 Meeting in Dallas?

    The Issues: Zero tolerance, lay involvement, reporting abusers to the police, more

    The Decision: All abusers booted out of public ministry, but not necessarily out of the priesthood (AP)

    The Victims: Speeches by men and women abused by priests

    Reporter's Weblog: Thursday, June 13 and Friday, June 14

    What's Happening in Other Countries?

    August 2002: Catholic Abuse Crisis Deepens in Australia

    Summer 2002: Australian Catholic Archbishops Apologize to Sex Abuse Victims

    Spring 2002: Catholic Crisis Spreads Abroad

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