In April 2002, American cardinals gathered in Rome to discuss the sexual abuse scandals that have engulfed the U.S. church. As the scandals continue, questions about the church's teachings and its hierarchy are on the minds of many Catholic laypeople. Click on a topic below for news, message boards, or opinion essays.

  • Helping the Victims/Punishing the Offenders
  • Reestablishing Spiritual Credibility Celibacy Homosexuality and the Priesthood Seminaries Finances and Insurance

    Helping the Victims/Punishing the Offenders

    Your Views: How Can the Church Combat Clergy Sexual Abuse?

    Beliefnet Prayer Circle for Victims of Child Sexual Abuse

    Reestablishing Spiritual Credibility

    Your Views: Can the Church Heal?

    Your Views: Damage Control

    Celibacy: Burden or Gift?

  • 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
  • Boston Diocesan Newspaper Calls for Church to Examine Celibacy Question

  • Official Roman Catholic Church Teaching on Celibacy for Priests
  • '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."

    Your Views: Discuss Celibacy and the Priesthood

    Homosexuality and the Priesthood

    Is It a Homosexuality Issue?
    Gay priests increasingly coming under fire.

    Official Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality

    Fr. Mychal Judge's Secret
    The case of the FDNY chaplain.

    In Defense of Gay Priests
    A seminarian at an international Jesuit theology center says gay priests are not to blame for the current scandals. By Church Colbert

    Stop the Epidemic of Homosexual Priests
    Sodomy is a mortal sin, and this sin is compounded on the part of the priest because it violates his promises of chastity and makes him a hypocrite. By Rev. Paul Shaughnessy

    Your Views: Discuss Homosexuality and the Priesthood


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

    Finances and Insurance

    How Much Is This Costing the Church?
    U.S. dioceses may have spent as much as $1 billion in payouts to victims.

    The Economic Strain
    Insurance payouts from the scandals threaten the myriad good works the Church performs in its vast network of schools, colleges, hospitals, and charities.

    Your Views: How Will the Church Survive Financially?
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