What does this say about 40% of Americans?!
PRINCETON, NJ — A new low of 40% of Americans view Pope Benedict XVI favorably amid new criticism about the Roman Catholic Church’s handling of child sex abuse by priests. Now, nearly as many Americans have an unfavorable view of the pope as have a favorable view.
The current results represent a major shift from two years ago, when the pope’s favorable rating jumped to 63% as he was concluding a well-received visit to the United States that included personal meetings between the pope and victims of sex abuse by U.S. priests. The latest allegations of lax handling of abusive priests mostly concern past abuse cases in Europe, but they implicate the pope, who had a central role in the Catholic Church’s handling of sex abuse cases prior to his becoming pope.
Pope Benedict’s image has deteriorated about equally among Catholics and non-Catholics from its 2008 high — by 20 and 23 points, respectively. Catholics continue to view him much more favorably than non-Catholics.
And now the Vatican wants to shield the Pope from any liability:
– How Vatican Tries to Dodge Legal Fallout of Sex Abuse (AOL News):
(March 31) — Developments in a Kentucky court case suggest that the Vatican will seek to shield Pope Benedict XVI and the church from liability in the worldwide clerical sex abuse crisis by distancing itself from individual dioceses.
In legal documents filed in U.S. District Court in Louisville last week, the Vatican claims that as the head of a sovereign state, the Vatican City, the pope is immune from prosecution. The papers further assert that American bishops are not employed by the Holy See.
The Vatican will also likely deny that a 1962 church decree about clergy and the reporting of clerical pedophilia is a “smoking gun” that led to a worldwide cover-up of sexual crimes.
The Vatican is seeking to dismiss the suit before Benedict XVI can be questioned or secret documents subpoenaed.
While a cardinal at the Vatican, Joseph Ratzinger, now the pope, wrote a 2001 letter instructing bishops worldwide to report all cases of abuse to his office and keep church investigations secret under threat of excommunication.
The letter is the smoking gun; the Pope is a criminal.
The continuing moral failure of the Pope and Vatican is astonishing. Like a child caught with their hand in the cookie jar, they continue to deny what has now become obvious to the most casual observer.
– Austrian Catholic Church Abuse Hot Lines Log 566 Reports This Year (Austrian Independent)
– Australian Bishop says ‘vast amount’ of sexual abuse cases yet to emerge (Sydney Morning Herald)
– Deaf Boys Tried to Tell of Priest’s Abuse FOR YEARS (New York Times)
– Christopher Hitchens Slams Vatican, Pope Over Sex Abuse Scandal (Huffington Post)
– The Pope Is Not Above the Law (Slate)
– Sex Abuse Victims to Sue Vatican (Times)
– Vatican knew of abuse in Ontario: Victim (Toronto Star)
– A church sex scandal where the truth is crucified (Toronto Star)
– Catholic Church quietly expelling and punishing children, homeless (Irish Central)
Former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland routinely shredded copies of weekly reports about sexual abuse by priests, according to formerly sealed testimony turned over to Milwaukee County’s district attorney on Thursday.
– Catholic Church Child Abuse: Nuns Now Also Accused (Radio Netherlands Worldwide)
– Church: Pope Had Role in Moving Molesting Priest (Bloomberg)
– Pope will struggle to survive abuse scandal (Irish Independent)
– Benedict’s involvement ’shows extent of cover-ups’ (Irish Independent)
– Sinead O’Connor: I’d help Jesus to burn down the Vatican (Irish Independent)