Pope Sends Letter to Irish Catholics

In the midst of a sexual abuse crisis that has now crept dangerously close to the 82 year old pope himself, Benedict XVI issued a letter to Irish Catholics apologizing for the abuse and criticizing the country’s bishops for “grave errors of judgment and failures of leadership.” The letter doesn’t address Benedict’s own involvement in the crisis nor this past week’s revelation that as the Archbishop of Munich Benedict himself shared in those “grave errors of judgment and failures of leadership”.
The most astute analysis of the situation comes from Terry McKiernan, founder and president of bishopaccountability.org McKiernan correctly stated, “There’s a strong tendency to approach this as a problem of faith, when it is a problem of church management and a lack of accountability,”
McKiernan’s comments underlie the real issue at hand. Neither the bishops nor the pope appear ready or willing to come to terms with it. Stories of clergy sexual abuse of minors are not an attack on faith or the church, for that matter. Rather, these stories highlight the colossal mismanagement of bad priests and bishops as well as a total lack of accountability to the society at large. Until this is recognized by the church officials, true reform remains a distant hope.