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Sexual Abuse and the Clergy

May 3, 2002 • Volume 12, Issue 17
Will the Catholic priest scandal spur changes?
By Kenneth Jost

Introduction

John Wojnowski holds a lonely vigil during evening rush hour outside the Vatican's Massachusetts Avenue embassy in Washington, D.C. The 58-year-old retired ironworker says that as a teenager he was molested by a priest in Italy, where he grew up, causing years of depression. Wojnowski has been picketing for four years and now feels vindicated by recent revelations about pedophile priests. But he still wants an apology and financial compensation from the church. (Congressional Quarterly/Scott J. Ferrell)
John Wojnowski holds a lonely vigil during evening rush hour outside the Vatican's Massachusetts Avenue embassy in Washington, D.C. The 58-year-old retired ironworker says that as a teenager he was molested by a priest in Italy, where he grew up, causing years of depression. Wojnowski has been picketing for four years and now feels vindicated by recent revelations about pedophile priests. But he still wants an apology and financial compensation from the church. (Congressional Quarterly/Scott J. Ferrell)

The Roman Catholic Church in the United States has been shaken to its core by disclosures of sexual abuse by priests and of lax response to complaints by some bishops and cardinals. Priests in some cases have been allowed to remain in ministerial posts despite repeated accusations or admissions of sexual misconduct with children. Catholics across the ideological spectrum have criticized the church's handling of abuse cases, and many have called for resignations of church leaders, including Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston. In a meeting convened by Pope John Paul II, U.S. cardinals and leading bishops called for dismissal of priests in “notorious” abuse cases. But critics want the U.S. bishops to go further when they meet on the issue next month.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Sex Offenders
Sep. 08, 2006  Sex Offenders
May 03, 2002  Sexual Abuse and the Clergy
Mar. 01, 2002  Cyber-Predators
Jan. 12, 1996  Punishing Sex Offenders
Dec. 15, 1949  Control of Sex Offenses
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Child Abuse
Christianity
Religion and Politics
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