Why did the Catholic Church experience a sexual abuse crisis? There are no simple answers, according to a five-year study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice that was released on Wednesday. But the reasons suggested in the report are unlikely to satisfy critics of the church.
A five-year study commissioned by Roman Catholic bishops in the United States concluded the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church was caused by poorly prepared priests in the midst of the social and sexual revolution of the Woodstock Era.
The Vatican sent a letter to bishops around the world Monday offering guidance on dealing with reports of clerical sexual abuse.
But the suggestions in the letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are vague and nonbinding and fall far short of recommending the tough U.S.-style norms that bar a credibly accused priest from ministry while his case is investigated.
The chants began even before Pope John Paul II had been put to his final rest, as his coffin was carried through St. Peter's Square: "Santo Subito! Santo Subito!"
A month later, Pope Benedict XVI — his successor and close friend — launched the process that would do just that. On Sunday, John Paul II will be beatified in Rome, bringing him one step away from sainthood.