Advertising Console

    Church Sex Abuse Coverup in Spotlight on News of Pope’s Resignation

    This video has been age-restricted based on our Community Guidelines


    by NTDTelevision

    Pope Benedict stunned the Roman Catholic Church on Monday when he announced he would stand down, saying he no longer had the mental and physical strength to carry on.

    Church officials tried to relay a climate of calm confidence in the running of a 2,000-year-old institution. But the decision could lead to uncertainty in a Church already besieged by scandal for covering up sexual abuse of children by priests.

    The announcement came less than two weeks after 12,000 pages of church files unsealed under court order showed former Los Angeles Diocese archbishop Roger Mahony worked to send priests accused of abuse out of state to shield known abusers from law enforcement scrutiny in the 1980s.

    In Los Angeles Monday, Catholic archbishop Jose Gomez led a noontime mass and addressed the resignation as "the act of a saint."

    [Jose Gomez, Catholic Archbishop]:
    "His decision to resign is a beautiful, Christ-like act of humility and love for the Church. This is the act of a saint, who thinks not about himself but only about the will of God and the good of God's people. I personally have a great affection for Pope Benedict. In my opinion, he is one of the wisest persons in our world today."

    Mahony, who was stripped of all public duties by Gomez after being linked to efforts to conceal child sex abuse by priests said that he planned to participate in the process to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.

    Gomez removed Mahony last month from all public and administrative duties following the release of the documents.

    Mahony, who was archbishop of Los Angeles from 1985 until 2011, has apologized for "mistakes" he made as archbishop.

    Outside the mass, churchgoer Fernando Montanez said that he himself was a victim of child abuse, but learned to forgive Mahony and Benedict for their lack of action on abuse.

    [Fernando Montanez, Victim of Abuse]:
    "I was one of those abused people at my parish. I went through a number of ... a range of stages: anger, hate, frustration. Through the patience of Cardinal Mahony, our bishop, back then John Paul and then Pope Benedict XVI, I was able to heal. I think I'm a better person now, stronger, more faithful and I pray for the priest that molested me. I also pray for Cardinal Mahony."

    Not all victims of church abuse are as forgiving, however. Joelle Casteix, who heads the Los Angeles regional chapter of SNAP, an abuse survivors' network, says that the church will most likely elect a new pope that will continue to protect cardinals who might be implicated in abuse coverups.

    [Joelle Casteix, Head of Abuse Survivor's Network]:
    "The College of Cardinals, the voting membership of the College of Cardinals, especially those who are eligible to become pope, were all chosen by Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict - these are men who toe the company line. Many of them have been implicated in recent sex abuse scandals. It is to their utmost need and desire to elect someone who will protect their best interests, and someone who is going to clean out the church is going to cause a lot of problems for many sitting cardinals."

    Casteix was herself abused in her teens and says she is no longer a practicing Catholic.

    Casteix says that although Pope Benedict XVI apologized for the abuse scandal, he did not offer any meaningful change within the Catholic church to punish those responsible or prevent further abuse from happening.

    [Joelle Casteix, Head of Abuse Survivor's Network]:
    "Many victims got some solace out of his apologies when he came to the United States, but for other victims it was even more traumatizing, because an apology without action is nothing more than a public relations move, and it does nothing more than re-marginalize a group of people who have already been victimized and marginalized by the church."

    The Los Angeles archdiocese, which serves 4 million Catholics, reached a $660 million civil settlement in 2007 with more than 500 victims of child molestation. This was the biggest such agreement of its kind in the United States.

    For more news and videos visit ➡ ‪‬
    Follow us on Twitter ➡ ‪‬
    Add us on Facebook ➡ ‪