First published March 25th, 2010.
FOR decades now, as I noted in When the State Sanctions Child Abuse, Catholics have had to endure a never-ending stream of news headlines announcing scandal after scandal in the priesthood. “Priest Accused of…”, “Cover Up”, “Abuser Moved From Parish to Parish…” and on and on. It is heartbreaking, not only to the lay faithful, but to fellow-priests. It is such a profound abuse of power from the man in persona Christi—in the person of Christ—that one is often left in stunned silence, trying to comprehend how this is not just a rare case here and there, but of a much greater frequency than first imagined.
As a result, the faith as such becomes unbelievable, and the Church can no longer present herself credibly as the herald of the Lord. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Light of the World, A Conversation with Peter Seewald, p. 25