Can Cardinals Turn the Tide of Criticism? the Child Sex-Abuse Scandal Rocking the Catholic Church Has Left the American Faithful Confused but Defiant. (Religion)

By Witham, Larry | Insight on the News, May 20, 2002 | Go to article overview

Can Cardinals Turn the Tide of Criticism? the Child Sex-Abuse Scandal Rocking the Catholic Church Has Left the American Faithful Confused but Defiant. (Religion)


Witham, Larry, Insight on the News


American Catholics are taking in the daily headlines about sexual abuse in their church with stoic patience, waiting to see what action the hierarchy takes and worrying about the reputation of good priests. In dioceses where the scandal is bubbling, some Catholics are calling for resignations. In others, they are marching in support.

"Many Catholics are feeling they have to answer the embarrassing questions of friends and neighbors, and they don't want to," says James Davidson of Purdue University, a researcher on Catholic demographics and opinion. "There are dioceses that have had no sexual-abuse episodes. There are others that have had many."

The scandal shows Americans just how decentralized the Catholic Church is, according to Davidson, and how even the meeting of U.S. cardinals in Rome does not guarantee a quick, top-down cleanup of the problem. "We are realizing how independent each diocese is" he says.

In the nation's capital, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who met with Pope John Paul II before the April 23 summit, says the pontiff is concerned that American Catholics are "losing their confidence; they are being scandalized." He emphasized that just 35 priests out of 21,000 who have served in the Boston area in the last 50 years had "credibly been accused of this crime." This is a low rate of wrongdoing for any profession. "We can all do the math," he said.

Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, whose archdiocese suffered only a small number of accusations, has become a national voice, while Cardinal Bernard F. Law of Boston is besieged. Some 3,000 Catholics marched through downtown Los Angeles in support of their church.

In June, the bishops will assemble in Dallas for their midyear meeting and consider whether a national policy may be necessary, even though each diocese is independent and beholden only to the Holy See in Rome. Some Catholics are waiting to see how the bishops deal with their own complicity in covering up some abuse cases.

"In my own experience, we view this with deep sorrow and shame," says Rebecca Teti, who with her husband, Dennis, and three children attend St. Jerome parish in Hyattsville, Md. Their anguish is typical of Catholics across the country. "Every day, practically, there's another headline and more people asking questions," she says. "The onslaught feels perpetual." Informed Catholics, she says, know that their faith is in more than an institution, and that even greater scandals have rocked Catholicism over history when a small segment of priests behaved badly. "Since such a tiny percentage are involved, at our parish we feel even closer to our pastor; we feel something good will come of this," she says. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Can Cardinals Turn the Tide of Criticism? the Child Sex-Abuse Scandal Rocking the Catholic Church Has Left the American Faithful Confused but Defiant. (Religion)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.