Are you optimistic that progress is being made, and that steps are being taken by the Church to address and alleviate the problems of sexual abuse of children by priests?

Are you optimistic that progress is being made, and that steps are being taken by the Church to address and alleviate the problems of sexual abuse of children by priests?

Are you optimistic that progress is being made, and that steps are being taken by the Church to address and alleviate the problems of sexual abuse of children by priests? Or do you fear that five or ten years from now, we will simply see a new round of stories about abuse and a new round of reassurances by the Church that appropriate action will be taken?

A:

Almost all of the progress we've seen on this issue has happened in spite of the church's hierarchy. Secular authorities - including police, prosecutors, judges and politicians - are slowly beginning to treat the church like any other institution and treat abuse by clerics like abuse by any other profession.

I am not optimistic about the leadership of the church. But I am optimistic that Catholics-not their ordained leaders, at least not yet--will take matters into their own hands and find a way to make the church a safer place for children.

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