In the current crisis of the Church, Pope John Paul II has pronounced that pedophilia cases involving priests will be tried by a panel of priests in secret. What is SNAP's position on this stance by the highest authority in the Catholic Church?
We were very disappointed by the Pontiff's recent decision to extend the already pervasive secrecy that surrounds the handling of priest pedophilia cases. SNAP has long advocated full disclosure by church officials, so that confidence in church leadership can be restored and so that lay Catholics have sufficient information to protect themselves.
We were equally disappointed when the Pontiff's chief spokesman blamed the pedophilia crisis on gay priests.
And we have been pained over the Vatican's insensitive handling of abuse allegations by nine very credible former seminarians against one of the most powerful priests in Rome, Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado (as detailed extensively in the National Catholic Reporter and the Hartford Courant). Pope John Paul II has praised Maciel, who heads the Legion of Christ, a wealthy religious order known for its theological conservatism and loyalty to the pope.
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