April 1st, 2010
05:30 PM ET

Should pope have to answer church sex abuse questions under oath?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/01/art.benedict2.gi.jpg caption="Critics want Pope Benedict and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church held accountable for the recent sex abuse scandals."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

How sad that during the holiest period in the Catholic Church, the faithful are distracted by the sins of their church.

Today is Holy Thursday and tomorrow is Good Friday, the day Jesus died on the cross for the sins of all mankind. But this year, three days before Easter, the sins of the leaders of his church cast a dark shadow over the most joyous celebration in Catholicism, the resurrection.

Instead, the church is lashing out at those who dare to expose the sexual abuse of children by priests. The Vatican plays victim, claiming it was "attacked" by the New York Times during holy week.

It's the children who go to the Catholic Church who have been attacked. Thousands of them. In one case alone, a single priest abused 200 deaf children and nothing happened to him. Nothing. He wasn't punished by the church, instead he was protected by the church.

And he wasn't punished by the criminal justice system either. There has been no justice for 200 deaf children who were taught to trust and respect a priest who destroyed their innocence.

One spokesman for the church tries to write the sexual abuse of children off as a "homosexual crisis." Like that makes it ok... grown men abusing children is ok because it's a "homosexual crisis." Any excuse to avoid the truth.

Now a lawyer in Kentucky, William McMurry, wants to try to get some justice for the tens of thousands of children around the world who could never speak for themselves. No one would listen.

So here's the question: Should Pope Benedict be required to answer questions under oath about the sexual abuse of children by the Catholic Church?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Kelli in Poughkeepsie, New York
Yes. Specifically, I would like a factual answer as to why the Church put the protection of its priests before the safety of innocent children. The Church's behavior suggests an ingrained culture of pedophilia has long existed worldwide. Why is it not called upon to account for this and correct it?

Maria in Tucson, Arizona
No. Now leave my father alone! Isn't anything sacred anymore? Why must we feel like we have to continue destroying everything as if a sense of vengeance will correct the past?

Patty in Bristol, Pennsylvania
Dear Jack, As a lapsed Catholic, I think he should resign. The fact is: he was personally involved. The way the Catholic Church has handled these cases is nothing but appalling. Instead of fixing the problem… the Church covered it up. That is astonishing considering the fact the Catholic Church is the most intolerant to abortion, contraception and gays.

The Prince of the Church is still a human being and ultimately the "CEO" of the Catholic Church. His secular job is under fire here, not religion. This is a corporate culture and management issue. Ultimately, those children need justice and the grown men who preyed on them do not deserve protection.

It is a travesty and disaster how far the Catholic Church will go to protect what shred of credibility it has left these days. These children and their families deserve justice, not criticism. In these times, it seems that the "little people" are consistently battered around by large organizations; the Church was supposed to symbolize an escape from that. If Jesus were to rise today, I wonder what he would have to say to the Church in light of these charges.

Kathy in North Quincy, Massachusetts
Jackie-Me-Boy! This latest train wreck from the Catholic Church reminds me of a Boston Globe cartoon from over a decade ago: A priest and a parishioner are on opposite sides of a confessional, upon which the parishioner says to the priest "You go first.”

Filed under: Catholic Church
soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. Jim McDonald

    The pope should be placed under oath as part of the German investigation. As a Bishop in Germany he clearly could have direct knowledge of what was investigated by the German church and knowledge regarding the complaints that were received. The Vatican roll is much like the distant global corporate headquarters who alway claim that they don't have knowledge of some distant branch employee.

    April 1, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  2. Mel Seyffert - Houston

    Why do you have to that isn't he infallible?

    April 1, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  3. B. Sanchez

    No Pope, Priest, Minister, or Pastor should be exempt from taking full responsibility for what they do. That goes for anyone in any Governing position. Even in America if someone has enough clout and money, or are in office, they get away with murder, literally. Witness Ted Kennedy, Chippaquidick. Enough is enough. All these priests should be taken to trail for rape, sodomy, and destruction of innocence, and I don't care how silken their robes, or how far up the 'Papal' ladder. The Catholic church shuld be shut down, it is nothing more than a group, tax exempt no less, child abuse ring. Enough!

    April 1, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  4. k

    Of course, the abuse cases (and their cover-up) are horrific. The Church should voluntarily turn over relevant documents to the local authorities. The failure of the Vatican to do so simply undermines (i) their moral authority and (ii) their contention that they want justice served. I am an ardent Catholic but wish the leadership would deal with this more directly; it's the only way to put it behind us (both for the victims sake and for the other members of the Church). But seriously Jack, he's not going to testify. He's the Pope. And, by the way, who's going to compel his testimony (particularly since he's also the head of state)? This is a meaningless question Jack ... as usual.

    April 1, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  5. Bob in Asheville

    He should absolutely be required to tell what he knows... but it will never happen. This dysfunctional organization protected the foot soldiers who were buggering the altar boys... just imagine how the wagons will encircle the top guy. Remove their tax-free status immediately!!!

    April 1, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  6. J.M.

    I do think the Pope can answer these questions, but he in no way needs to be placed under oath. As the Pope of Roman Catholic Church, which I am a member of, he is permentantly under oath! He does not tell lies or keep secrets that would harm any other person. I wish people would try to keep in mind that the Catholic Church is not the only religion with scandels. We are just one the largest and one of the easiest to attack. I'm not saying that these horrible things did not happen, I can only pray that they didn't, and the priest responsible should absolutely be punished! It's just sad to see my religion, which I am very proud of, be dragged through the mud. All I hear now is that we are a cult, all priests are pedophils and that the Catholic Church should be destroyed. Please do not lump all Catholics in with these terrible examples of human beings!! There are still millions of good Catholics and great Catholic priests out there. Do not lose faith! J.M. Toledo, OH

    April 1, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  7. Andrew

    Our Pope should ask himself, what would Jesus have done if one of his Apostles had been accused of wrongdoing, and the authorities sought to question Jesus about it. Would he have avoided even a wrongful questioning by claiming a legal technicality? No. He could have easily avoided a wrongful crucifixion but chose to willingly present himself to the civil authorities. His wrongful punishment formed the basis of our faith. Our Holy Father should humbly do likewise.

    April 1, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  8. hope

    yes, the Pope is a man selected by his peers to lead the church, just as a reverend, rabbi and all other religious leaders. If not, does that mean he is above the law? What about the children... does anyone in
    the church care that they need closure and validation that it was not their fault. I would think the Pope would welcome this opportunity to
    clear his name and any misinterpreted information. Where is the honesty that is preached? Would Jesus respect the Pope for his stonewalling?

    April 1, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  9. Riley ODay

    YES, he should but who is going to ask him the questions ?

    How do they get him there? They cant even get Polanski back.and hes convicted.

    Riley charleston wv.

    April 1, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  10. Libby Glass

    Oh my goodness, of course, yes the Pope should have to testify under oath. It's hard to know where to begin with an opportunity to address this issue. There are the obvious, such as the hyprocracy of The Church to send down edicts to the masses about human rights, condemning birth control while babies are starving to death in third world countries, as if they are the way, the only way, receiving messages straight from God. All I can ask is where were the messages from God when it was clear that the Church's priests were damaging our young ones all over the world; not only not removing them from their Churches, but relocating them elsewhere to damage children anew. Shame is simply not an adequate word to express how the Church should feel; injustice is not an adequate word. There simply are now words . . . . . . .

    Alexander City, Alabama

    April 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  11. nana

    He won't, declaring he's "immune" from such things. But the pressure should be sustained for a full accounting, referrals of the priest to police, and advocacy for changes in the law so that all bishops everywhere MUST report these complaints to police for investigation. Too often, the bishop "investigates" and decides nothing happened, so the perp can continue wherever they are. The US bishops took this step, and it was a big one. Otherwise, few parents can continue to have faith that their children are safe in church anywhere.

    April 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  12. Shaun

    Right, good luck with that!

    April 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  13. Kurtis

    While it may be appropriate for him to answer questions in a court, I don't think it should be required to swear him in. That would just be a waste of time. If one were not to believe the pope were going to tell the truth, how would one believe he would be telling the truth after being sworn in?

    April 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  14. Steve, Clifton, VA


    Your question is kind of a contradiction... The Pope is only held responsible and liable under oath for what he says about himself and his actions, what he knew, what he saw, when he knew it. A better question would be should the Catholic Church be held legally responsible for the crimes that have been committed by the Church. Should the individual accused Priest be question under oath? This is what we do with other corporations. Why is it that we send a teacher to jail and make her crime known all over the Nation for having consensual sex with a teenage student, but Priest are not even referred to law enforcement. Why doesn't law enforcement investigate the Church as they did the cults out in Utah and Texas for sexually abusing underage children? Why are the names of these Priest on the sexual abuse hot lines? It's time for the Catholic Church and Child Protective Service to protect our children.

    April 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  15. Sydney, NY, NY

    Absolutely, without question. Particularly given his degree of participation in the body that determined whether to pursue claims against priests. Only then can the credibility of the Church begin to work toward being restored.

    April 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  16. Terry from Illinois

    Most of us who are not Catholics can not understand why the Catholic Church and its members are protecting these preist who abuse kids and break the law. The Catholic members are not crying out for justice and the Pope will not turn over all evidence against these guys.
    So yes, the Pope and anyone else involved should testify under oath !!!

    April 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  17. J. William Rumbaugh of Huntingdon, PA

    The Roman Catholic Church is an "Independent" State and we treat the Pope as a Head of State. We should therefore treat the accused and the criminals from this "State" the same way we treat foreign diplomats when they violate our laws. Loss of citizenship and expulsion from this country to their own "State" . Let them live out the remainder of their lives in the Vatican. Admission to our country and further exposure to our innocent children should not be permitted. Other countries should follow suit and isolate the disease. If the Pope is implicated, the same fate should apply.

    April 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  18. Ron from Manhattan, NYC

    I am a 77 year-old practicing Roman Catholic and am filled with loathing and disgust regarding the sexual abuse horror in the Chuch. The abusive priests should have been arrested but were not. The bishops who covered-up the abusive priests should have been-and should be-arrested for not reporting the crimes of the priests. Finally, the smug Benedict XVI should resign and testify in any cover-up actions by the Vatican. I am leaving shortly for Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper. I know that I will wonder if the priests on the altar are sexual abusers. I hope to God they are not, but who knows?

    April 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  19. Saroop

    The rumor is that no one man is bigger than the church, we'll see.

    April 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  20. Yeah right

    As the leader of more than a billion people he will never show his face here b/c he doesn't have to regardless of the charges brought against him. He is the leader of one the largest religious groups in the world and will never step see any courtroom. The Catholic Church has too much influence in AMerican politics for that too ever happen.

    April 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  21. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Jack, an oath is only as reliable as the persons true character and besides he lives in Rome, not America. He could always take the 5th and maybe drink one too.

    April 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  22. Scott Patrick Humphrey

    He should face investigative questioning immediately by an international body.

    April 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  23. Randy

    Under oath where? He's the head of a sovereign state.

    It's probably an untenable position for any nation to indict him, but it seems perfectly reasonable for nations that respect human rights to bar him from entering. Let him rot out the rest of his days in Vatican city, with the whole world knowing that the reason he didn't travel is because no one would have him.

    April 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  24. Dennis North Carolina

    sexual abuse of children is against the law. we should have answer who some one in charge of the church instead of hiding the facts. the buck should stop at his desk.

    April 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  25. Martha Pierce

    Should the Pope be required to answer questions under oath? My answer is this...is the Pope Catholic?

    April 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  26. Michael Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: The buck stops with the Pope-–his is accountable to all he serves--morally and religiously--he should answers the accusations of sexual abuse that have plagued the Church for years--but his Vatican lawyers are to smart to let that happen. It is the custom of the Roman Catholic Church to tolerate some things; to turn a blind eye to some by following the spirit of "discretion" rather than the rigid letter of the law---and there lies the tragedy.

    April 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  27. Nathan in VA

    He should absolutely be required to testify under oath. Beneath all the gilded robes, he is merely a man, no different than you or I.

    April 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  28. Gail Craig, Plano TX

    Yes, Jack, he should be required to answer questions under oath, but he won't. However, he might think twice about traveling outside the environs of Vatican City. He is not immune from prosecution in other countries. And u reiterated what I said in yesterday's blog about the spokesman who cited this as homosexuality not pedophilia. Sorry, it is not. Those who defend the church are equal to the offenders!

    April 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  29. Richard Smith

    Yes. The Church appears to be on its last legs. He needs to send the message that the Church is accountable: starting with him.

    April 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  30. pat in michigan

    yes.While your at it. Question the priests who have been accused of molestation under oath the prosecute them .May I respectfully remind you that this situation went on while Pope John Paul ll was our leader of the Church as well.

    April 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  31. Greg Evans

    If the world's political leaders are not forced to testify under oath then why should the world's spiritual leader. And what makes you think that under oath the Pope would be anymore truthful then say a president under oath stating, "I did not have sexual relations with that women" and shortly after publicly recanting.

    Let's be real, the Church is the largest political body in the world.

    Los Angeles, CA

    April 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  32. MikeB

    Putting a person under oath who is infallible is a little like stamping paid on a Cash Receipt, a little redundant.

    If anybody still believes the Church still has or should have any authority at all in the way we conduct our lives, they are simply reenacting the first time Christ met Rome. The trip from Gethsemane to Golgotha wasn't, as I recall, a pleasant one. Too bad your faith led you to sacrifice your innocent children to the blood thirsty empire of Rome.

    April 1, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  33. Toni from Ohio

    Should Pope Benedict answer questions under oath? He should, but he won't. He'll never have do it here on earth, but if there's a just God, he'll answer for everything later.

    The leadership of the church has spent the holiest week of its religious year brushing off victims, attacking those who have criticized it, and attempting to place blame on anyone and anything except where it belongs. At this point, it's acting far more like a huge corporation that sells religion than an actual religious institution. So in true corporate fashion, Pope Benedict should step down.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  34. Connor

    I believe that the pope should be questioned under oath. No human should be given special treatment due to their political or religious power. If he weren't the pope we would question him, so why should it be any different that he is?

    Enterprise, Alabama

    April 1, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  35. Lee Konowe

    No, but only because like everything else about the church, his opinions are irrelevant. The better question is, did an individual obstruct justice and if so, what jail term is appropriate. To raise the Pope to a level beyond any other man, is to give credence to his "higher authority", which he does not nor should not have ever enjoyed, much less hid behind.

    I say, a jury trial is appropriate and long overdue. Then at a later date he can answer to his imaginary boss!

    April 1, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  36. James Butler

    Of course he should, why not?
    The church is more concerned about covering up then about the victims....very sad.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  37. David

    My gut repsonse is No, because that would give credibility to the cathoilc church. IMNSHO, the catholic church should be exorcised from the planet and its adherents be taught that Jesus was just another man who was born under a tent in the desert on a starry starry night and assassinated by his betrayers. He no more died for anyone else's sins than his own. That said, it is truly criminal that church faithful have been – and continue to be – betrayed by the very leaders in whom they place their unwarranted trust. So yes, every church leader who has ever committed criminal acts against his constituents – and all their superiors up to and including the ultimate highest authority – should be tried and punished to the full extent of the law for their incursions.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  38. Steve Canada

    Why not..These scandals are horrific...One question, just who would he swear the oath to...just wondering ?????

    April 1, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  39. Bj

    If it had been a school teacher and principal of a school, they would have lost their jobs, been arrested, and ultimately had to testify under oath to clear their names. What's worse is that the Catholic church and pope claim to be on the forefront of morality. He should testify under oath and disclose everything that happened.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  40. b

    Based on available information, the pope should be charged with (1) obstruction of justice, (2) conspiracy to commit child rape and (3) child endangerment. At the least, based upon the circumstances where he was the senior administration person, he should resign – and be defrocked. The catholic church no more represents christianity than the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades represents Islam.

    Seattle, WA

    April 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  41. Mike Cox

    The Church should know better:

    homosexuality != pedophilia

    Homosexuality is a choice between two adults.

    Pedophilia is an assault on a child.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  42. John

    He should. If he has done his job accordingly then he would have nothing to fear about answering under oath. The pope is already under several oaths one more to tell the truth wouldn't hurt.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  43. Kathy-Strongsville, Ohio

    Hi Jack, Happy Spring and Easter.
    THANK YOU for STANDING UP and SPEAKING OUT for ALL the CHILDREN-whom SHOULD have been able to COUNT on this Pope and all other's in the hiarchy of the Catholic Church to PROTECT them-and whom have completely and totally FAILED.
    All in the name of unsatiable GREED and POWER.
    Jack, to answer your question: YES, the Pope should have to answer all the questions regarding the FAILING to protect the INNOCENT CHILDREN and intentional CRIMMINAL act of the COVERUP.
    Jack, KUDO's and SO for having a conscience, integrity and backbone.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  44. Deborahanne (Breckenridge, CO.)

    Absolutely, the Pope should be made accountable to answer any questions! The Church is losing it's membership because of the dishonesty within it. Until the Catholic Church is willing to admit it's responsibility to be honest and accountable to make changes it will continue to lose members.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  45. Michael

    What a hoot!

    Isn’t it wonderful that the spiritual leader of the catholic church needs to be put under oath to ensure he answers questions about child abuse truthfully?

    Does anyone out there actually still believe that the pope is infallible or that he speaks for some invisible higher power?

    Isn’t it ironic that benedict’s self-serving attempt to protect the church actually draws attention to these religious fallacies?

    Isn't it amazing that the church goes to such great lengths to prevent abortion but won't lift a hand to defend children who are already born and have been abused by their own priest?

    April 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  46. hmm

    he should just go. a 'man of oath; should not make an oath, he should always tell the truth. he made an oath not to hurt others or lie

    April 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  47. Pat Murphy

    Yes. This is another " What did he know and when did he know it" he needs to answer this question the same as anyone in a postition of trusted leadership when he or someone he is in charge of has violated moral and civil laws and most of all when children are inviolved.
    Children are confused enough as it is in today's society. This is one of those times when adults should step in and leave no doubt about whose side they are on and why........... because we love them.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  48. Patrick Fuchs

    The pope is the CEO of a business with centuries of practice at avoiding wrongdoing. Isn't it interesting how the Vatican made itself into a nation state? The pope doesn't have to answer to anyone... conveniently.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  49. Krystal

    Of course he should; he, as well as all other church officials, are NOT above the law. These guys are human beings like the rest of us and need to be held accountable for their actions – the very actions which their doctrines teach are morally wrong. People may be able to claim that certain things are against their religion to do, but it should not be against anyone's religion or inner code of ethics to hold those responsible that molest young children (especially more vulnerable children like the 200 deaf boys).

    April 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  50. Florence Cleary, Lecanto, Florida

    Absolutely yes!!
    I am appalled that the Catholic Church and its superiors have gotten away with this crime. It's been going on for years. What a disgrace and I am a Catholic.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  51. Ann O"Connell

    I am embarrassed to call myself a Catholic. If you can't count on the Pope to be truthful, who can you count on. Yes, the pope should be questioned under oath. That it is necessary to put him under oath is another part of this tragedy.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  52. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Yes he should, I don't see how anyone with the smallest bit of a heart can remain in that festering organization of rape and molestation. How many times can that church be allowed to hurt child after child, and even when there is plenty of evidence, the leadership of that church still sits on it hands and tries to protect and shield these pedophiles, all so that the church does not look bad. Our government should revoke its not-for profit status in the U.S. If we let this continue, we are just as guilty as the priest and the Catholic Church that does nothing to stop these pedophiles. If that church has to fall let it fall, at least it will be over and done with here in the U.S.!

    April 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  53. Janet Clark, Fort Dodge, Iowa

    Yes, he should. This is just the tip of a very nasty, very scary iceberg. Please remember this church is very active in Mexico, in South America, in Africa and impoverished areas of Asia, where people are not empowered to come forward about abuse from religious authorities.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  54. Sally K

    Yes, the Pope should answer questions, under oath, about the sexual abuse. So should the Bishops involved. Directing attention to the "homosexual problem" is ridiculous......Nuts. Reminds me of the old Flip Wilson comedy routine....."The Devil Made Me Do it". That was funny.....This isn't.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  55. Tartuffe2020

    Pope is the head of a state called Vatican. He is protected by diplomatic immunity like any head of states. Thus. bringing the pope to justice to testify under oath is not an option.

    What is scary however, is to consider the nature of accusation. I have been raised withing the catholic church all my life, and I never came close to any such thing! Questions: Are this accusaton part of a conspiracy against the catholic church? Are they initiated to lead the world toward new religious war?

    April 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  56. Dave

    BTW – people have to remember that the Pope is not infallible. He is a mortal just like anyone else. The real question is why did the victims not go to the police, and for those that did why the police not do anything?

    April 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  57. papanikolopoulos

    The pope should be tried for accessory Don't hold your breath tho because humans need to have their religion as powerful as possible so that they can have a connection to God. they will put up with a lot to keep that connection..

    April 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  58. chuck irish

    Absolutely, the Pope should. If priests knew from the start of priesthood that prison rather than a slap on the wrist was the likely punishment for sexually abusing a child, chances are tens of thousands of children would not be carrying the stigma for the rest of their lives of having been the victim of a pedophile

    April 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  59. Lorraine Meehan

    Discipline and punitive decisions are made at the Cardinal and Bishop levels, not at the Papal level. But Jack, I would like to see you give equal time to the failings and crimes of Islam.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  60. Frank J. Hermann

    The Pope is the ruler of the world's smallest nation. The President is immune from judicial prosecution.Hence the Pope must be accorded the same also. The president is not responsible judicially for his underlings, nor then is the Pope. The President is aware of judicial improprieties and cannot be prosecuted for knowing, nor can then the Pope. It is not for the president to know or prosecute, so too not then the pope.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  61. Michael J. Cummings

    The pope should NOT have to respond to questions about the crimes committed by homosexual priests. The priests, however, should be held accountable.

    The population of the Catholic Church (one billion plus) is more than three times the population of the United States. It would be ridiculous to question President Obama about the criminal behavior of congressmen, governors, and other leaders over whom he has no direct control. Likewise, it would be ridiculous to question the pope about the reprehensible conduct priests over whom he has no direct control.

    If anything, the pope should be commended for taking action to get rid of homosexual and heterosexual priests who prey on children.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  62. Larry Harrah

    Yes, Why not ? Nixon tried executive privilege, it didn't work,
    these guys put there pants on the same way I do, Their position
    puts them higher than the law ? at that MORAL LAW,? I think not!!
    put him under oath, but it'll never happen.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  63. MG

    Jack, if you know of a crime do you get subpeaned and have to testy in court? Do I? Does my neighbor?...Damn right we do, so what makes anybody involved with a religion above the law? That is not the democracy I want, a crime is a crime regardles of who commits it, or who is aware of it. It is everybody's moral duty to protect children from rapists.

    If the pope refuses to testify in court he should face the same consequences as any other person.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  64. Gene

    Absolutely not. He should be charged. Under criminal law. And I believe that the American precept that a defendant should not be compelled to give evidence against himself should be applied. There seems to be ample evidence elsewhere to make a case criminal obstruction of justice in any jurisdiction.


    April 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  65. Denise - Minneapolis, MN

    I am a Catholic; I love my religion and hold fast to my faith. However, I struggle with how the church could have, for so many years, gone to such great lengths to cover up this issue. Frankly, it not only saddens me; it disgusts me. I think I read somewhere that the Pope is a "head of state" and as such receives immunity. So I don't know that any court can "require" him to answer questions under oath. What purpose would this serve? We all know he knows and we all know it was covered up. In my opinion, whether it be of the United States, or the Catholic Church; a good and faithful leader will always testify to the truth and do what is right. He shouldn't have to be "required" he should come forward on his own and come clean.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  66. Jordan

    As a catholic myself, I am ashamed of the church for their handling of this injustice to children and all victims of abuse. The place we turn for guidance and to have our faith restored only tears it apart by covering it up and not holding those accountable for their actions. Of course the Pope should have to offer an explanation, especially to the victims. Just because they take an oath to serve God does not make them invincible.

    South Dakota

    April 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  67. wendy

    A crime is a crime regardless whether the person wears a robe and collar. Jesus referred to the children as those being closest to God
    because of their innocence and anyone who destroys that innocence should receive the harshest of punishments. The Pope should be running to the defense of the children not protecting the monsters who harm them. Yes and yes again he should have to answer under oath any questions regarding these crimes and the Church's role if any in covering them up.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  68. Bud Rupert

    That's too easy for the creep. He would lie anywy Jack.

    Religion, and it dosn't matter what flavor , is made up nonsense by men going back thousands of years. But the thing that is amazing is how many of us humans by in to the rubbish.

    I asked myself 3 questions a long time ago. Is their a god? is religion necessary and can I live a happy and moral life without either. The answer to the first 2 questions is NO and the 3rd is ABSOLUTELY.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  69. Jeanette

    I think the pope should be impeached or taken out of his papal castle. I think that all priests that have abused innocent children should be neutered and put in prison. I also think the vatican should be open for all the homeless and hungry in the world. What goes on in the name of God is an outrage.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  70. Mike

    If there was a sexual abuse scandal going on in a public school here in America we would all expect the principle be questioned as a part of a larger investigation. How is the Pope any different?

    April 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  71. Jeremy DeMann

    Hello Jack,

    The pope doesn't need to be "under oath." It's against Christian teachings to lie. "Let your yes be yes" (matthew 5:37).

    Although, one could say that the Catholic church doesn't seem to understand Christian principles on this issue. Things like taking responsibility, following the laws of the government you live in, and obviously – being a better example.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  72. Tony Cabler

    Yes, absolutely!
    I am appalled by the ongoing protection of the church leadership by the church leadership. Just because these idiots have an imaginary freind who goes by the name of "God", they feel as if they are invinsible, untouchable and above the common sense laws that humans have imposed to keep atrocities like this from occurring! If you're a common man, you don't get protections of this magnitude. I say castrate them all.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  73. Loretta

    Jack for a change, give us your opinion of how these horrendous charges of sexual abuse should be handled. You throw lots of numbers at us, 200 abused here, 500 abused there. Who took attendance? Why is it that I can't remember one case of sexual abuse here where I live and I'm a 79 year old Catholic woman. I'm sure that there are incidents, but isn't it also possible that you might have the "copy cat" syndrome at work here. Remember, he's the Pope not God and I'm sure that there is no one more humiliated than this Pope is at this moment.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  74. Dan

    The leaders of the Catholic Church need to be held accountable for their actions and placed on the National Sex Offender Registry, if not then there is a bigger problem here. People that are place on the registry should probably check and see if they may have been singled out because they were not leaders within the Catholic Church and push this until somethng changes within our system. We have a lot of double standards in America and this causes much animosity. Many people do not see this because they are brainwashed or they may be too close to the situation. Something has to change!

    April 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  75. Eileen

    Yes, the Pope should have to tell what he knows about the priest who sexually abused those deaf children so many years ago. Members of the church should demand this of a man who is no different than you or I under the laws of human decency. Perhaps the Anti-Christ is alive and doing his business in the Vatican.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  76. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    We may not be ready to hear the answers the Pope may give if he is required to answer questions under oath. I think this is one of those times we must be careful what we ask for because the Pope's answers under oath could erode religion and religeous beliefs.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  77. Jim

    Would you please do an in depth investigation of why catholic pedophiles are immune from civil prosecution. Is it unique to catholics or do other religious leaders share this immunity and how did it arise. Is it the case that law enforcement officers are free to ignore crimes or do they become guilty of corruption when they allow pedophiles to remain at large and continue their activities. How can this religious ring of child abusers remain unpunished in our society.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  78. Jim

    The pedophiles in the church are protecting each other and if it goes all the way to the top what dose that tell you.
    Stop giving them money and they will do a better job hiding the problem and the criminals

    April 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  79. Nasert Serge

    That will just be a waste of time and energy. The unspeakable deeds of these priests are merely a pure reflection of the nature of the "god" the Vatican is serving.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  80. lynn/ calif.

    this scandal has been going on for so many years, it is time he stands up and acknowledges it is still happening and will continue to happen until he does something besides hiding the culprits , not doing anything is the same as condoning it. How can they call themselves men of god....

    April 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  81. Nola Klamberg

    Yes! Yes! Yes! A hundred times yes! The sooner the Pope is called to be responsible the better. What is he waiting for? I have heard only denial from the Catholic Church for years, and I think it is time to see some genuine leadership from the Vatican.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  82. Ed Hailio

    Your flogging a dead horse here Jack. These Anti-Life, regimes have put into place hundreds of years ago that they are impeachable. Its called Diplomatic Immunity.All these Anti-Life regimes of religion, royalty, government and their enforcers are going to feed on Life and Humanity until all is destroyed by their imposed Armageddon. To allow them to speak at all is to give them a semblance of credibility.
    They are monsters. They are Anti-Life.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  83. Jesse James

    He is head of state so no he should not testify. I am Catholic and this does not change my faith.

    Should heads role, yes. There is cancer in all religions, all governments and all bureaucracies.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  84. rufus

    Answering under oath means nothing. If he wants to lie he will lie. A polygraph or similar equipment would provide more assurances as to whether an answer was truthful, but the Pope will not agree to either, I am sure. And, who is going to make him.? Most of us don't really need to know the truth. We have a pretty good idea already!

    April 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  85. Clare R Hudspeth

    Yes, the Pope should be forced by the courts to answer questions about why he ordered the protection of priests abusing children. Every case should have been investigated by the police and the courts, not jsut the church.

    If priests could marry and have children, they would understand the horror of these abuses in a way they don't now. If women were allowed to become priests, you would see a much greater concern for children.

    Finally, as a 68 year old lifelong Catholi and lay minister, I have been requried to attend church-sponsored classes on child abuse. They talk about how easy it is to have your actions misinterpreted. In fact, the laity is not the problem, nor is misinterpretation. Evil was done and must be publicly admitted and atoned for.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  86. Scott Stodden

    Absolutly because he knows to much hidden information and secrets about what really happened before he became Pope and now that he is the Pope! I hope on Easter Sunday when Catholics go to mass in the Vatican that they know the man they not me refer to as the pope is just as guilty as the priests who abused children all over the world, the only way this sick, unjust, unholy, and disgusting Pope Benedict XVI can redeem himself is to answer questions before the court! Call Benedict to the stand and make him testify otherwise he's guilty in my eyes and should be removed from power! I wouldn't be surprised if Pope Benedict was a pedophile himself, he sure looks like one!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    April 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  87. Renee

    Most definitely! The church is supposed to be the go-between here on Earth between God and the people. They tell people how to live their lives and are supposed to set an example worthy of God. If this is their example they should abdicate that responsibility. At the very least, if they can't properly discipline their own, they should expect people to turn away from the church. I don't believe covering for pedophiles is a message from God, why does the Pope?

    April 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  88. Fred Miller

    Absolutely, if Pope Benedict does not come clean and answer questions concering the abuse, he is a guilty as those who have committed the crime. He should be forced under oath to testify. What these Priests have done is not a homosexual act it is a crime of pedophilia and there is a difference. Homsexual men do not abuse children, pedophiles do and there is a difference. These priests should not be hidden and protected by the church, they should all be put on trial and prosecuted as any other sexual pedophile is, they are no difference and God himself would never condone such action. They all deserve to burn in hell, better yet to suffer in prison for what they have done as pedophills to these innoscent children. This makes the catholic church the biggest hipocrat that has ever existed in mofern times.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  89. Ellen Costello

    Leave the Pope alone!! The American media's constant attack on the Catholic Church and now God forbid ,the Pope, is anti Catholic bigotry. My loyalty is with the Vatican. Why aren't you going after the rich American actors/film makers, etc., for child abuse (Woody Allen, etc) What about all the child trafficing in this country and children living in poverty.. This country is one of the richest in the world, and this country treats children like garbage. The American media is exploiting abuse victims to trash the Pope. You don't care about those kids and you are not telling the truth about the Pope. The media lost their credibility ages ago.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  90. Al Gioia

    …And if the Vatican insists in the Pope’s immunity as a head of state, then I suggest the criminal cases of child sex abuse be transferred to the International Court of Justice in The Hague and he be tried for crimes against humanity, since the issue is no longer isolated to a few rogue priests or one Dioceses, but rather a worldwide pattern of crime and cover-up.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  91. lou

    quite the rhetorical question, jack. unfortunately, the catholic church functions much like islam, in that both seem stuck in the middle ages. so, how do you bring either into the current age? the cardinals seem to be a tighter old boys club than our senatoers. all i see as being effective is for people and media to press for accountability. the pope? fuggetaboutit!

    April 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  92. Lamar

    Hi Jack,I like how cnn bring the truth anyway I think its in the interest of the American people that the Pope should answer questions under oath because if he knew about 200 deaf boys getting disrespected then jack the pope need too step down

    April 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  93. Nick Del Monte Vancouver B.C.

    No he shouldn't Jack. That's like your President having to answer to all the sex scandals of Senators, Congressmen, Governors, Mayors and any other elected official. Did it ever occur to anyone that the Church is also a victim? That these Pedophiles only became clergy beacause that was the easiest way for them to be trusted and close to kids? Would any of these pedophiles want to be a logger or fisherman? The Pope would not nor is he responsible!

    April 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  94. Leroy G.

    Last time I checked, the Pope was not GOD. Therefore, he should be called to testify if he was any way involved with priest redistribution. For GOD sake, we're taking Male priest sexing little boys.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  95. Chris V.

    Yes, he should have to testify under oath, just like any other human.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  96. Scott Levine

    If a chain of childcare centers had employees who abused (tortured) children, and management was complicit in covering up those crimes, we would reasonably expect the law to compel members of that organization to testify. It would further be reasonable to expect that the childcare chain would be closed and those accountable jailed.

    It defies logic that the church should be given special consideration for what common decency tells us is the most despicable of crimes. My answer - of course the Pope should be required under oath to tell the truth - to do otherwise would be immoral.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  97. achit

    yes, he should be but he is a head of government so there is almost 0% chance that he will.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  98. Terry N. Biggs

    Yes, by all means & as soon as possible. Any individual who hides behind their clerical position to commit heinous acts against children without facing the full weight of the law, make a mockery of the "Christian Church". Any person, regardless of what office they hold in the church, who covers up or turns a blind eye to what was done to these children, should be defrocked at the least. I am not sure putting any of these men, even the Pope, under oath would do any good. If they have such disrespect for God's word, why should we believe putting them under oath would accomplish anything. If, & I say if, the Pope knew of any of these atrocities even before his election to that office, & could & should have done something about it,
    he should just resign.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  99. ake nystrom

    Yes. While unlikely that testimony would ever be given, we and all victims of clerical assault deserve at least to hear the rationale that this purported epitome of morality will give for his refusal. Matthew 25:40.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  100. alonzo

    He isn't the only person in the church that should answer questions. But what about the ones who committed these CRIMES against humanity. Where is the justice system now and why aren't these Priest in jail also where are the church members, ASK THAT QUESTION?

    April 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  101. John Gerard

    Like H.S. Truman said "the buck stops here" – so the pope should do the same. As head of the Catholic Church he should step up and acknowledge the abuse that has taken place and start the healing process. Use the "bully" pulpit to assure people the Church will do everything in it power to prevent future abuse, cooperate with local law enforcement to bring abusers to justice and will atone for past sins.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  102. Richard J.

    Absolutely yes! The parishioners of the Roman Catholic church should be demanding it! The leaders of the Catholic church have twisted the tenets of the church to represent the very evils that they claim to be helping us to recognize and reject. When the reputation of the corporation is more important than the safety and well being of our children, the mission of the church is brought into question.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  103. urbanview531

    Of course he should but money and power; allows you in the media to ask this question. Not to be confused with anyone doing anything about it. Criminal activity is just that right? Or does who the suspect or suspects matter more? The Pope isn't God.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  104. Roswell

    Testifying would do nothing. Hit them where it hurts, eliminate the tax exempt status for the Cathlic Church until the vatican can prove that it has taken steps to eliminate child molesting within the church worldwide.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  105. TL. Felton, PA

    Yes that guy they call they Pope should stand before a human judge. One more thing Jack, Catholicism has nothing to do with Jesus Christ or Christianity and for that matter neither does those money worshiping televangelists that Sen. Charles Grassley exposed a few years ago. They are just like the right wing conservatives they all worship money.

    Jack I truly believe when Christ finishes exposing the frauds we will then see the real followers of Jesus Christ.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  106. Ana Sepulveda

    Yes. He is not God. He is a human being like all of us. He should be put in jail for eternity. Ana

    April 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  107. Joyce

    Like my church, The Roman Catholic Church is all about shepherding the shepherd rather than the sheep.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  108. Frank Maryland

    The pope is the leader of a sovereign nation. The Vatican is not part of Italy but it's own country. We could just as easily get the President of Russia to testify under oath. It is irrelevant whether anyone thinks it should happen, it never will. If you believe, he will answer to a Higher authority. If you don't, then it's just another of life's seemingly unfairnesses. Either way, the only thing that we can do is talk about it, which helps no-one.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  109. ksr

    If anyone should go under oath, it should be the Pope! Who has less to fear from God than him?
    He should be happy to do it...unless he has years of child abuse and molestation cover ups and a corrupt religious system to hide...oh wait.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  110. Bill in South Jersey

    Should he be required to answer questions under oath? Yes.

    But who will require him to do so? By definition he is the head of a sovereign state, Vatican City. He would have to be brought before a tribunal competent to try officials at that level. The International Court of Justice at the Hague comes to mind.

    Of course, there is a greater power that could require him to do so immediately - Catholics around the world, the ones who put their money in the collection plates. The ball is in their court now - right where it's always been.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  111. Barbie from Hollywood, CA

    I don't see how making the Pope testify under oath would benefit anyone. He holds himself above any man-made Laws; he's "God's Gift to Earth" you know... I think Catholics should stop supporting their parishes and start worshipping at home, using their tithe money to support non-Catholic organizations. If they cease to fund the very Church that allowed their children to be abused for centuries, that would send a far louder message.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  112. Rick Medina,OH


    The Pope is a Head of State. No one in the Vatican hierarchy is calling for an investigation of him, and no one else has the authority. It is a real shame all these incidents occurred, and someone needs to be held account. But the buck will stop somewhere short of His Holiness.


    April 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  113. Mani

    Comeon Jack come to your senses. Has anyone with power (The head of Vatican) and money (tons of it) ever been held accountable?
    On top of it has the political clout. So don't even imagine asking questions like this in the future. People with power, political clout & money are always about the law let alonge answering anything under oath.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  114. Chris

    It doesn't matter really... Even the POPE will have to answer to GOD for his sins one day.

    If he is guilty of knowingly enabling priests to continue molesting innocent children, then even the Pope will wind up burning in hell for eternity.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  115. anonymous

    If a US President doesn't have to swear under oath for his soldiers' behavior (Iraq War), then why should a religious leader of over a billion people have to? Individualism, remember that? Everyone's responsible for himself. The priests that have committed these crimes should face prosecution.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  116. Patrick

    Absolutely. And while they're at it, ask him if the story of Jesus is greatest lie ever told.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  117. Brian

    I think what should happen to the priests is what happened with the teachers – put them in jail. No million $ lawsuits against school boards. Take away the opportunity to become rich and you'll see how quickly the abuse claims decrease.

    What good is putting the pope under oath gonna do? It might make sense if he participated, or if there was an end result, but doing something just in the hopes of scoring a scandal or a pound of flesh is a waste of time and efforts.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  118. Dianne Rench,Navarre,Fl.

    Yes,most definately! The Pope is only a man with a title. All men should be held accountable for their actions, and responsible for whatever crimes they commit. Even President Nixon was held accountable ,and he had to resign, need I say more?

    April 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  119. lowell mccauley,sr.

    Prior to his being voted to be a Pope and prior to becoming a Priest, this Pope was no different from yu and me in that he was subject to the laws of the justice system. Had he been accused of a crime prior to becoming a Priest, he would have been accountable for his actions and faced a trial conducted by the judicial system. The mere fact that his career led him down the path of Priest and Pope should not exempt him from being accountable for his actions. But finding a non-biased jury of ordinary citizens capable of comprehending the consequencies of their role in the task would be formidable if not impossible.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  120. Jyothi, St.Louis,MO

    Of course, why not ? Answering under the oath might help Pope Benedict as well the Church. The Pope or the Church cannot preach someone something that they cannot follow.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  121. Alex

    Jack, perhaps this is an excellent time to "define" who the Pope is. Is he a head of state who would then be safe from such prosecution? Or if is he the head of a religious, tax-exempt organization who must provide answers to the people of the United States?

    April 1, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  122. Roswell

    Testifying would do nothing. Hit them where it hurts, eliminate the tax exempt status for the Catholic Church until the vatican can prove that it has taken steps to eliminate child molesting within the church worldwide.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  123. Mark MacNamara

    The Pope should be required to answer questions in a courtroom or before a tribunal, or even before a college of bishops. But it will never happen. The long term hope of the Church is with the nuns. They still have the moral authority. But no matter what happens the institution as we knew it is finished. For better and for worse.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  124. Lynne Surrey BC Canada

    Yes, Pope Benedict should be answerable, darn right he should! This situation of pedophilia in the Catholic Church, abuse of young innocent children has gone on for years. Something must be done, and done now.
    Anyone abused – please come forward, it is time to tell the world of the suffering you've endured.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  125. Mohsin Beg

    Quran says that you'll be judged by Allah by what's in your heart and what were your intentions of things that were in your control (surah al-baqarah).

    I am shocked that pope is more afraid of man's intentions than have trust in Allah to speak openly about what he knows.

    If he has done no wrong that Allah will be on his side, irrespective of we think about this or what punishment he's made to suffer. If his intentions and actions were not pure, forget any human humiliation or trial. He (and all of us) should fear what and how Allah will judge him (and us).

    April 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  126. Joan Dineen

    I have never sent in a comment before but in this case I want to register my approval of putting the Pope under oath. Jack we do not alway agree on issues but today your words expressed what was in my soul over these horrific crimes on innocent. How can one be so sworne to protecting the unborn from conception and then less than protective of born children who are abused by those they are taught to respect and obey.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  127. Dana

    What's sad Jack is that just over 1 Billion people give 10% of their salary to these criminals...they all should be proud of themselves!

    April 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  128. Robert Crowley

    Amazing, The whole Catholic church is condemmed because public opinion says so. The facts are that the priest in question is dead. It is impossible to question him. The American Bishops have stated that the then Cardinal did not know about the abuse for 20 years. He then acted in accordance with church laws and granted mercy to a dying man. He has not condoned any child abuse. As well to hold a governor accountable for the state's failure to prosecute when it was brought to the attention of the civil authorities. Is the governor being called to testify?

    April 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  129. Nancy Christoff

    The general public does not understand that priests on any level
    have sworn to confidentiality in the confessional. This is the same
    as a lawyer with his client. It is professional confidentiality.

    Why do they dig so many years back? Is not there a statute of
    limitations in crimes?

    The Catholic Church has always maintained their doctrine on Faith
    and Morals. Consistency is key in the doctrine. The Church will
    be here forever. No amount of dirt throwing or scandals will undo
    the Catholic Church.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  130. Erik in Iowa City

    Suicide bombers and pederasts will hopefully drive the world away from organized religions and back to a personal relationship with God or atheism or whatever a person wants spiritually. As long as you aren't giving money to criminals anymore, I'm happy.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  131. Jake, North Carolina

    Infallible indeed. There is considerable evidence that Joseph Ratzinger conspired to silence witnesses against these ghouls upon threat of excommunication (and damnation I presume?). He may be the most crooked CEO to surface in recent years, and yet he and his company have the audacity to portray themselves as authorities qualified to dispense moral advice. This man should appear for questioning in every jurisdiction in which these alledged atrocities occured.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  132. Rob

    Absolutely, positively the papacy should answer for the untold damage that has been done to these innocent children. In Milwaukee this week, Archbishop Listecki maintained the millennial status quo of the church and attempted to deflect blame away from the Vatican to the media. While this is outrageous, it is also what we've come to expect from Rome concerning this desperate problem. Despite Rome's seeming aloofness concerning Catholic priests molesting children, there will ultimately be a day of reckoning. God help those who find themselves on the wrong side of this issue.

    Rob in Milwaukee, WI

    April 1, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  133. Laura

    Absolutely. The church is not above the law. Wouldn't it be wonderful if they put as much energy into protecting the children as they do in trying to protect themselves?

    April 1, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  134. Benzino

    The Pope and all others who covered the abuse up should rot in prison. But the Catholic church and other religious institutions get away with anything so it wont happen

    April 1, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  135. Diane in Texas

    Absolutely he should be made to answer questions under oath! But, where and by who? The Vatican is a country unto itself. The millions of Catholics around the world should stand up to this degenerate man and let him live out his miserabe life in solitary. It is unconscienable what he and others of his ilk have let happen to the hundreds of innocent children who were brought up to respect their church and leaders.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  136. Harold

    im a catholic but ever since he was sworn in as pope, i never trusted him.


    April 1, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  137. Mike

    infallible? Really? I can't believe people still believe that. He's a man like anyone else. Just because you want to believe anything he does (or doesn't do) is right doesn't make it so. Try to protect sexual predators of innocent children simply because they are part of the church is wrong. Come on people, get serious.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  138. Alex Walker

    Im not a christian because I believe so much in Christ's message.
    The Church has an opportunity to fallow the example of its leader jesus, and sacrifice itself for its sins. However, the Church will show that it is nothing like its leader, but more like a corporation, by sweeping it under the rug, hoping people forget, and trying to keep profits high. The Pope is the CEO, and just like the CEO's of the past he will never see his day in a court.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  139. Dan in Omaha

    The idea of the Pope needing to swear to tell the truth is unconscionable. What is wrong with the world when children are being abused by Priests, the Pope has to promise not to lie when asked a question, and the President has no obligation to show us his birth certificate. The lack of rational thought at this time in our society worries me.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  140. irish paddy

    the papacy has been around for 2000 years and the pope has never answerd to anybody that he didn't want to. The pope will never subjigate himself to that considered he is the head of the entire catholic church, he will pay if he is denying the truth

    April 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  141. Patrick Fuh

    The shepherd has become the wolf.I do not think the holy father understands the impacts of these abuses to these young children,after all the harvest is plenty and the labourers are few.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  142. Pete Johnson

    Jack, the short answer is "yes !!!" The Pope should probaly be asked to testify under oath in an "international court-type" setting. This perverted behavior seems to me to be a global issue.

    The real question that ought to be asked is, " what is it about the Catholic religion that causes child abuse in the form of homosexual behavior (perpetrated primarily by the religion's male leadership) to be so prevalent today, as well as over prior decades?"

    April 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  143. James F. Grignon

    Yes, I believe that he should answer questions about this insidious attack upon our most cherished children! The absolute shame of it all! I think that our Lord Jesus said it best in Luke's gospel, chapter 17: He said to His disciples, "It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble."

    April 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  144. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Yes, and they never should have allowed a former Nazi to be the Pope in the first place, the Nazis hurt and or killed tens of million of people!

    April 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  145. Kevin

    Should the Pope answer questions about this, absolutely. Can he be compelled to? Absolutely not. The Pope is the head of state of a sovereign country. He cannot be compelled by the laws of another country to testify. Arresting a visiting head of state who also happens to be the head of the largest christian denomination in the world would be disasterous.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  146. Mary, New York

    Most definitely! This is not a strictly religious matter, it is a criminal matter and should have been put in the hands of the law when these acts occurred. I am a devout Catholic and this scandal will not shake my faith, but the higher archey have been side-stepping their responsibility for too long. It's time they "owed up" and quit acting like they are above the law. Furthermore, there are a lot of great, dedicated priests out there and they all must try to serve God to the best of their ability while having their vocation smeared with the filthy fallout from this scandal.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  147. Ethelind parado

    Only God can forgive our sins. IT IS BLASPHEMOUS FOR ANYIONE
    to confess their misgivings to another human being. for pardon however holy , We need to be responsible to our family that they not be shielded from these heinious acts especially whenn they are covered up by the any church or official. be assured God himself will deal with far betteer than any of us can or will do. No one is righteous, all of our righteousness is as filthy rags. Be not deceived God is not mocked, whatsoever we sew we will reap. I didn't mean
    to sermonize.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  148. IV

    Let's clear up the "infallible" thing. According to Catholic tradition, the pope is only infallible on issues of faith and morality when he claims to be "speaking from the seat". There was never any claim that the pope is perfect. When he feels that he knows God's will on certain issues, those words are infallible.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  149. Edward in Wisconsin

    Don't be rediculous. The Pope is a head of state. The Vatican is a state equal to other countries. It does ot matter whether people think he should be under oath, there is no possible way under international law and state sovereignty to make it happen.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  150. SK

    The Pope is a man, flesh and blood, capable of lies, deceit, cover ups, just as any other human. The law shouldn't exempt the pope or any church or government official.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  151. salayem

    Look closely at his eyes, the man is definitely a pedophile. No need for any oath. Case closed.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  152. BarryC

    I'm simply disgusted at this man. He has single-handedly destroyed the church with his insensitivity and frankly, his criminality. Silencing priests and victims instead of addressing the truth is unforgivable. I grew up Catholic but had the good sense to leave it even before I was in my twenties. It's all ritual, mumbo-jumbo and devoid of any real spirituality.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  153. Frank James

    How can we expect the truth from the Pope or anyone in the church when they obstructed justice and have hidden crimes against children for decades or longer. Now instead of coming clean, the church's hierarchy are circling the Pope to protect him and they have the audacity to say the Pope cannot be forced to testify or be held accountable because he is the head of a sovereign city-state. So was Hitler.
    Lake Oswego, Oregon

    April 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  154. Denise Anderson

    I would love to hear what Jesus would say to the pope about his decisions regarding child abuse – particularly that the children abused and the abusers were not to tell anyone about the multiple incidents.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  155. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    As a head of state he cannot be put under oath or brought up on charges....
    on earth.
    But, "whoever would harm a child it would be better for the to have a millstone tied around their neck and cast into the sea than to fall into the hands of God "
    Imagine what would happen to those that enabled abuse and covered it up.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  156. Thomas in Indianapolis

    He is just a man. Albeit a man who swears off women but a man nonetheless. Not infallible. With mistakes like all others.

    Swear him in. And then check the facts.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  157. L K

    Would be an interesting thing to witness – but does anyone actually think he'd tell the truth? He's the head of an organization that makes a point of lying. What's the chance they selected a truth teller to be their CEO?

    April 1, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  158. Rose

    Yes. But while we are at it, lets do away with all religions. They are evil and the very reason why we are not able to get along or enjoy of world peace. Think about it?

    April 1, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  159. Mike in Sarasota

    The sexual abuse of children is a criminal offense, and those who aid and abet it are as guilty of the crime as those who commit it. If the pope has helped to conceal these crimes, then he is a co-conspirator who rightly deserves to be brought to justice. The pope should be required to answer questions under oath, just like any other criminal defendant.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  160. Michele Klaes

    Being Episcopalian, I understand the vow of Chastity. The Holy Father is the head of a sovereign entity and should not be questioned under oath. We don't expect our President to be questioned under oath for the indiscretions of his staff, legislators, and so on. The Catholic Church has Cardinals and Bishops who speak for the Holy Father. There are no magic answers, Lou, and I suppose we all just need to pray about it.


    April 1, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  161. SGN

    Isn't the Pope already under oath – to a higher power?

    April 1, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  162. EJW

    Why not? He is only a man and all men are created equal.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  163. Octodad, Las Vegas, NV

    If Jesus died on the cross for our sins, the Pope should be questioned under oath for the church's...

    April 1, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  164. Max - Columbus, Ohio

    Individuals are responsible for their own actions. The Nazis weren't allowed to use following orders as a defense at Nuremberg. The were held accountable for what they did as an individual. The pope is not responsible for the individual actions of the priests. He is accountable for aiding in the cover up, so let's start there. Go after the monster priests!

    April 1, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  165. Joan

    Being a leader of a Christian Church does not allow that individual extra privileges a/o sexual advantages of the young. I was a devoted Catholic, but the sexual abuses that are/were rampid made me to be so disenfranchized (sp?) with their contrary beliefs and practices that I had to leave. And I could/would not subject my children to it's contrary beliefs and practices.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  166. chris L

    Yes he should and he will, at the same time Bush takes the stand.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  167. Ron

    The Pope is in charge of a Pedephile factory, they should charge him as if he were a CEO of this factory. no one is taking proper steps, the clergy are all stumbling around afraid to say anything about this problem we get nothing but ramble from the bishops and Cardinals who have no clue of the scope of this abuse. The Pope not saying nothing about this ( probley afraid of the truth ) and nothing again will be done.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  168. NM in NM

    Jack the Pope is not on trial here. If an employee at a company assaults a customer and the managers of that branch cover it up, the CEO of said corporation would not be called up to testify at the trial of an employee whom he has probably never met. That said, the Pope, in the role of the CEO, should issue a statement to the victims, apologizing for and condeming the heinous acts of the rogue individuals. Those responsible should be brought to justice, and will when they meet their maker.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  169. Greg Forest

    It seems a number of people here think the Pope, because of his moral authority, wouldn't need to be sworn in. He is compelled to be truthful by virtue of who he is. Quite a moral exemption – who else qualifies? One problem. The very foundation of his claim to have a special relationship with an imaginary invisible being is not truthful so why would he be about anything else? He is in the business of selling the biggest lie ever.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  170. Homeless D in Atlanta

    We have about as much chance of getting the Pope to answer any questions, as we would trying to compel the HEAD OF STATE of any other sovereign state!

    Vatican City is a sovereign state.

    We can't even get our own heads of state to answer questions they don't want to answer!!!

    April 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  171. Lydia in Minneapolis,MN

    ANYONE who protected abusive priests is JUST AS GUILTY as the abusers-and should be KICKED OUT of their position–including the Pope. Obssessed with CONSENTING ADULTS' sexuality, the Catholic Churchhas also long BLAMED women for rape and domestic violence. It's outrageous that Democrats consulted the pedofile-protecting Catholic bishops about women's reproductive decisions in their health bill.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  172. Richard

    The Pope should step down, immediately

    April 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  173. Quantis from San Francisco

    Of course the pope should have to answer questions. He's a man made of flesh and bone like the rest of us. he is subject to the same laws we are. If Oprah Winfrey has to show up the various trails launched against her than surely the pope can slip on his red velvet shoes so he can answer the questions.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  174. nino

    YES!!! He's not above the law.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  175. Steve Miller

    Since the Vatican is a sovereign state, it seems only natural that he would as such have diplomatic immunity. Any testimony he gives would have to be voluntary and in accordance with the laws and treaties in place.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  176. Jeff

    He should be treated the same as any other person who conspires to protect those who rape and abuse children. Furthermore people should "vote with their pocketbooks" and stop donating to the Catholic church. If you want to donate give it to a secular organization that does charitable deeds rather more convincingly than any religious institution.

    I seriously hope this scandal tarnishes anyone who says they know better than we do, because they have a hotline to god.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  177. Richard

    Immediately, the Pope should resign. You will never get him to testify as it would not be in his best interest.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  178. Steve de Mena

    I would think being a resident of Vatican City would prevent him from being forced to testify under oath in any country, except for the Vatican City itself. This seems to be a distinct "country" as they issue their own passports & I doubt are subject to Italian law.


    April 1, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  179. Jack from Illinois

    "The hierarchical church has got to go!!! But the Pope should have done more to prevent the abuse of children." Everyone catch the irony?

    April 1, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  180. Mary Gloeckner

    Definitely Not;
    Does the President have to answer for his Senators, the Hockey Coaches for the NHL, the Judges and Lawyers for the Court systems??????

    April 1, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  181. Dan Stewart

    Thats the minimum he should do. Here we have an organisation that considers that feels it has the authority to dictate moral guidance on issues such as abortion, birth control and homo sexuality and yet it felt obliged to cover up and protect pedophiles. They need to come clean if they are to ever be taken seriously again.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  182. kl

    GET THE FACTS, before you through stones, please, the U.S. Department of Education, "the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests."

    April 1, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  183. Geoff Collins, Ireland

    As the CEO, the buck stops with him. Moral cowardice, hypocracy, double standards and perversion is the ideology of this failed institution and it's leaders. People are voting with their feet and pockets. Walking with the first and keeping the second closed.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  184. Dan in Salt Lake

    No. He's considered a Head of State. Maybe we should impose trade sanctions. Those ALWAYS work

    April 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  185. CJ

    I find it interesting, the mobilization of the church this past week to shield this pope from any accountability. With their moral authority now finally bankrupt, will we finally hold them accountable for the grievous sins against mankind now and for the last 1600 years?

    April 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm |