FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
If the Vatican won't clean it up, there's another way to get the Catholic Church's attention... when it comes to a global sex scandal involving the molestation of tens of thousands of little children at the hands of priests.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/05/art.pope.jpg caption="Pope Benedict XVI is facing growing anger over the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal and allegations that the church hierarchy worked to cover up crimes committed by their priests."]
Take the pope's native Germany for example: When the news broke there and the church opened a hotline meant for victims of abuse, more than 4,000 people called in on the first day alone. The system was overwhelmed and therapists were only able to answer 160 calls.
But more importantly - as the scandal grows, the church in Germany is starting to suffer the fate that maybe it deserves: People are leaving in droves. One recent survey shows a quarter of Catholics in Germany say they've lost faith in the church's leadership.
Meanwhile, Easter Sunday has come and gone with little from the Church - the pope passed up another opportunity to address the scandal in his address. But we did get this: While defending the pope, one top cardinal denounced "petty gossip." That's what he called the accusations of sexual abuse of children by priests... "petty gossip."
If the pope and the rest of the church hierarchy remain silent on this scandal long enough, there may be nobody left in the pews to talk to about it. My guess is when the money that hits the collection plates every Sunday begins to disappear, the church may suddenly decide that it's time to admit, address and confess what they've been only too willing to turn a blind eye to for years and years and years.
Here’s my question to you: In light of the worldwide child sex abuse scandal, what’s the future of the Catholic Church?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Larry in Battle Ground, Washington writes:
It's not the sex abuse but the cover-up that will hurt the church the most. Think how many incidents would not have happened if only people like Cardinal Ratzinger had protected children instead of protecting the church's reputation.
Ben in Stockton, California writes:
The Catholic Church has been in trouble for a long time. Eventually people will stop going to church or change religions. Even as a young altar boy, I saw things that I didn't think were right but I was afraid to tell my folks because they would tell me I was wrong and that priests don't do that.
The Catholic Church must address these scandals and put aside every priest who committed sexual abuse. Without this happening, the Catholic Church is in serious trouble. This is the 21st century; no longer can institutions like the Catholic Church hide their heads in the sand and ignore what has happened or push it aside. What a ridiculous remark "petty gossip". There is nothing "petty" about what happened to those children.
Griff in Vermont writes:
To quote Gandhi: "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians." This extends to the political hierarchy of the Church as well, especially in this situation. I believe the real Church is the people of it, not the officials. When the frame of the house fails and crumbles, the people within simply repair and rebuild.
Todd in St. Louis writes:
The Catholic Church, in its current form, has no future in my opinion. I was raised Catholic, attended Catholic schools through high school, and have a number of nuns and priests in my extended family. Once evidence was made public of the extent of their cover-up… I lost all faith. I still believe in God, but the Catholic Church has lost any credibility it had in my mind. Further, I can't help but believe that the God I was taught about as a child in their church is as disgusted with them as I.