April 5th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Future of Catholic Church in light of child sex abuse scandal?

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.

Sharon writes:
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.

Filed under: Catholic Church • Scandals
soundoff (306 Responses)
  1. Bob Gordon

    Like the Phoenix, it will disintegrate and then reform but with lay leaders. Priests will become figure heads who say Mass only. This has already begun in many parts of the world that now have a shortage of priests. Eventually there will be another body of Catholics who return to the faith on which they were raised. The infalibility of the pope is now a ridiculous position to try to uphold.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  2. Tony from Springfield, IL

    The Church is eternal, but God help the evil people who are guilty of the abuse, cover-up, and wide spread loss of faith in Christ's Church. Jesus said in Matthew 18:6 ESV / "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. "

    April 5, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  3. Claudia in Chicago

    The Catholic Church has been inflitrated by the devil and demons almost as soon as it was born into the world. Surely it was borne into the world and certainly not heavenbound. Its future is as its past has been - sadly they have taken many souls where they didn't want to go. The Catholic Church as been filled with rapes, abortions, murders, and all foul debacheries sprung up and out of it and so it is and shall be until time is up. Next question!

    So that's my thoughts.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  4. susan elizabeth

    I was raised a Roman Catholic. Even when I was very young I knew "something was not right here". I found this religion self serving and hypocritical, intent on taking away any personal power a young and trusting mind might have.
    It is about time this power and wealth seeking, "holier than thou", narrow minded, self-righteous institution fell. This organization has murdered, destroyed and abused more life, in the name of God, than any other organization in history. More woman have been put to death, more gentle truths destroyed due to the narrow minded thinking of this "man made religion" than any other dogma spuing group on earth. It is time for man to seek god where he/she lives .... within each of us, living as truth, kindness and integrity in each mans' being. We know what is right and what is wrong. It is time for each of us to take responsibility for our own lives, our own truths and or own knowing of god within, to stop giving our power away and relying on someone else to tell us what is right and wrong. Giving anyone such enormous permission leads to just exactly what has occurred with the Catholic Church.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  5. Catherine

    I would hope that the membership of the Catholic Church would demand that offenders and the Pope be held accountable. This is an awful crime! We should hold the Catholic Church to the same laws as we hold any other person on this planet.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  6. margo coleman

    been a catholic for 67 years will never falter in my faith and the
    eucharist, have met many priests who i do not respect nor like
    but my faith will always be with me-sorry too bad the press does
    not have anything else to "earn" their news reporting with than gossip!

    April 5, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  7. John Pierre

    The Catholic Church will survive... it has for over 2000 years and will continue. The history of the Catholic Church is filled with many scandals of various sorts.Despite the weaknesses of various church leaders throughout its history , the Church has managed to find its way back to its central mission of proclaiming Christ to the world. And, despite its shortcoming and abuses, the vast majority of the Church's history is filled with many 'good news' stories that never make it to the front pages of any media!

    John Pierre
    Nova Scotia

    April 5, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  8. Tom

    The future of the church is the same as it's past...herd the SHEEPLE!

    April 5, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  9. James Olsen

    What could the world be today if the church had not imprisoned Galileo, muted the thoughts of other scientists like da Vinci, Copernicus, and Isaac Newton? This scandal, like so many of the church through the centuries is not new and will not go away so long as the "faithful" are willing to turn a blind eye towards abuse of power. To Hell with all of them. God will sort out right and wrong if and when there is ever a judgment day. In the meantime, I will find charitable organizations to give money to that do not hide, support, condone (?), sexual abuse on children.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  10. William

    The same as the past. How many scandals does it take? The crusades, the Spanish inquisition; the "church" survived those and more. Obviously the ordained are above repieve.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  11. Nathaniel C.

    As any good student of church history, and especially of the medieval church, knows, this is hardly the latest nor the hardest scandal to "rock" the church. Corruption, avarice, simony, bishops with veritable harems - problems faced by the church and denounced in the strongest terms by the reformers of the 12th century forwards. What we need now is a Peter Damian, a Hildebrand (Pope Gregory VII), a Hildegard of Bingen or a Francis of Assisi - someone inside the church to stand up and call for a reform from within that is badly needed. What we don't need is to abandon the faith in droves, responding not to the call of the Holy Spirit but to that of the New York Times; rather, we need to reform the church because we care for her and are members of her body, whose head is Christ. To abandon the church is to abandon and betray Him just as Judas did; to return her to the purity of the first dawn of justice in the time of the apostles - that is to remain faithful to the Love we just spent three days renewing.

    –Nathaniel Campbell, Medieval Institute, University of Notre Dame

    April 5, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  12. Kathy

    I marvel that families continue to risk the well-being of their children by remaining in the church. I know lots of Catholics who say they disagree with much of the Catholic teachings, but yet they stay in the church. Some of these people are highly intelligent, but it appears they simply don't know how to walk out the door. It's as if (to over simplify it) they've been brainwashed from birth.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  13. Myron

    They have no future in my house – I am no longer attending or giving money

    April 5, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  14. Carlton

    What we think doesn't matter, it's what GOD knows, that's why we're seeing what we're seeing!!!

    April 5, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  15. Jan

    I predict another Reformation not too far in the future. Somewhere in the Catholic Church, there will be a leader who recognizes how far the church has strayed from its foundation. This leader will not ignore the teachings and commandments of the New Testament and will guide the disillusioned and disgusted Catholics into a new church that cares about its people, observes the Words of the Bible, and focuses on serving not making money.

    Full disclosure - I am a practicing Protestant.

    Columbus, OH

    April 5, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  16. mike the hiker

    The Church has survived for 2,000 years. It will survive this. There is a large anti-Catholic population in the USA, and the world, that likes nothing better than to see the Church humiliated and kicked while it's down. Chief among this anti-Catholic group is the New York Times, which will continue it's attack as long as it sells papers. But, be assured, the Church will deal with this and will go on for another 2,000 years or more.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  17. Gerard Connelly

    Jesus said, "Upon this rock I build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." He didn't say, "the gates of hell will have no impact whatsoever on it." The one billion member church has been around for 2,000 years. Most popes have been corrupt including St. Peter who denied 3 times that he even knew Jesus. If it were possible for a corrupt clergy to bring down the Catholic church it would have disappeared long ago. I wouldn't get my hopes up Jack. The Catholic chuch has major issues, always has, always will and will always be.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  18. cel

    I would say the future of The Catholic Church is dimmed quite a bit. How can you purport to represent God to the world and allow these horrible sins and crimes to remain in your midst without open and honest condemnation and expulsion of those involved in the acts and in the cover ups.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  19. PatriciaID

    It seems to me that Catholics must feel completely despondent about the church. To learn of the depth of decay that exists and has existed for generations has to be crushing. Learning that on a regular basis, bishops were more interested in protecting priests than little blind boys drains any possible life out of the church. I mean, really, what would Jesus do? I believe he would dissolve the church and take it back to its Biblical roots of simplicity.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  20. Damian

    Many pundits and outsiders analyze the Catholic Church as if it were a business or as if it were swayed by public opinion as much as secular organizations typically are, but that is not the mindset of the Church hierarchy at all. The people who run the Church really do believe that they are guided by higher powers than what transpires here on earth and that what they do, in their God's name, is 'right and proper.' This is very very different from the mindset of people who run secular organizations that do in fact respond to public opinion.

    For this reason, I think the Catholic Church will hold fast much longer than a secular organization might, and public outrage may have to get much bigger before they realize how much danger they're in.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  21. Dave Cuthbert

    People, it's the 2010 and time to take a careful look at religion, all religions. It's well past time to be believing in an invisible magic man who lives in the sky and reads your mind 24/7. It's all a myth.

    Now learn to stand on your own two feet and stop pretending there is a higher power, cause there isn't.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  22. Kevin, VA

    It will most likely go on as usual. it will drop out of the media in a few weeks and people will forget. they may have a small decline in numbers, but that will get caught back up over time as well. The Catholic devout will not leave, and continue to believe its media sensationalism and continue to ignore the facts ( since we all know it takes ignoring of facts to be religious in the first place)

    April 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  23. Gerald Kohler Ocala, Florida

    The Catholic Church will survive this scandal. I believe as a Catholic
    that God is forgiving of all sins. We as Catholics hate the sin but love the sinner. That does not mean that these crimes should go unpunished, individual priests and the authorities that helped to cover up the crimes should be punished. It is also time for the Catholic Church to take a new outlook on married priests, woman priests, divorce, birth control, homosexuality and many other issues.

    The Church is a living body and as such must continue to grow. I pray
    that the Pope will take the leadership in speaking out about the scandal and his ideas on reform. He must admit the the cover up practices were wrong.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  24. Bill

    Look at the pope. Would you leave your children alone with this guy? What do those eyes see? How does he judge. The rationalization he must be able to delve into because of his twisted adaptation of theology and the firewall he thinks it gives priests is impenetrable in his own mind.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  25. Joe

    If these were congressmen instead of priests, senators instead of cardinals, and presidents instead of popes, the full weight of the law and public fury would rightly come down upon them. So the idea that any church or insitution is allowed to hold itself above the law of both God and man is rephrensible. The people hold their political leaders to account...we should hold religious leaders equally to account.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  26. Samuel

    Ten of thousands ? Hahah...Where the heck you get your informations ? Obviously you are anti-Catholic anyway and was waiting for any chance to jump on...Billions of beleivers , 2 thousands year of history, noone like you will affect us..CNN, obviously you don't care about tens of millions of americans catholic who see you EVERYDAY focusing on their church. let's see the rate of watchers soon...You are loosing so much credibility...God Bless Fox News

    April 5, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  27. Richard D Gonzalez

    It would seem to me that the Cathloic Chuerch is still operating on Midevil theology. I would suggest two changes that might improve things as follows:
    1. Implementaion of the ordination of woemen to the priesthood.
    2. Remove celibacy requirements and allow priests to marry

    April 5, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  28. Gerald Kohler Ocala, Florida

    The Catholic Church will survive this scandal. I believe as a Catholic
    that God is forgiving of all sins. We as Catholics hate the sin but love the sinner. That does not mean that these crimes should go unpunished, individual priests and the authorities that helped to cover up the crimes should be punished. It is also time for the Catholic Church to take a new outlook on married priests, woman priests, divorce, birth control, homosexuality and many other issues.

    The Church is a living body and as such must continue to grow. I pray
    that the Pope will take the leadership in speaking out about the scandal and his ideas on reform. He must admit that the cover up practices were wrong.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  29. Lori

    Los Angeles, CA

    If the Catholic Church continues to handle their issues, as they are today, I hope and pray that their remaining followers finally wake up, leave and that the Catholic Church ceases to exist.

    My husband and I both come from Catholic families – we all attended Catholic grade school, high school and some of us even graduated from Catholic colleges. Our children have done the same. We reached the point though, where enough was enough! As if the repulsive sex abuse scandal and seemingly ongoing, self-serving cover-ups weren't enough, but their political interference (full-page ad this past Presidential election in USA Today telling Catholics how they were expected to vote), their non-Christian attitudes towards others (homosexuals) etc., their insistence on passing judgement on nearly everything (in spite of their own horrific sins) – we just couldn't take it anymore. We will never again support this corrupt and criminal organization. Their guilt trips will no longer work on us and I can only pray that others in the church realize how they have been manipulated and do the same.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  30. Jay Everingham

    The Catholic church is showing us exactly what organized religion is all about, greed and ugliness - they are all a sham. The Catholic church is nothing more than a silent cult for pedophiles.

    Pasadena, CA

    April 5, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  31. Austin Texas Pioneer

    The Catholic Church shoud be sued out of existence. In todays society there in no need for a bunch of old white men covering up the raping of young boys.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  32. Dave

    Well written and sad but true. Pope John Paul would never have remained silent. The Church's behavior does not engender trust or love.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  33. Jake

    The Catholic church has covered up this kind of abuse for years, using their power and wealth to suppress any sort of criticism. Unfortunately, this tactic can no longer work in the information age. The church needs to stop pretending that they are above the law and address the very real problems they are having. Otherwise, it is doomed to become the relic of the Middle Ages it appears to so many to be.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  34. Pearl

    Hopefully more transparency and accountability.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  35. Ed Santosusso

    My church was filled to capacity easter Sunday. I am as pissed off as anybody at the church hierarchy's response to this over the years as well as the fact that it happened in the first place. However, I would remind any Catholic that their religion and the "Church" is larger and distinct from any of it's leaders at any given time.

    To suggest that what it "deserves" is a "falling off in sales" reduces it to a commercial product.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  36. Anthony

    We are in the 21st century now, and it is time for humanity to leave religion behind. We have moved on from our primitive ancestors in every aspect except for their mythology. The notion of the personal god is no longer compatible with what we know about the universe. Yes, there may be positive aspects to religion, but they do not make up for the injustices, hate, segregation, wars, and other forms of pain and suffering that religion causes. This may seem harsh, and many will disagree with me, but change must happen before it is too late.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  37. McCack

    What do you expect from an organization that is governed by white men that have never had sex, or claim to have give it up, and tell everyone else how they should live their lives.

    It deserves to be financially devastated!

    April 5, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  38. Catherine

    As a non-practicing catholic who feels cheated by the catholic system over the abuse scandal that has gone on for years, I feel the catholic church needs to do some dramatic changes NOW such as letting priests and nuns marry or let lay people take over the system. The catholic church has needs a change for catholics like myself and more will be losing faith such as myself. There must be a change!

    April 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  39. Alex Canes

    The future of the Catholic Church?, It will be the same, devout followers will continue to practice just like I need my cereal every morning.. The belief is that God forgives, and Catholics will apply this same argument, God forgives and forgets so lets move on, I mean It has worked for them through out history right?, in worse times and in worse crimes against humanity... child molestation or abuse? child's play in comparison with mass murder, human cleansing and world wide mafia.... too many events to list specifically..

    April 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  40. Hannah

    I think this is just a minor blip. It will be cussed and discussed for awhile and maybe some will be brought to trial, but until the so called church comes to terms with how it/they treat women and upholding the celibacy rule for priests, it will happen again. The flock, if you will has this church brainwashed into them, like an addiction. And as long as you have followers, the flock, sheep you will have the church. I think it is corrupt and so "unholy", but tell that to a catholic and they will defend the pope to the very end. Much like conservatives in America defending corporations and free market capitalism. Even though it is bad for the people, the people will maintain the organization.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  41. Dylan, Los Angeles

    The Church will reform or it will die.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  42. Beatrice

    I think the church is on the defensive because the media is demonizing it. Let's not forget that there are good priests out there who are helping people... a lot more than most of us in our lifetime. Saying that, I agree also that the church did a terrible job in handling pedophile priests. It needs to admit its past mistake which was to hide the truth under a carpet. The church needs to go into confession. Its survival will depend on its honesty.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  43. KMF

    My guess is that the church will try and do it's best to "bury their head in the sand". I am in agreement though, until those collection plates are empty they will not receive any message.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  44. vince kieley

    Well Jack it's been over 20 years since the Mount Cashel Newfoundland story of sexual abuse by the Irish christian brothers broke.
    The sexual abuse and coverups by clergy , police and justice department officials were alleged to have gone bagk to the 1950s.
    They seem to have survived this last 20 years continuing their sexual abuse and coverups. As long as they can dupe the "FAITHFUL" to keep
    ignoring these crimes they will do just fine.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  45. NK_Boston

    And now we see the true colors of the Catholic Church, or any church for that matter. The blatant concern for their own well being, and that of the institution, must truly defy what their god would ever have intended. I hope this exposes the many ills of not just the Catholic Church, but every other institution that hides under the cloak of religion. Organized religion will implode at some point, and this is a good start.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  46. Jim M

    I was raised Catholic. I served as an alter boy. I'm over 60. I was never aware of any abuse by any priest in our church. That said, I consider myself very fortunate considering what I heard when I was about 16 from others in a neighboring parish. I no longer consider myself associated with these people.

    This abuse has been covered up at the highest levels for a vey long time. It's time it ends forever. For that to happen, this pope needs to step aside. Priests need to be allowed to marry. Married women must be allowed to enter the priesthood and most importantly parishers need to vote with there money and leave until these fixes are made.

    The church needs to turn over their files on the pediphile over to local law enforcement and cooperate fully otherwise bishops need to be indicted as rape co-conspirtors. This is needed in all churches with similar problems.

    All churches need also to loose their tax exempt status. I beleive in God, but not an old guy sitting on a cloud somewhere. God is not the wizard of OZ or Santa Claus. The Catholic Church and most other churches fail miserably in their role of leadership. They are all people who pretend to understand and know that which cannot be understood. Organized religion separates people from God and from their money under false pretences. Their days are numbered.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  47. frank

    As long as people continue to believe the pope is infallible truth cannot prevail. The guy believes he is above the law. Shameful!

    April 5, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  48. laurie hyatt

    I teach psychology classes, so one of my lenses for looking at this situation is the psychological dynamic. Why is it that in the United States there has not been more anger over the abuse of children as there has been recently in Germany? The church seems vested in protecting its own, rather than protecting its flock. How can an entity get so powerful that the outrageously destructive behavior of its authority figures is not remanded with removal from office and the church itself? Does money pay for the forgiveness of sins?

    April 5, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  49. Barbara Geoffroy

    As a "recovering Catholic" I think the future of the RC Church is bleak.
    One scandal after another and still nothing but pish-poshing from Rome.
    I was born and raided a Roman Catholic, and sadly the ideals the nuns, brothers and many priest taught all those years; just came down to do as I say and not as I do. They taught me so well that being por-choice and pro birth control and that the Pope can be wrong in matters of the Church I had to leave, because I was bad Catholic.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  50. Dave Cuthbert

    People, it's the year 2010 and time to take a careful look at religion, all religions. It's well past time to be believing in an invisible magic man who lives in the sky and reads your mind 24/7. It's all a myth.

    Now learn to stand on your own two feet and stop pretending there is a higher power, cause there isn't.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:41 pm |

    Sad to say, no future, barring a second coming.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  52. Peg from N.Y.

    Too little~too late.

    There is little, if any hope left for the future of the Catholic Church as it stands today.

    They made their bed and now they must lie in it; "petty gossip" or not.

    People will continue to leave the church and choose to not return.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  53. monasterymonkey

    What is a poor church to do? The purpose of their existence is to honor God, atone for one' s sins, protect the innocent and the helpless. Instead the leaders of the church attribute the massive scandal to idle gossip or try and wish it away. The pope has been an utter failure. Even if one assumes he knew nothing which is a very large "if" it does not excuse his behavior in confronting the latest scandal.

    The RCC is headed for ruin if it doesn't wake up, admit its failings, punish the guilty and reform itself. The clock is ticking with the "end of days" clearly in sight for the RCC.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  54. Stephen Ervin

    The Catholic Church has denied problems for a long time...birth control, celibacy etc. Eventually the chickens will come home to roost as global population issues eventually make the Church's responses seem archaic. Personally I hope all organized religions continue to devolve to the point where religion becomes only a personal issue...without all of the organized hocus pocus.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  55. David M.

    As long as this pattern continues, there is not a good future for the Catholic church. They have turned a blind eye and deaf ear to the whole thing and it will only get worse. While the Catholic church has been quite vocal about abortion, they have been strangly quiet about child abuse at the hands of pedophile priests. The Vatican is complicit by its lack of response or action against these so-called priests. I'm not Catholic, but I think these perps should be kicked out of the church and put into prison. "Petty gossip". Nice touch, Cardinal.

    And I think you're right about the collection plates Jack. When they start to dry up, then we will see all kinds of apologies and confessions. By then it will be too late and the Catholic church will become even more irrelevant.

    David M.
    Charlotte, NC

    April 5, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  56. Jack C.

    Jack,Religion is based on faith which is based on trust in the truefulness of the messager. When you don't believe in one of the messagers pronouncements, it leads you to question all of his utterances. Since the Pope and Church Claim infalibility for the Pope when speaking of dogma,his lack of speech raises serious questions of his role as the Vicar of Christ. Remember, ALL breauricacies circle the wagons at any sign of trouble and the best defense is a strong or aggressive offense.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  57. Sandi Humphrey


    Transparency and accountability are the key attributes of "successful" charitable organizations. If the church continues to deny, it will drive itself into obscurity. Ludicrous responses, like classifying the molestation of innocents as "petty gossip", suggests to me that we're only seeing the beginning of a downward spiral. More will come to the same conclusion I have: God is more likely to hear me because I choose not to support an organization that denies rather than condemns those who sin.

    Sandi in Canada

    April 5, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  58. Dennis North Carolina

    they need to truthful to the people and take drastic steps to cure the problem or the people should leave the church until they do.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  59. Jim Kufferman

    While the abuse of children is horrid and should have been rectified much sooner, Cafferty is indulging in his usual hyperbole to get attention. He is the Rush Linbaugh, along with Olberman, of the lefties. First, where does it come out that there has been "molestation of tens of thousands of little children?" Second, the reference to petty gossip was not about sexual abuse of children having happened but if he knew about it as a Cardinal and covered it up. Jack has never been one to let facts get in the way of a "good" story.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  60. pete

    i would like to see anyone who helped hide or cover up child sex abuse be charged convicted and serve jail time up to and including the pope and for anyone who is interested in more info please go to
    freedocumentaries.org and look for "sex and the vatican" this is a 39 minute documentary with interviews with former clergy who abused kids and a former canon lawyer and a former US prosecutor

    April 5, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  61. Seb

    There is no future!

    Arnhem, the Netherlands

    April 5, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  62. Josh

    As a former Catholic, I think the church has been in a downward spiral for over 50 years. The newest round of scandal, is just the latest in a long line of abuse, scandal, and decidedly Un-Christian behavior by the Catholic Church. Between the Catholics and the new "Conservative" Christians, the Christian religion as a whole is in serious danger. The teachings of Chirstianity lasted for 2000 years for a reason, if those beleifs are not brought to the fore-front again, we may lose the faith all together.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  63. Tuan

    The future of the Catholic Church really depends on Catholics. The Vatican is fighting hard to victimize itself and the Pope and draw attention away from the sexual abuse cases. This is a typical response from the Church where it attempts to find a common enemy to redirect any PR disasters. Unfortunately, this is now coming in a time where information is more readily accessible and available for everyone. Most of the Catholics in the affected countries can access information on the cases if the want. It really comes down to whether they let the Vatican's smoke and mirrors interfere with their quest for truth.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  64. Larry - Battle Ground, WA

    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.
    Larry – Battle Ground, WA

    April 5, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  65. Ross Jacobsmeyer

    The Catholic Church has weathered the Roman Empire, the Crusades, the Inquisition, virtual imprisonment, surrounded by the Italian state, and a host of issues through the century larger than the current crisis. It may even be able to survive your criticisms, Jack.

    While the Church has not dealt with the sex abuse scandals effectively, I view those 'victims' with suspicion who only come forward after their abuser dies, (and can thus no longer defend themselves). I think these victims only see dollar signs and see a church with deep pockets.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  66. Nostradamus

    I'll tell ya what gonna happen.........Catholic families, in this country anyway, are averaging 2 children per couple. Islamic/Muslim families are averaging 5 to 8 children per couple (closer to 8 if I remember correctly). Islam has already overtaken Europe, and it's pushing its way into North America. At this rate, the Catholics cannot keep their religeon going more than the next 40 years.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  67. EIWatson

    Unfortunately, the Catholic Church will probably prevail. They ruled the world for so many years it is almost impossible for them to be accountable. The sex abuse is obvious, true and certain. They refuse to admit it as always. To refer to the incidents as "gossip" further damages the lives of thousands of victims. SHAME on the Church. SHAME on the Leaders. SHAME on the Pope!!!

    April 5, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  68. Bob

    Are you quacked? Tens of thousands? I think not. While ONE is too many to assume it is tens of thousands is absurd! In addition unlike most churches the Catholic Church is not about SUNDAY collection plates!!!! it is about the first POPE's name was PETER as in the Twelve! You are obviously a liberal atheists to speak that disrespectful of the Church! You should be ashamed. The Devil is at work here.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  69. Larry Wetzel

    The Catholic church is much much more than the human beings and their weaknesses. The church has lasted for 2000 years in spite of the sins of the clergy and lay members. We are all sinners and need God's forgiveness. That is why he gave us his son, Jesus, for the forgiveness of sin.

    The sins committed against children are terrible, but the fault is one of human beings, not the Church. The Church will continue to the end of time.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  70. jack

    Dear Jack,
    The Catholic Church will survive this. If one of your parents was diagnosed with a terrible disease, would you abandon them or get them help?

    April 5, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  71. Cielo Perdomo

    I think my favorite line from the movie "Ben Hur" is appropriate:
    "When Rome falls, there will be a shout of freedom such as the world as never known." Applies to the Vatican in Rome as well. Good riddance.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  72. Donald Bryant

    I left the Catholic church years ago. When I was young this was considered a great place for gays to hide and still have respect from your family Imagine not having to to marry a woman and not having to live a lie the rest of your life. It was a great escape for gays and child molesters alike! It still is, but hopefully this is the END OF ALL RELIGION!


    April 5, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  73. Josh

    They are in deep trouble. Why did this take so long?

    April 5, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  74. Claudia in Chicago

    There's nothing new under the Catholic Churches dome. What's knew is that people are walking away from all churches both Catholic and Protestant. Your statement "when the money that hits the collection plates every Sunday begins to disappear" is pathetically telling. Everyone knows that the Church catholic or protestant is just about money at this point in time and has nothing to do with the saving of souls.

    But, they still sell Bibles, so we believers, we may not be in church any longer but we stand, watch and wait.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  75. Randall Reihing (wrying)

    Its not about child abuse.
    Its not about denial.
    Its about the M and M game.
    Money and Membership
    As long as the M&M game is good only token attention addresses church problems.
    When the M&M game is falling like a bowling ball off the Brooklyn Bridge there will suddenly be confession, apology, dismissals, followed by introspection, reorganization and rebuilding.
    Its about the money. Its always about the money – nothing more, nothing less.
    The church leadership has become immoral in their denial and they may do damage that could take generations to repair. Its time for new leadership form the top to the bottom.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  76. Beverly Davis

    Twenty years ago I converted to Catholicism; I feel betrayed.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  77. Kevin, VA

    What i would really like to see if the church to fail and have to sell all of its archived materials so that we can have an understanding of the church, our past, and see all the art that they keep hidden from the public.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  78. Dave Cuthbert

    The God of Western Theism was created so that man could control man.

    The Catholic church takes your time, money and your children to satisfy their twisted and illegal desires. How does it feel to discover that you have been an unwitting accomplice?

    April 5, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  79. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    As bright as always. People have been going away from religion for years and not because of pedophilia. However, those who are steady churchgoers are not going anywhere. My mother, for example, still has her beliefs fully intact. It's not the person, it's the message. If our local priest is a good guy, why leave the church? But how do I know he is a good guy? Because he appears to be. You appear to be a good guy. I"m not going to start seeing pedos everywhere; the people on public transportation are creepy enough.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  80. Dan Casselton


    This scandal is a black eye on the Hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. They must address this issue and resolve it by removing all the Cardinals, priests anyone involved in the cover up. It does not, however, impact my Faith. I believe in Jesus as my Savior and I choose the Roman Catholic Church as my conduit to Him.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  81. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, can you say "Too big to fail?" , at least for any time in the forseeable future. The Vatican is one of the largest corporations in the entire world, and they control an enormous fortune in tax free funds that they spread around liberally throughout the world. They'll still be around when AIG and the U.S. are bankrupt and gone. Face it, religion is big business, and saving the souls of those who live in fear of losing them, will always be around in some form, as will the religious pundits who promise the masses that they are one true way to attain salvation.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  82. Patrick

    I do agree that much work is left to be done to insure the safety of children , but you're story makes it sound as if the end of the the catholic church is eminent. The catholic is a 2000 year old institution that has faced scandals much greater than this and survived.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  83. Michael Casteel

    The Church has no future until this corrupt generation of Priests, Bishops and yes, the Pope, are gone. It is long past time that the ridiculous requirement of celibacy is removed. The fact is that as currently constituted the Priesthood recruits from two pools, the impoverished and the perverted. No intelligent, healthy, educated normal man or woman is going to enter the Church, especially not with this scandal hanging over it. Churches in America are staffed with Priests recruited in South America and Africa, because there are no American Catholics interested in the vocation. Nuns have essentially disappeared. The Church will survive, but it's credibility and influence in the Western world has effectively ended.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  84. Dalton

    Let married men and women be priests. It's a simple enough solution.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  85. jeff jackson, alabama

    There was a time in the Catholic church when a priest
    could not marry.

    Now ask yourself this question.
    What type of man would never want to have relations
    with a woman ?

    Could anybody centuries ago not know what that would
    lead to ?

    All through the Bible God and Jesus made references
    about a good woman making a man even a better man.
    Who in the Catholic church wasn't paying attention ?

    April 5, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  86. Michael from Wisconsin

    As a religious instituion, the Catholic Church is supposed to be a moral leader for its followers. Those in the hierarchy of the religion are supposed to lead by example and not preach hypocrisy. If the Vatican won't condemn and expel these people from the pulpit, and do all they can to address the issue, then they are clearly more concerned with protecting their own power and authority than doing the right thing, thus losing their authority as a moral leader. Instead, the Vatican becomes a corrupt leader of a broken institution that has lost sight of what Jesus taught.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  87. joel palmer

    Jack they just need to shut it down. There is no reason to have the HRCC inasmuch as there is no god to start with; and no tooth fairy and no easter bunny, and no leprechauns and no ....

    April 5, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  88. WC Lun in Kansas City MO

    Like many governments, and make no mistake the Vatican is a government, they have forgotten that they exsist for thier followers' benefit. Thier followers do not exsist to keep them influentual and powerful. Perhaps they have also forgotten a tenant of thier own faith that states to be forgiven a person must admitt to thier sins and atone for them...not cover them up and hope there are no repurcussions.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  89. Joe M

    Dear Cafferty,

    Have you any idea what the church has gone through in the past.

    The fate of the church will be decided by the faithfuls, who know better than to put their trust in men.

    Joe M

    April 5, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  90. john knight

    I don't know what it will take for people to see through this religion, but I will never set foot in a catholic church. This isn't religion just perverts.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  91. Chris Barton

    Madonna once said, "Morality is not what's wrong in this country, hypocrisy is". I no longer attend Mass on Sunday because I chose not to be a hypocrite.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  92. Butch Osborne

    Why should we be surprised that religion strikes again. it seems to me that organized religion has been responsible for more horrific things than anything good. I consider myself a person of faith, but no longer can support organized religion. It's just a business, and a bad business at that.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  93. Alex

    In the past, whenever the church has encountered a rough spot, they've invented an exciting, not to mention distracting, new dogma. This is how we get transubstantiation, the immaculate conception, and papal infalliability, among others. It rather boggles the mind to think what they'll come up with to take our minds off this, however. Maybe the molested will go straight to heaven. Don't expect reform.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  94. Jarrod Anthony

    What I find appalling, as a Catholic, is that so many people blame the entire Church, including the Holy Father, for the actions of a few men. While they allegedly committed heinous acts of evil, the entire spirit and faith of the Church – Christ's Church – should not be called into question.

    We have succombed to believing every story ever told against the Church without demanding proof. Priests have been the "non-secular" Michael Jacksons of the 21st century. These victims take millions of dollars from the Church and keep demanding more. They won't stop until the Church is penniless and admits to wrongdoing at the drop of a hat. What's sad is that the hat most detractors want to see dropped now is the mitre – the religious adornment worn by the Holy Father.

    My faith remains stronger than ever because I recognize that the actions of a few do not crush the moral righteousness of the many.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  95. MaryEllen Zackevich

    This may have an insidious effect, first by completely alienating Catholics who are on the fence about commiting to the Roman Catholic doctrine. Then, there is those of us who continue to practice Catholicism, yet do not adhere to every decree sent out by the Holy See. This current scandal really stretches the credibility of the institution to a dangerous cliff. While I think most people separate their home parishes and priests from this current crisis, the disenchantment with the Papacy may cause many seeking faith communities to turn to denominations that don't claim infallibilty as a cornerstone.
    However, this is a crisis that may play out for generations. Most Catholics have grown up Catholic. If parents lose faith in the institution of The Church, they aren't going to submit their children to religious education, thereby heightening the already waning influence of the church.
    Eventually, this will hurt the coffers but by waiting till that point the Church will have waited too long.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  96. Len

    The church is in serious trouble. It is now a case of accusations and denials. It seems that there are too many accusations from different parts of the world to let this pass. The Pope should resign. The Church has to own up to the past and allow the civil courts to take over in abuse cases. No more hiding the individuals. That being said the Church needs to become chaste, with a new leadership and not allow any more abuse to take place by turning over those guilty to the civil authority.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  97. Martin Howley

    First, I am Catholic. Secondly, abuse of anyone by anyone is deplorable and the criminal molesters should be subject to criminal prosecution. Thirdly this is not ONLY a Catholic Church issue – molesters, pedophiles, and psychos come from every walk of life and exist in many religions. The Anglican Church, the Jewish faith even Buddhists Monks have all been involved in these despicable acts – I would therefore say this is not a Catholic issue, but it is a subsequent failure in the human condition.

    For myself, and my family we are Catholic’s and our faith, although guided by the Church, exists independently of the Church. And if Vicar of Rome is truly the spiritual leader of the faithful, he will address this head on, and take to task all the criminals within his prevue, and ensure that they cannot abuse again.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  98. Anne P

    "Petty gossip"....really? I think that attitude speaks for itself. As one who was raised Catholic, but broke free, I can say this is not a big loss. Religion has killed more people than anything else. We just need to get an solid education (not a religious one) and start treating eachother with respect and compassion. That would go a long way and free up a lot of time and money.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  99. jim

    The pope seems to be taking the ostrich method of problem avoidance. and while he has his head buried in the sand the issue is in plain sight for all to see. As for the future of the Catholic church, stick a fork in it cuz it is done. I washed my hands of the institution in the late 70's.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  100. Tallis

    I've been Catholic my whole life. I am so irritated that Catholics everywhere are not totally enraged calling for reform right now. They seem to just accept what's happened, feel sorry, and move on. This is 2010- it's time for some serious reform- we need to get rid of everyone involved in this nonsense- we don't need to stop at the pope either if he has anything to do with this.
    Drives me insane how the people of the church have virtually no voice anyways because its directed by out-of-touch clergy. Sad, too, because there are so many good priests I have known that also feel that they have no voice- everything is decided by higher up church hierarchy who don't think anything needs to change.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  101. bill, fresno, california

    People may say that they've lost faith in the church's leadership, but they aren't leaving the pews, and they aren't cutting back on their donations, except maybe because of the recession.

    They're sticking to their faith in the religion, even when they're doubting the human beings who run the church.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  102. Anonymous

    My 80 year-old grandmother was one of the most devout Catholics you would ever meet. She had a rosary in every room of her house and went to church every Sunday for her entire life...until a few years ago, that is. When the child molestation scandals broke here in the U.S. and we all learned of the church's policies to reassign priests to positions where they could access and continue to abuse children, my grandmother completely gave up on the church. If you can turn the stomach of an old woman who loved the Catholic church more than life itself to the point where she no longer attends mass or even wants to speak of the church in her home ever again, it's pretty much over for that religion. Unless they take drastic steps to atone for their sins and sins of the Pope himself in hiding these disgusting pedophiles, the religion will perish. San Diego, CA.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  103. Beth Chukusky

    The former Cardinal Ratzinger was the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for the Catholic Church. This position is second only to the Pope in terms of power within The Church. His role is defined as such: "the duty proper to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is to promote and safeguard the doctrine on the faith and morals throughout the Catholic world: for this reason everything which in any way touches such matter falls within its competence." I believe that Pope Benedict XVI is directly responsible for the mass cover-up of these horrific crimes against innocent children and the continued perpetration of child sexual abuse by priests. I left the Church years ago when I saw what was going on and that pedophile priests were being hidden and protected by Cardinal Ratzinger.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  104. Kim, Cleveland

    The future of the Catholic Church is in peril unless changes are made. The collections dropped dramatically in the US as a result of the scandal (as well as parish closings) and have yet to recover. There are fewer children going to Catholic school due to costs and many of the people at church today are older (baby boomer generation). Faith appears to be more important than the building one worships in.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  105. LG

    I seriously doubt if it could die completely, but as with many churches today, it will definetly find itself irrelevant. In his Birmingham letter, MLK would write "If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust." Today is it DISGUST with capital letters.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  106. Catholic School in NC

    I, myself, attended Catholic School my entire life. While I was not a subject of abuse, I have heard of others that were. At the time of the discovery, the priests were supposedly sent to other parishes and/or churches in another state far away.... swept under the rug with a new priest quickly moved in. We always wondered- was this a priest that had done the same thing somewhere else? You also wonder "why"... is it because Catholic priests are unable to marry/have relationships? Do other churches have the same situations? After years of being raised Catholic, I have lost faith and while I feel that I have religious beliefs and a solid moral base, I do not attend Catholic church and will not send my child to Catholic school. While I wish she could attend to receive a solid education, I cannot send her and question the moves of every adult around her.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  107. Barney

    The Catholic Church can survive this if it absolutely denounces what these men have done, revisit their doctrine on celibacy because obviously it's not working, and purge the church of anyone that was a part of these horrendous crimes even if it means going as high as the Pope himself.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  108. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Given the Catholic Church hierarchy is presently mired a thousand years in the past; prospects for a vibrant, growing church in the future appear bleak. When priest and pope costumes turn out to be the biggest sellers this Halloween, perhaps church leaders will finally take action to join the modern world and permanently clean up their sexual abuse problems.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  109. Mike S

    Groups covering up sexual abuse and doing what they can to keep it out of the legal system isn't anything new nor is it exclusive to the Catholic Church. I think the church will survive, but unless top officials (including the Pope) admit there is a problem and then implement worldwide reform with the genuine intention of fixing these issues, the church will be in a world of hurt for a very long time.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  110. Anne

    I am a 45 year old U.S. Catholic and these stories disgust and embarass me. I am not abandoning my faith. I follow Catholicism based on my core beliefs. People (men!) have ruined the Catholic church. Christ did not.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  111. Ed Walsh

    Cafferty check the statistics out! It mainly homosexual behavior that has caused this! Get rid of homosexuals in the priesthood and eliminate the deviant behavior!

    April 5, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  112. Mark

    You presume that a scandal can bring down a 2000-year-old organization. How arrogant (and modern) to believe that! It will endure just fine. Indeed, it has and will continue to outlast nations. (And I'm not even Catholic). As a social scientist, I actually expect to see the Church grow in market share over the next 50 years. It's unique, conservative set of beliefs only turn off those who didn't like them in the first place.

    European sentiment and behavior is not the future of the Catholic Church.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  113. formercatholic schoolstudent

    tens of thousands and the parents dont know? are you sure about that? are you
    guys angry at the policies? looks likesomeone should not have waited do long to report the abuse. The average number of victims of a sexual preditor is 100. report abuse asap!

    April 5, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  114. David

    Given the atrocities committed by the Church in the name God over the past thousand or so years (see: the crusades, the inquisition, colonization of the Americas, among MANY others) , it's not really surprising that they have essentially institutionalized child sex abuse. The Church is absolutely too big to fail, I don't believe you'll see Catholicism leaving the religious scene altogether, but I do think you'll see more and more people leaving the Catholic Church and exploring other Christian options. My prediction is that the Evangelical Church will end up in a much stronger position when all is said and done, which introduces a whole other set of questions...like did dinosaurs really roam the earth millions of years ago?

    April 5, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  115. Laura

    (St Louis MO):
    Child abuse is not petty gossip, its a heinous crime. And comparing the media's coverage of this heinous crime to antisemitism is offensive on so many levels. These wrongs can never be righted. The only solution is for the Church to be contrite before God and its followers and systematically purge itself of members that prey upon children -an inquisition of sorts. Until they make this step, there will be no healing, just continued abuse. And the Church will have zero credibility; rest assured, a Pope that sits silently on an issue of this magnitude, as the truth unravels, demonstrates absolute fallibility.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  116. Jim McDermott

    Two weeks ago the pope should have appointed a bishop or cardinal with unimpeachable credentials to deal decisively with this scandal. Clearly, the church does not recognise the impact of this story around the world. The Pope should then go into voluntary seclusion away from the Vatican for the rest of his life to pray for the Church's survival and give up the day to day administration of the church.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  117. Frank McIlmail

    I believe the heirarchy will crumble and the Church will start anew. Celibacy will be optional, women will be ordained priests, and neighborhood gatherings of about 10 people will meet periodically in each other's homes to discuss Scripture, the presence of Christ in their lives etc. These groups will come together for Mass periodically which will be celebrated by a male or female. Monies from the sale of churches and other Church investments will be distributed to those in need whatever that need may be. The new Church will be open to all men and women of all races and sexual identity.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  118. RickinLA

    Power and money, the two things that the Catholic Church's leaders value most will be it's downfall. Then again, from what I've read about the man, Jesus didn't really like churches anyway so once they're all gone maybe the true believers will go back to their roots and hold sermons in the wood. Which is fine with me as long as it's not in a National or State owned Park.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  119. furioso19

    This speculation is absurd. Casting aside the incorrect speculation the Church has been utterly silent concerning this issue, the fact remains the Church is not likely to fade away unnoticed. The Church has survived much worse and will endure. Your feigned outrage, Jack, has little substance and is founded upon hyperbole instead of fact.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  120. Keith

    Any priest proven to have violated the sanctity of a child should be publically executed. But before that happens, they should have done to them exactly what they did to the child, publically.
    I believe that the Catholic Church is the Great Whore mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  121. David

    I think the Catholic Church is an example of an obsolete institution that has out-lived both its usefulness and its time.

    When the priest was the only literate, educated person in the community he had complete power to tell the "people" what they needed to believe, but now with almost universal public education the "Church" cannot peddle their mis-information, top-down design to "heaven."

    Democracy and freedom of information will spell the end to this mystical, ancient institution.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  122. Rodger

    Maybe "his Popeness" should just go to celebrity rehab then do the "emotional TV apology" and hit the talk shows. What will probably happen is that he will forgive himself and it will be businss as usual.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  123. Jean

    Time will tell but I think they're doomed. Enough of all of these man made interpretations of what God is or should be!
    Montreal, Canada

    April 5, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  124. William

    It's not going to happen. Only an extremely courageous Pope is going to admit fundamental errors either by the church or priests, bishops, etc. Allowing marriage would go a long way to solving the problem–and of course the disciples, including Peter the rock upon whom this church was built, were married. But Church councils over the centuries have established church doctrine–but the non-marriage decision is hard to find in the Bible, or early church doctrines. Is Pope Benedict willing to confront the issue–no like Watergate he hopes it will go away.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  125. Al

    The Vatican leadership must quickly and effectively address the problem. Priest or other religious committing sexual abuse must be defrock immediately and turned over to local police authorities for the crimes they have committed. Zero tolerance is needed immediately and must be strictly enforced by the Bishops.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  126. Heather: Reno, NV

    Thank you for bringing this up! Unfortunately the Catholic church has always been a little bit reality-challenged. When my mother was in Catholic School (neither one of us are Catholic now, by the way) the church was just beginning to accept the fact that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the solar system. The sins of the Catholic church during WWII are well known throughout the world, but it took almost 50 years for the church to admit any wrongdoing. This will likely be the same thing–it will be "petty gossip" until long after anyone who was affected by the situation is already dead. Unfortunately, the people who remain in the pews during these situations are the most narrow-minded and hidebound of Catholics (the rest of us realize there is a problem and choose to worship some other way), which ends up feeding the same type of people into the leadership positions in the Church. Until this changes (which will likely be never) the Catholic church will always be a hidebound organization locked in the past. However, as long as a large portion of individual Priests are in tune with the modern world, and interested in preaching faith in salvation rather than chewing the old soup of the catholic church, people will stay faithful to the church. The fact that an increasingly large number of their Priests are revealed to have broken the sacraments themselves tends to encourage people to leave.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  127. Hal Schwartz


    How is it possible for any Catholic to maintain their connection to the Church at this point? Can we really believe that these crimes are only recent or limited to just a few countries? When a church takes young men who are neither sexually nor developmentally mature into the seminary and demands they not have normal human contact, sexual or otherwise, for life is it not a forgone conclusion that these crimes will occur? Is it not likely the pedophilia has been present in the Church throughout the world for centuries?

    April 5, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  128. Paul, PE

    The short term won't matter as I think the most devout followers can separate the actions of individuals with the faith as a whole, but I wouldn't count on many from this generation looking for a pew seat until the church becomes more contrite and initiates some progressive reform. The faith will gradually die of old age like its parishioners.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  129. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    Not being Catholic, I don't understand how people can defend the Pope and not demand an explanation for his looking the other way concerning priests who were accused of molesting children. He may sit to the right of God, but he's still just a man! I don't see this controversy destroying the church, but I think that some changes must be made in how the hierarchy handles their priests.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:03 pm |

    If the Church does not start to take these allegations more seriously they are going to lose a lot of followers. Allegations of sexual molestation are not 'petty gossip'. This is not a tabloid story. These allegations are quite serious. If this were not the Catholic Church some of these 'priests' would be dealing with trials, lawyers, and in some cases incarceration. All of this delay and deny is beginning to look like a cover-up and that these people think they are above the law.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  131. Montana Dude

    Is there no institution we can trust these days? I recently and totally have given up on politics. I grew out of Santa and the Easter Bunny. There was always the Catholic Church and nothing could change that, right?

    The Church has shown itself to be the ultimate hypocrite. Practice what we preach, not what we do.

    I can't think of anything I believe in anymore except gravity and I just counting the days until the government decides to tax it.

    I'd say God help us all but I'm not sure if that works anymore.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  132. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    You're right Jack. There will be fewer people sitting in the pews and the collection plates will go empty. People in this 21st century are not as uneducated nor nieve as were our ancesters. The Catholic Church needs to undergo a Renaissance. Until this happens needs and wants of the members will go unfulfilled and their will be fewer priest and the number of parrisheners will also decrease. Get up with the times already. Accept responsibility for past mistakes and move on to a more rewarding and fulfilling future.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  133. Hugh in Canada

    Jack. The future of the Church can be guaranteed by one simple administrative policy adjustment . When abuse is uncovered in the Church, the police should be notified.They are well equipped to carry out a balanced investigation with outcomes which are fair to all parties involved. Currently, abuse is dealt with internally ; hence the charges of cover-up. This would clarify the situation and put the Church back on the road to recovery. Remember Jack. Justice must not only be done, but it must be seen to be done. Hugh in Canada.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  134. Paul T. Bock

    The Catholic Church and all professing Christians need to get back to the basics. Orthodox, or fundamental Christianity, is the basics. The solutions to the problem is straight forward and simple – READ THE BIBLE and then do, to the best of your ability, what it tells you to do.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  135. P Miller

    If people could see the Catholic church for what it really was, it wouldn't have a future.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  136. bob sherman

    The Catholic Church is the church that Jesus Christ, true God and true man, established for all time. He promised to be with his church until the end of time. I believe Him. This sex scandal, as real and horrific as it is, will be used by God ultimately to purify and strengthen his church. That's what I believe.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  137. Peter Locust Grove Ga

    The recent historical discoveries of "gospels" and "texts" presents real challenges to the Catholic church doctrines. As scholars have independently studied Catholicism vs. the bible it is clear that many of the doctrines of Rome are man made /embellished. One of these is that the pope is infallible. Clearly that is untrue. The pope needs to stand before his God and accept his punishment as true testimony to his faith. The Catholic church and papacy is mortally wounded.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  138. Rick Medina,OH


    The Catholic Church has survived and even thrived over the past 2000 years, despite atrocities of its own making ... think the Crusades and the Inquisition. Also, it has often shown little leadership, when other atrocities take place ... just consider European Fascism in the last century. But the true faithful continue to find a way (when necessary) to separate the institution from the underpinnings of their beliefs. The Vatican needs to come clean on this issue, and clean its own house. However it shakes out, one will still find crucifixes hanging on the walls of the faithful, youngsters will still celebrate their First Communion, and other rituals of the Church will continue. It is a painful shame that the institution periodically fails its faithful, but inspiring that the faithful always have found a way to regroup.


    April 5, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  139. RickinLA

    The only difference between this scandal and past scandals of the church is that the people have become better educated and have access to more unfiltered information. It started as a Cult in Rome and will end the same as other Cults have... with it's leaders clinging to their power and money until the very end.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  140. Grace Marshall

    I am a Catholic. It's time for the church to heal. And the only way we will heal is for this terribleness to be exposed to the light. It's like a festering wound. It's messy and ugly, but it's the only way we will heal. The hierarchy is handling this all wrong. You're right. They need to fess up and ask for forgiveness from the lives they tortured and permanently damaged.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  141. Paul

    The future of the Catholic Church? Seriously? Christ said to Peter – "..the gates of hell will not prevail against my church". The Catholic Church will rise from the ashes and be the better for it. The Church has survived evil from within before, and will again. It is Christ's Church...

    April 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  142. Catholic For Life

    Nice try, Jack. Anti-Christian media like you love to exaggerate facts and statistics to try to bring down the Christianity because to you it is an obstacle to the advancement of your own social agenda(s) (i.e., abortion, homosexuality, etc.). Yes, people run the Church and, yes, people make mistakes. That doesn't mean that the Church itself is at fault or that their is a fundamental problem with Catholicism. My faith will continue to grow, whether the Pope or some cardinal, bishop or priest sins or coves up sin. None of this changes anything in my eyes; in fact, I expect them to sin just as all of us humans do, often times in the course of their jobs (as you did by writing this exaggerated opinion and trying to present it as fact). Bottom line is that "right v. wrong" will always exist in society, whether or not you liberal-minded writers want it to, and you're in the wrong on most moral issues.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  143. Paul

    Let them go broke. They are not too big to fail. There are plenty of other churches ready willing and able to take their place.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  144. Richard in Montana

    The future is dim. The church's attitude toward women needs to change immediately. Perhaps if women were allowed the serve the church as priests these pedophile males might be forced out of their protected nests. Trying to sweep it under the rug only serves as protection for those sock bastards that remain.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  145. Mary

    I am a "cradle catholic", and I have been disenchanted with the church for some time. However, my priest years ago told me, "You don't have to agree with everything. It's ok to have some separate views and still be a good catholic." So I stayed. My husband & I are raising our girls in the faith, but I have to tell you that my heart is broken!! Thankfully, I have never been abused by any member of the clergy, but I simply cannot stomach the continued arrogance and disregard for the children that have been so hurt by the very mother church that is in place to nurture them! I am so enraged, but what to do? How do we get the church to realize that 2,000 years does not give them the right to treat the devout with such disregard? Our Pope, our Holy Father, shame on you!! Petty gossip? I agree with this article. The arrogance of the church towards its people will be its undoing.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  146. Charly in Del Mar

    The heads of the corporation and the "shareholders" will continue to drink the Koolaid and it will be business as usual. After all, this too is another corporation too big to fail.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  147. Harley Lever


    The Catholic Church's future is in jeopardy. As a former Catholic, I question how they can effectively preach morality when they have perpetrated the most heinous of crimes. The church is morally bankrupt!!!

    Further more, our governments need to hold all church members accountable for both their actions and inactions. No one is above the law. In fact, our church leaders should be held to a higher standard because their followers give them faith and trust well beyond what is normally given to other individuals and institutions.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  148. John Mac Intyre

    Kitchener Ontario Canada

    The Church Is Doomed Unless This Pope Starts To Clean House, Or Should I Say Clean The Church !

    These Priests Should Saying Their Bed Time Praying In Their Cells !

    Johnny Mac Intyre

    "Keep Up Your Great Work Jack"

    April 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  149. David

    I am sure the Church has good intentions. However several bad apples are spoiling the entire lot. I know I wouold NEVER allow any of my children be alone with an Authority figure of the Church.

    The Catholic People are a good group. They need to withhold contributuions, force the Church to sell of its tremendous amount of property and redistribute itto the victims.

    Most importantly, allegations MUST be handled by LAW ENFORCEMENT, not the Church. This will help the Church purge itself of the perverts.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  150. Donaldo

    Jack: I was raised a practicing Catholic, went to 8 years of school in CA, served as an alter boy in the Dominican branch, never saw anything close to what is being described. What I did see were a group of strong willed women on steroids doing all the lifting. So, my question is where are all the nuns who did the lifting back in my youth? I say put the nuns in charge, and they will get things straight in no time.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  151. Lou

    Having unnatural laws (celibacy) in an enlightened society puts a strain on the religions credibilty. Male no matter from what background have normal physical urges. Being cloistered in a male environment only acerbates the problem. As the church is unlikely to accept it is wrong it will continue to decline and as you say in time there will be nobody to talk too about it.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  152. Randy L

    The catholic church opposes abortion so that there can be more kids for their priests to play with.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  153. Wilfredo Montemayor

    The Catholic Church has had problems before ie. the betrayal of Judas, the denial of Peter but she has survived and will continue to flourish because Jesus her protector Himself said "And behold I am with you until the end of time." (Mt 28:20)

    April 5, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  154. Linda in Los Angeles, CA

    Denial until one is so cornered that the truth is squeezed out has become the norm in this country. First with govt, then in big business, private sector and now religious sector. The Catholic church continues to flourish amid its sinful nature due to continued support of those naive enough to believe the lie. Church "Organizations" are destined to fail as they continue to take on the character of the world. Only those who are truly Christ's will escape from the judgment that comes upon all. The only true Ecclesia/Church is that whose head is solely Jesus Christ Lord. All else is pseudo religion. The Catholic organization has been failing for years and will continue to do so as the truth comes to light.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  155. Jon Gill,philadelphia

    The two biggest religions in the world. One preaches murder, the other looks the other way at pedaphilia. I think religion itself is in peril.
    Karl Marx was right about religion being the opiate of the mases, but I think the high is starting to wear off.
    These religious leaders make politicians look ethical and that's not a good sign.
    I'll stick to my private faith without the need of a priest or an Imam.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  156. Mike, Richmond VA

    The Catholic Church has weathered many storms over the last two millenia, so I have no doubt that it will survive this hurricane of shame. That being said, the Catholic Church has proven to be far less relevent than ever before, and it has shown the world just how archaic it is. I grew up a strong Catholic, but these recent sex scandals and the church's subsequent "hush hush" job have made me question whether I want to raise my sweet little boy in this untrustworthy institution.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  157. Bill

    People understand that their spirituality is not the same as their religion. That organized religion defines God in a way that's most advantageous to organized religion. For a good discussion on this, read "The Third Jesus". What's the future for Catholics? It's up to each of us. What's the future for the Catholic Church? It's up to them. We all still believe in God, we just don't blindly accept the Catholic Church like we did when we were kids. Big institutions are not the single leaders they were 20-30 years ago. People think and discuss much more freely than they did only a few years ago. For the kids' sakes, they should try to make amends.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  158. A. Smith, Oregon

    When the person perceived by the Catholic Church to be the apostolic succession of Jesus is being directly seen as shielding and moving known serial pedophile Vatican clerics that had repeatedly raped and sodomized children in their care to other Vatican parishes where those same serial pedophile clerics continued to rape and sodomize new innocent children, it is entirely fitting Jack to ask what is the future of the Catholic Church?

    It appears to be sinking deeply into the toxic abyss of the 'money changers' who Jesus himself was recorded as having greatly despised himself.

    Pope Ratz does not appear to have even a single grain of the spirit of Jesus running thru his body. I wonder how long it is going to take the remaining Catholic Church members to realize that now?

    April 5, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  159. Scott Stodden

    Hopefully the future don't look to great for the Catholic Church! This man and I won't even call him a pope Jack we'll just call him Benedict because he is disgraceful and should taken from his seat as Pope immediatly! Why wouldn't he address this issue on Easter Sunday or even today the day after Easter? Because he knows alot more than probably what the Vatican even knows, if nobody has the balls enough to address this issue God is mightier and stronger and one way or another we all know God will bring down the Catholic Church and that's what's starting to happen slowly! If your Catholic turn to another faith one that doesn't support child sexual abuse!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    April 5, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  160. Nancy from North Carolina

    The hierarchy of the Church are circling the wagons around the Pontiff.
    For too long, the Catholic Church has been a political machine hiding scandals and forgetting (like politicans) why they exist. They become almost hysterical about abortions and yet made a decision a long time ago not to protect these babies whose lives they claim to value
    so much. It's time to call an end to celibacy and attempt to recruit clergy who actually live the lives of the flock.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  161. Gary H. Boyd

    The Catholic Church will survive because, ......hummm, let me start again. The Catholic church will survive because........ hummm, give me a moment. ....... The Catholic Church will survive because there are more good priests than bad ones and good always prevails over bad.
    Wow, that was a hard one Jack.

    Gary H. Boyd, Scottsdale, Arizona

    April 5, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  162. johnny JG

    They have no credibility with me until they come clean and I mean really clean !! Then and only then will I reconsider. As far as now, they are a bunch of child molesters covering each others backs!!

    April 5, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  163. frank

    Bob Gordon is correct. The Church will go back to Lay people. I mean priests were able to marry until the middle-ages. It's not like they don't change the rules when it suits them. If they continue down thie persent road, the Catholic Church will only exist in third world countries and won't resemble anything we have experienced in history.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  164. Bob Bridwell

    I would presume, Mr. Cafferty, that you believe being Catholic is very much like being a Toyota owner who is disaffected about the bad press over sticking gas pedals. I don't stop being a Catholic (or a Christian) no matter how reprehensible I may feel about individual priests who are accused or even the response of some of the leadership. I'd like to believe my faith is much deeper and feel insulted my your implications. Like most every other Catholic I adhor an abuse of children by any adult, particularly a priest. But to expect Catholics to leave and denouce the Church is way over the top

    April 5, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  165. Bill Staley

    It is the media that is propagating the biased focus on the scandals and slinging the mud. The Church is simply taking the high road. And as much as you keep poking Jack, chances are they'll stay away from people like you who would love nothing more to continue the unfair degradation. My heart and prayers go out to all the victims of ANY abuse from ANY scum whether it be a priest, teacher, neighbor, or relative. Focus on ways to solve the problem, not just blowing it out of proportion to get higher ratings. There are sick and destructive people out there. Some may be priests and some may be the hosts of primetime news shows–you never know. As for me, my faith won't be shaken and I will continue to work to protect God's children from predators and follow in the footsteps of Christ. I suggest you do the same.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  166. Michael Finch

    I'm a lifelong Catholic from Salt Lake City, Utah that is stunned by the way the Vatican has handled this crisis. The accused priests have committed one of the most serious crimes possible and the Vatican appears to constantly downplay the issue. I held out hope that there would be resignations and sweeping criminal charges so that the church followers could find a way to return to confidence in the leadership. It gets worse everyday. The Vatican is completely out of touch with the weight of their crimes and what needs to be done.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  167. RickinLA

    Ed Walsh April 5th, 2010 4:58 pm ET

    Cafferty check the statistics out! It mainly homosexual behavior that has caused this! Get rid of homosexuals in the priesthood and eliminate the deviant behavior!

    People are stupid! Ed Walsh is your proof.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  168. Thomas M.

    493 years ago Martin Luther saw the Catholic Church as corrupt and launched the Reformation that begat the Protestant Church, which rejected celibacy as a spiritual ideal. Some 500 years before that, the Church split for the first time, establishing the Roman Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church - in large part because the Greeks thought Rome's celibacy requirement was unnatural. So, Jack, here we go again, right on schedule! After 1,000 years it should be clear that institutionalized celibacy does not work, to say the least.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  169. Bowman

    On it's current path, there lies only ruin. The churches leaders need to take a long hard look at themselves and the world in which they live. They are loosing Europe, and America, if they loose stalwarts like Ireland and Italy the church will only exist in Africa and in Latin America. Reform is what is needed more than ever, not a blind grab at the past. The 12 disciples had wives of there own it's time the church embraced married priests again, and moved away from celibacy, which in my opinion is the root cause of the molestation issue in the first place.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  170. Plexibreath

    Celibacy is in conflict with human nature, the urge for sex is just too strong. Repressed sexual urges work themselves out in one way or another, so for a priest who's taken a vow of celibacy, acting on sexual desires can endanger his position unless he can control the situation, a child will be more likely to be intimidated into keeping silent than an adult which makes them the safest targets for these priests to victimize.

    The Catholic church can go on being viable if they do away with celibacy, I'm absolutely certain you will see a drastic reduction in child molestation if this step is taken.

    Los Angeles, California

    April 5, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  171. peggy flanigan

    We are disappointed in our leadership's handling of these terrible and unchristian parts of our church's history. We need to reach out to the victims and figure out how this happened in the first place to ensure it doesn't happen in the future. The Pope's and the Church's behaviour should be Christlike - compassion for those who hurt, protect the vulnerable, instruct the ignorant (and those who are in denial), call out the sinners (especially the blasphemers and hypocrites, which these "Christian" predators truly are.)

    Should we leave the church? Not at all. We need to come together and do what needs to be done - the Church must be made clean and we need to help all those people over the last few generations (those still alive) know that this evil is not God. We need to let them know that we collectively failed them, allowed the evil to take root, allowed it to infest Christ's vision.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  172. Elle

    It's ok, they're Catholic. That's always been the Church's stand. Say a Hail Mary and all is forgiven. So glad I was able to break free of the brain washing I received from them.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  173. Alex Halcon

    Amidst this growing sex scandal, the Church will survive, as she was able to survive from the beginning. We are Catholic not because of the Pope, the Bishops nor the priests, but because of the Holy Trinity that sustains, inspires and nurtures us.
    But it does not mean those erring priests should not answer their unlawful and inhuman behaviors. The Church must be redeemed by their admission of responsibility.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  174. Gigi Oregon

    Churches everywhere are facing a decline it's not just the Catholic church.The collection boxes have declined also in America for a different reason. The churches need to practice what they preach. Separation of church and state needs to be honored. And the church needs to stay out of political issues. The church needs to honor the law of the land if a priest/pastor breaks the law they should be turned over to the proper authorities. If these two rules where honored they both might have some respect. The churches need to wake up. The people have had enough. When there are two sets of rules one for them and one for us. And the media has a responsibility also...Jack!

    April 5, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  175. Mark

    It's sad to say but Catholics world wide need to quit living in denial. The Priesthood is a magnet for Homosexual Pedophiles. Unfortunately the Churches refusal to permit married Priests creates the exclusive club it has become. One sticking up for another when reports of rape and molestation occur. It has apparently gone all the way to the Pope himself which leads to a final question. Is the Pope himself guilty of the same crimes? The church will fall as Rome did if it doesn't straighten it's ways.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  176. Audrey

    Perhaps the thing that will draw people back to the church will be an extraordinary disaster. Seems we're heading that way now, what with the wars, the wacky weather, floods and now earthquake-after-earthquake! Is it getting anyone's attention? It's enough to drop one to their knees.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  177. KJZ

    The catholic church forbids priests to marry. 1Tim 4:1-3 shows that is "teachings of demons." Same scripture shows doctrinal abstention from foods falls under the same heading (ie "no meat on Friday"). Matthew 23:9 says, "do not call anyone your father on Earth, for one is your father, the Heavenly one." Yet, Catholics are to refer to priests as "father." Jesus continually referred to scribes, pharisees and religious leaders as "hypocrites." Matthew 15:9 warns about people who "teach commands of men as doctrine." Why is everyone surprised that the church would engage in, hide, tacitly encourage such awful acts. They do not humbly teach the word of God. They haughtily look out for their own selfish interest. Please read the bible.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  178. Joe

    If a teacher has an intimate relationship with a student under 18, they can get arrested and go to jail, no matter how "spiritual" the teacher is! How does a priest have a forced relationship with a child, under 14, with the suggestion that the child will not go to Heaven, and be allowed to be free of any condemnation from the church or community!! This is worse than the witches of Salem! Those were rumors. These are facts! How are they allowed to live above the law!! My feelings are the "good old boy system"! They are being supported by people in high places who tolerated pedophilia!! Are the congressman and senators listening!! Remember the congressional aid stories?

    April 5, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  179. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    If they fail to address these issues, denounce and expel the offenders, they are no more than a cult. They will lose the little credibility they have and slip into cutlhoood, where the leaders are unapologetic and prey upon people too stupid to think for themselves. They turn into a group of dirty, pedophilic, old men with funny hats and robes.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  180. Melissa

    Christianity has been dying for a long time. This is just another nail in its coffin.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  181. Charles in Lawrence, NJ

    No future and deservedly so, relegated to the third world were it belongs until even they catch on. Democracy is at risk from it’s lowest, most popular common denominator, religion. Who are we at war with? Theocracy. Hegemony isn’t just for nations, religions play the same game, world domination. If the Catholic church knocks itself off the tote board, all the better, progress towards humanism. A nuclear world can’t afford religion.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  182. Joe in MO

    In regard to money hitting the plates, you are talking like a U.S. citizen. Those of us in the U.S. might stop or cut back our giving, but many in other countries won't.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  183. Jamie

    With any luck, the Catholic Religion and all other organized religions will disappear.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  184. Mitch - St Louis

    The future of the church is their's to make. The simple solution is to aplogize and allow Preists to marry. I'd put the odds of that happening at about 10%.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  185. Maggie

    Celibacy has nothing to do with it. Most abuse is carried out by family members and close family "friends." Do you want to do away with marriage and families too?

    April 5, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  186. Don (Belleville, Ontario)

    The Catholic Church mistreats its priests by underpaying and overworking them, and by isolating them in a weird celibate existence. No wonder perverts and child abusers slip through the cracks. If society stood up for the rights of priests, then the Church would be forced to allow priests to marry, to allow women priests, and then the child abuse by priests would be greatly eliminated. Priests do not have the power themselves to force change under the archaic Church hierarchy totally controlled by old men.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  187. Scott Levine

    I hope the superstitions, myths, rituals and fear mongering, that all religious systems employ to control their flocks, will be replaced with a common humanistic framework - in which notions of morality, justice and decency are mutually-evident - and not left to the cynical control of self-appointed corrupt intermediaries, who insist their authority is derived from their singular understanding of the will of an invisible, silent and jealous deity.

    The Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, pogroms, the Holocaust, and now the child abuse scandal. What other misery does organized religion have to perpetrate to convince us that religion and morality are mutually exclusive. The Church and all organized religions will slowly become a painful and distant memory as have the many mythologies that preceded them.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  188. Nicole

    I've got news for you. The Catholic Church isn't going anywhere. It's been around for 2000 years. It's seen its share of scandals and persecutions through the centuries, but it doesn't dim the Truth it embodies and the goodness it brings to mankind. "The gates of hell will not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18) This is a bump in the road. I am not proud of what's coming to light. I agree it needs to be handled. But a few wayward individuals do not undermine the whole institution. Overall the percentage of pedophiles among the priesthood is smaller than the % of pedophiles among the common people. That's a fact. But the Church gets the bad press because people expect more, and rightly so.
    To put things in perspective... we have some really corrupt and immoral politicians in our governmental system. Does that mean we should abandon democracy and say it obviously isn't a good system? Should I leave this country because I'm frustrated with our elected officials? No. I'm here for the long haul. By supporting our government I'm not inherently supporting the actions of each individual government official – I'm supporting the ideal, and I'm supporting the overall good it serves, knowing it outways any bad.
    Same with the Church. The Church is still, and forever will be, the church that Jesus Christ himself founded. It is the church that the Holy Spirit still guides today. We may have flawed human beings in its ranks, but with Jesus Christ as head, I have nothing to fear. We will prevail. We will overcome. And in the ebb and flow of life, we will be a respected and admired institution once again. We are the moral compass of the world. And we are over 1 billion strong. Rest assured... we're not going ANYWHERE.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  189. Joe in VA

    As I watched some of the coverage of the Pope's Easter message, I just had a terrible feeling the church was circling the wagons on this issue instead of coming clean and asking for forgiveness for any wrongs done by its errant priests. As a Christian, I believe we are called to repent and ask forgiveness for all our our wrongs. Regardless whether the Pope knew anything or not, wrongs were done under the auspices f the church. Unless the Catholic Churchseeks forgiveness in a clear and sincere manner, I fear their credibility will be damaged for years to come. I also think God has a special place in hell for pedophile priests.

    Chatham, VA

    April 5, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  190. Peter Hillenberg

    The Catholic church is generally 2 or 3 hundred years behind the rest of the world. It took them a long time to admit the Earth was not flat, and a long time to admit that the Earth was not the center of the universe. They still think we should overpopulate the Earth. I pray they reverse that one, in less than 2 or 3 hundred years.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  191. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    The Catholic Church through it's long, brutal, bloody, corrupt & self-serving history is the antithesis of what Jesus would have wanted. Hopefully, finally there is no future for it in it's present form.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  192. norma potts

    If the catholic church was any other business the government would shut them down.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  193. rich sottilaro

    The future of the Catholic church??? Probably the same as the right wing religious dopes in American. I mean they are all very holy people but seem to have a problem with adultery, corruption and lying to the American people daily!! So maybe you should ask all those moral republicans about morality!!!


    April 5, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  194. john

    The church needs to hire a competent and experienced crisis management team. To date what they have done is an unmitigated and profound failure.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  195. Paul

    The abuse of these children is horrendous, and the individuals will be judged by God...not by any of us. But, why condemn the entire faith and clergy? Every religion has issues...every corporation has issues...every one of us has issues... we all sin. It's by and through the grace of God that we seek and recieve forgiveness through Christ on the cross. We should all work to heal those broken by the abuse, work to ensure nothing like it ever happens again, and bring Christ's love into the world.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  196. PAUL in Toronto

    The future of the Catholic church, Jack? Same as Greek mythology...but with a dark undercurrent of pedophila and cover-ups.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  197. John D

    Hey Jack I lost faith in the Catholic Church leadership at the USA level and vatican level before this. I now attend a Southern Baptist Church. The pope is just a head of state to me now since I no longer follow the pope as head of the Catholic Church.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  198. brad

    There is no future for the catholic church, or for that matter, any church.

    Religion is the root cause of all conflicts and wars on this planet. Genocide would not exist is not for religion.

    God is not great.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  199. R Smith

    All you need to do is read the King James Bible, the book of Revelation tells you all about the Catholic Church & what takes place in the coming days. All is unfolding rapidly.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  200. Desertcat

    Obviously the vetting process for potential priests is flawed as is the profile check list. Why not have a better pool from which to select? How about including married men and women, couples with families?

    April 5, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  201. Nurse Lisa

    they were doomed from the moment they declared themselved infallible.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  202. Chaney, Louisiana.

    Its shameful to me and the future looks bad, I am not a Catholic so its hard for me to put myself in their shoes...

    April 5, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  203. Earl Clark

    My idea of "petty gossip" would sould like this: A bill has recently been introduced to remove ALL exemptions from religious church organizations.

    Then see how fast they pony up the Pope or anyone else involved in this vulgar, perennial saga conducted behind the name of God.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  204. Denise

    I walked away from the Catholic Church over 30 years ago because of their treatment of their followers, the lies forced down our throats and the man made laws of the churchwith threats and fear. I am sickened and horrified that these sexual abuses have happened. Am I surprised? No.

    My heart goes out to the poor people who still believe in Catholocism, afraid that they will be struck down by the heavens above if you turn your back on the Catholic church. God will not strike you down for turning away from "The Church", nor will he strike you down for 99% of all of the made up sins that the church brainwashed us with through out all of these years.

    I hope that this wealthy, unforgiving, hateful entity fall on it's face. But somehow, I don't think it ever will.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  205. michaeljwjr

    The future of the church has little to do with the leaders but more to do with the will of the people and the want of change.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  206. The Truth

    The Church will survive, there have been many scandals and corruption in the past. It usually takes an event or a popular demand for the Church to clean house. We are hopefully at that point now.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  207. joe

    The church, hopefully, will allow priests to marry and women to become priests. Oh yes; one more thing. Sometime within the next 500 years.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  208. Harman

    Jack, is this what the media has come to? Pope Benedict has solved most of the problems associated with this evil. How about you focus on the molestations with the Boy Scouts and the teachers of the public school system. Oh wait, you won't because that won't bring the ratings. The Church will not fall no matter how much you want it to.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  209. Carson from Austin, TX

    As with every other change that happens in the catholic church, this will take time to address. Only this time... People aren't sticking around to hear the excuses. Raised a catholic, I haven't been to mass in a year. Not even for Easter.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  210. Simo from Canada

    It's astonishing to me how the Catholic Church burned free thinkers at the stake for a century, yet cannot wrap their heads around what would be a moral and just, "Inquisition". I no longer consider myself Catholic.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  211. Jane Kirk

    I am PRAYING that the 'church' folks will WAKE UP, embrace Jesus, and realize what is going down here. This is total evil at it's worst. Anyone who poo poo's this abomination that is happening to the innocence of children is denying the truth of the reality. Wake up folks.. and die right.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  212. Michelle

    The catholic church has survived for over 2000 years, this is a test of the devil, all those who are faithful will stand up for their faith. What these small percentage of men did does not affect my faith, nor should it anyone elses, especially during this time of the year when we remember what Christ did for us. We should remember all the trials that the church has overcome and know that scandals are not new to our faith, we have survived strongly and will continue to do so.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  213. jake


    This is not the first time the Church has been attacked during the course of its long history and it surely won't be the last. Despite all of these attacks, however, the Church has stood strong and I am confident it will continue to do so, serving God and the people.

    All the best,


    April 5, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  214. Rosemary

    Two things: The archbishop of Canterbury said aloud what millions are thinking, and he didn't need to apologize for it. The Catholic church not only continues to behave badly in oh-so-many areas, but also covers it up to boot. And the fact that the pope is apparently involved is truly truly a crime of the first order. (I am a former Catholic.)

    April 5, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  215. Johnny

    The pope has a new book called, the church of the future a.k.a. KEEP RUNNING FROM THE TROUBLE

    April 5, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  216. mat

    Iam a believer and a catholic; Catholicism is not just a belief for me, it is my way of life. I cannot describe in words the terrible anguish and the sense of betrayal. I heard the cliche 'we are not perfect but the mass is' repeated time and again this sunday. This denial is not going to heal the souls of millions of believers out there. I think they have lost all their credibility beyond doubt. Reformation is the need of the hour, we need change from the top and a realization that the followers of a man who died in loin clothes doesnt need gilded thrones and regalia.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  217. Bill Curd

    Maybe it is indeed time for the church to finally come tumbling down. Catholics all over the world are beginning to question not only the abuse issue,,,,but many other issues that for hundreds and hundreds of years, it seems that the catholic church has hidden from the entire world.

    Just because I'd like to see the church brought down, and all truths finally told, does not mean I don't believe,,,,,,,

    I just don't believe in those who run the church anymore!!

    April 5, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  218. Wes Stillwagon

    I'd like to remind everyone that in 1555 Nostradamus predicted the fall of the Catholic Church at about this time. I think this is the end of the infamous institution. Personally I would have liked to see it collapse following the Magdalene Laundries scandal in Ireland and others in Australia, and Canada. It is time for that institution with its systemic problems to go and good riddance.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  219. john Battiloro

    Jack, I left the Roman Catholic Church when I was 15 years old. Priests were not the problem for me, but the severe beatings I took from the Dominican Nuns were. I was often told to seek comfort with the Monseigneur by those same nuns. I did, What a racket. I'm now an active Anglican having gone to Divinity School. I hope that Catholics know that Episcopal Church in America will receive them with open arms.

    JOhn Battiloro
    White Plains, NY

    April 5, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  220. Leone Baum

    Hempstead, NY11550

    I think that devout Catholics will suffer but will remain faithful to their faith, The Catholic Curch has done many reprehensible things throughout the 2,000 years of its existence, and has managed to hold on to its flock, not all, but enough.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  221. Darrell Cadieux

    I would like to see it and all of Christianity, Judaism and Islam GONE!
    They answer nothing about the universe and have caused more human suffering than is possible to adequately explain. Our species would be so much better without them.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  222. Mike Wright

    Goverments, religions, other organizations, and people all have failings at some point yet they typically survive by learning from their mistakes and making changes. As a 49 year old Catholic I am sickened by the scandal. I would like to see much more stringent screening of candidates for priesthood and finally see women and married men allowed to be priests.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  223. norman grimard

    i am a former catholic for a reason...in my opinion the catholic church is morally and spiritually bankrupt. i believe the anti-christ is alive and well in that shady institution surrounded by all their opulance. shame on them...repent while you still can

    April 5, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  224. Ikeausten

    The Catholic Church is going through a period of cleancing for old sins, that means it will grow stronger after this period.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  225. Stephi, Los Angeles, CA

    As a victim of child rape by a seminarian at summer camp when I was a child, I hope the church ends up where it truly belongs, in the ninth ring of hell! Liars and hypocrites have no place in our world. Isn't that what the church teaches? The devil is a liar. When I asked for help to confront the person who molested me, I got the Holy Run Around!

    April 5, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  226. Just Let It Go

    The time has come for people to admit that organized religion is corrupt and is not working. Nor has it ever worked. Let's just let it go. It's either repressive, oppressive or just used to cover up evil in the name of God, convincing the masses that no matter what incomprehensible deed that has been inflicted on the powerless, it can be forgiven.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  227. JJ in Arkansas

    Unless the Catholic church can prove that it is "pro-life" enough to deal with child abuse within its ranks, its voice in the political arena will become irrelevant.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  228. London Joe

    The church, hopefully, will allow priests to marry and women to become priests. Oh yes; one more thing. Do it sometime within the next 500 years.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  229. A. Lee

    Catholic church, what catholic church?

    April 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  230. John H Noble Jr

    Jack, The future of the RC church lies in the developing countries where paternalism, oppression of women, and superstition still reign. In these countries, uneducated women and the lack of access to modern birth control methods assure an ample supply of kids for priests to play with. The latest revelations in the US and throughout Europe tell all but the terminally stupid that the RC church is and should be emasculated, as it were.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  231. Edgar

    I think its time we have a anti-pope. Someone who opposes the docturine of the current pope. Not talking about a evil one. that one is in power right now.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  232. Catholic

    Even if there is a drop in the collection basket, look what happened in Boston, Cardinal was pulled to the Vatican, nothing happened. No trials. No court case. We need to get some people in the docket. Get the Cardinals for aiding and abetting. That would shake them up, as it is, they're pulling this Jewish media in the US lie. Bout time this is put out as their excuse. Nail the suckers.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  233. Ralph Spyer

    The Catholic Church has been around for two thousand years and will still be around for the next two thousand ,if their is another two , 'But look what lost out of reformation came the Protestant who have a different view of the Pope; next the Church of England were the King was the King not the Pope. The Eastern Orthodox christan church has the patrarch of Constantinople as it head; like Russian,Romiania, and the Greece, ect. Some popes had wifes or France was the country that the pope live in. At one time the Catholic Chuhch own 90% of Mexico, why do you think Mexico has so many problems mow?

    April 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  234. Chepe

    It is so true that the Catholic institution has done horrific things since centuries ago. All those who are involved in those atrocities should go to jail and spend the rest of their lives in there. However, this shows that the Catholic institution managed by humans is wrong in many ways, but that does not mean that the Catholic religion is wrong. It is very sad to see people leaving the Catholic church because of all this. Again, those priests should go to jail including the pope if he was involved in any manner, but to leave the religion? that shows lack of faith.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  235. Gail Craig, Plano TX

    Jack: The Catholic Church will go on, trust me. They have enough money in one of the Pope's robes to feed the multitude. They will lie low for a season, but will return to spread their idiotic dogma. I used to think that the church was hypocritical inasmuch as children the world over were starving while those old buzzards lived in splendor! As if that weren't enough, they had to rape them, too. Wow!

    April 5, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  236. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack it sounds to me that your problem is the fact that the catholic church will not talk with the media about what happened not necessarily what happened. If only more people did not talk to the media you and Wolf would not have a job. This is a criminal issue not fodder for the media. grow the hell up Jack.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  237. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    The church has been abusing its power since the rape and murder of Hypatia who was declared a witch and a heretic because she taught math. They have never apologized for the torture and murder of 9 million women in the middle ages, so don't expect them to apologize for the abuse of few million children. The Roman Catholic Church needs to just go away.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  238. John

    Cafferty – say what you want about what certain people deserve, but to say The Church deserves anything is missing the point. You don't leave Peter because of Judas. Unfortunately, we cannot avoid having sinners run the Church because we are all sinners. Also, receiving 4,000 phone calls does not mean there were 4,000 victims, quite the stretch to say tens of thousands of victims – please provide proof. Certainly you are smart enough to realize that a lot of people biggoted against the Church (like you apparently) may have called that line. So please print a retraction. You have no evidence there were tens of thousands of victims.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  239. DJ

    Jack, I think it's pretty obvious. The patriarchal structure has failed the Catholic Church. They wouldn't have these problems if women were in control.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  240. Gramophoneman

    As an excommunicated Catholic....I can tell you "Child Sex Abuse" is the tip the iceberg with this religion...There are many other problems...It's a money making machine...

    April 5, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  241. Annette Keller

    At the time Cardinal Ratzinger was selected for Pope, many Catholics felt that he was a step backward for the Church. However, no one could have anticipated the extent and depth to which he has undone the great reservoir of respect and inspired affection that Pope John Paul built over decades. On all fronts, not just its shallow, ugly and self-serving response to calls for transparency and accountability on its handling of priest-child sexual abuse, the Catholic Church has shown an increasingly anti-humanitarian face to the world with its actions. Whether it's the U.S. bishops issuing false claims about the Democrats' Health Care Reform features, the Church teaching illiterate people in AIDS-ridden Africa that God doesn't want them to use condoms, or the ongoing cover up and enablement of child rapists among its ranks, the Catholic Church's humanitarian presence has gone from inspiring to appalling.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  242. Matt

    As a three-part question for Tony, how have these "little ones" sinned, why should they believe in "Him" any more, and do you honestly believe these little ones understand the implications of what they claim to believe in? Or are they only the indoctrinated (?) children of Catholic parents?

    April 5, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  243. Sue

    The future of the church is with the nuns. I can't recall the last time there were scandals involving sexual conduct & coverups that involved them (the nuns) . Sue

    April 5, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  244. via

    There will have to be a monumental shift in the core values of the church. There is a deep underlying sentiment in the church of forgivness. Focus on a clergy pedophile originates with emotions of love, forgivness and acceptance. Unfortunatly, this sentiment is out of touch with the realities of pedophilia, and the harsh clinical facts of recidivism. The church will have a long and difficult road ahead to connect their values with secular knowledge. The behavior of those who knew of abuse follow this sentiment. They love their fellow man, will forgive him, and will allow him to offend again.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  245. Steve W

    The Catholic Church has survived many scandals in it's history. Will the church survive this? Absolutely. As most Catholics, I am sickened by what some priests have done to children here in this country and around the world. However, the Catholic Church is so much more than just the Pope and priests. It is our faith that will sustain the Catholic Church. Regarding this scandal...yes, there need to be changes and I believe there will be. I believe this because I have faith.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  246. Teresa

    I hope this child abuse scandall marks the demise of the Catholic Church. I was raised a Catholic, but left the church when I turned twenty-one. Even way back then, I knew that the church had nothing to offer me. Not reporting child abuse is crminal and all those priests, bishops, Papal officers and the Pope need to be in jail. That's what happens to people in my business – education – who don't report child abuse. If the Church doesn't care about children, then about whom do they care? I think the Church is only interested in protecting itself. You call this religion???

    April 5, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  247. Ron Aitken

    The future should include JAIL TIME for the diddlers. I have yet to hear of a single one of them being prosecuted – why is that?

    Ron Aitken
    Bath, Ontario

    April 5, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  248. Brandon in Alaska

    Scandals? Lies? Cover-ups? Backroom deals? Sounds like they're heading to Washington...

    Brandon in Kodiak, AK

    April 5, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  249. Glenn

    they say the truth shall come to light. but this is ridiculous. The Church should close it;'s doors forever. They are a bunch of child molesters hiding under the name of the church.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  250. Tony

    One thing that should have happened already is stripping Vatican City of its diplomatic status here in the U.S. This is something that Reagan did, spitting in the face of our founding fathers who viewed Vatican City rightly as a church entity and not an independent state. Italy finances Vatican City and without Italy, Vatican City would be Cut-Rate Bargain for the rich to buy. The Vatican already tried to assert diplomatic immunity in a case in Texas and the federal judge rightly denied their argument. Let's return to the wisdom of Franklin, Washington, Madison and Adams and strip the Vatican of their unconstitutional status as a foreign nation.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  251. Alonzo/Temple Ga.

    Jack they deserve what ever happens to the church. These were crimes and those who committed them should answer in court where it should be done and them policing themselves. And they had many chances to do just that and didn't.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  252. J Moore

    I'm not as much worried about the Catholic church as I am what will become of the faithful...history has shown us that when those who can't live without a higher power telling them how to have a tendency to go to extremes and I fear we have enough extremist already running around on our small planet.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  253. Josephine Pedranti

    besides the priest sex scandels and wars, if there was no religion in the world, the world would be at peace

    April 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  254. Mark M

    Am I misunderstanding things here or not...?
    The current pope supposedly ignored abuse (when it was brought to his attention in letters) when he was a cardinal, but the inaction (he did not remove the abusing priest) is justified by the fact that he did not supposedly have the authority to remove the priest.
    Is the catholic church really trying to tell everyone that only the pope can act on a priest that abuses children??
    That would be similar to the idea that only the CEO of Walmart can remove a store manager that is doing wrong..? Is that correct??
    I don't get it. Does a Cardinal really not have the power to remove a priest that is abusing children??
    The concept that only the pope can remove an abuser, therefore Ratzinger is not to blame, is hard to believe.
    Does anyone know for sure? Is the Pope the only one who can actually act on abuse...??

    April 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  255. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    A mixture of piety and hypocrisy can only result in condemnation and failure.

    But it is the denial, the lack of an absolute truth that may be the most crippling for this Church. People in general are forgiving, as it is by forgiving one is forgiven, but as long as the hierarchy of the Church continues to be irresponsible through their denials of reality then there may never be anything people can forgive.

    It will be a sad day when this church folds as they do a tremendous amount of good in the world, it is a shame poor leadership once again is the demon.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  256. Steve, NY

    In light of child rapes and women beaten in public in Afgansistan, Iran and other Muslim countries, the next question for you Jack is "where is the Muslim religion heading in the future" .

    April 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  257. Rick Whitney

    As bad as it is, I believe that the Church will survive this. Remember Jack, the Catholic Church is not just the clergy, most of whom are great, its' also the millions of theFaithful, who live out Christ's message of love and service everyday all over the world, by clothing the naked and feeding the hungry.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  258. Reggie

    According to Revelation 13:3
    "All the world wondered after the beast"
    So, it's going to be greater

    April 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  259. Henry Flood

    No responsible person believes that abuse of children within the Church or elsewhere is right. As Benedict XVI has made clear: All abusers are accountable before Almighty God and tribunals. I suggest to the church's many enemies and the Church itself this teachable moment:

    The Church as such is indefectably holy in an impercect way. On earth, it is imperfect and has sinners within its ranks at all levels. Perfection is at the end of time. Meanwhile, I choose loyalty to the Church of Jesus Christ–the Roman Catholic Church.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  260. Marg McNish

    " And the Gates of hell shall notprevail against it"

    matt 16;18
    marg McNish

    April 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  261. James Richmond, VA

    The damage to the Catholic Church has been irreparable since the last two, or three, or four scandals involving children, primarily young boys. When the Catholic Church is mentioned, the word pedophilia instantly pops into my mind.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  262. JOHN P

    I left the Catholic church decades ago. It seems today the only ones hanging on to the Catholic Church today are religious extremists.

    What ever happened to acceptance, tolerance, forgiving, love thy neighbor as thy brother? Unless he happens to agree with extremist Christianity, then my neighbor must be driven from the planet, according to today's Catholic zealots. The Catholic church seems to have lost touch with Catholicism.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  263. Bryan Griffin

    200,000 converts to the Catholic Church in America alone this Easter.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  264. Robert Ingram

    It's high time for countries like Ireland to renounce Catholicism as their official religion and to become fully secular states.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  265. Ronda (from Canastota, NY)

    Jack, this sex scandal may just turn out to be the straw that broke the camel's back. People have been slowly and steadily becoming disenfranchised with the Catholic Church because it has become less caring about its flock. Collecting money and sweeping scandals under the rug has become more important than the religion itself which once gave the church real meaning in people's lives. If Jesus could see it, he must be disgusted with the whole lot by now. It all started when it became OK to start eating meat on Friday, and it's taken a nose dive ever since.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  266. Harvey Spencer

    Seems as though they are more interested in protecting the hiarachy than protecting the flock.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  267. Jeff - a former Alter Boy

    Let the Priests marry, for God's sake, Jack! -Whether that be a man OR a woman bride. Pent up sexuality and young kids is a recipe for pedophilia. As a former alter boy, I know first "hand" what I'm talking about. I will NEVER trust a priest, OR the Catholic Church again...and forget about letting my kids walk in, or even near a catholic church.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  268. George Greene

    An international organization over perhaps many hundreds of years sexually abusing perhaps tens of thousands of children and engaging in a cover up that goes all the way to the top -why is this not called organized crime and prosecuted as such?

    Brooklyn Park MN

    April 5, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  269. Glenn

    The sexual abuse scandal represent the real church it's a fake religion

    April 5, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  270. Liz

    As a "Recovered Catholic" who managed to survive eight years of verbal and physical abuse dished out by the nuns, I have followed this saga of abusive priests and the non-reaction of the church for years. The Catholic church is a multi-layered instution that supports child abuse, hides abusers, and continues to deny the existance of a problem. People who support the Catholic church with their time and money support child abuse and assist in sheltering abusers. Shame on anyone who continues to do so.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  271. D. Atanacio

    Any attempt to supress human sexuality should be voluntary, and not incumbent upon someone's career. Supressing anyone's sexality will only end up with odd perversions and rape,

    The problem as I see it is that the Catholic Church does just that. Being sexually abstinent should be voluntary. Some people can do it successfully and have profound spiritual results. Each priest and nun should ONLY be asexual according to thieir own commitments. Think about the priests that never speak, etc.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  272. Paul

    Reading all this makes my heart ache...for the victims...for those who have been offended...for those who have left the church...for those who have been hurt...for those who have sinned...and, for all the hate.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  273. Raffy

    Catholic church will never fall.
    Abuses will be addressed.
    Members of church have relationship w/ God, not w/ humans imerfect who make it up.
    Stop your attack.
    Nobody's perfect.
    Unless you are.
    I pity the victims.
    Criminals shld be punished.
    Don't sit as judge and executioner though!
    You have your own imperfection.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  274. Bob

    Catholics will still bring their children to be baptized and get their Holy Communion, because they still believe and have faith in the Church.

    Then they'll pull them out of there faster than you can say "Holy Father!" because they don't trust the morally bankrupt men that lie and jeopardize those children by concealing crimes to protect the Church.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  275. Ken Furrow

    MIssoula Montana. This is more then a bump in the road for the church. They have abused their power for centuries and it is catching up with the Vatican. The Church has been responsible for incalculable violence towards innocent individuals. Blame it on satan or any other myth. I wonder how many pedophile priests were also abused by priest when they were children.. Violence begets violence.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  276. Helga Schimmel

    The catholic church, historically, has always drifted far away from the church of the first century and from the simple truths. When the catholic church, as an institution, teaches that hirarchy and traditions are more important than Bible truths, there's got to be something gravely wrong with the teaching and practices. If they ever really start 'fessing up', we'll be here for a long time. Heaven help us.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  277. TTUFF

    I dropped out over 50 years ago-
    Too much "Do as we say", & keep your trap shut!
    Don't ever try & think outside the box in this religion, or you'll go straight to hell!

    April 5, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  278. Helen Canada

    I am sick and tired listening of all these priests excuses.Not only the Catholicks but other religious as well.
    I too when 8 years old went to an Orthodox priest under my mothers request (he asked me inapropriate questions for aan 8 years old child)
    I would not dare tell that to my mother because she would think I made it all up.
    Never go to Church only when no one is there and go to pray or light a canddle.
    I believe in God and I can pray just as good at home.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  279. Chris

    Jack, the Catholic Church is 2010 years old. The Future of the Church is in divine hands. Jesus said "The Gates of Hell will not prevail against it". Think about it Jack, how many generations have come and gone within the 2010 years. It will endure any of us who are alive and beyond until the second coming of Jesus Christ and we don't even know when this is going to happen.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  280. Loretta

    I was down the shore for the weekend and attended mass at the Sacred Heart church in Bayhead, N. J. Jack it was "standing room only" as in packed full. It is ironic that a man with your past, an alcoholic with an adulthood plagued with addiction, should be picking on a man like Pope Benedict. Stop profiting from such a tragic situation. How sad that the business you are in relishes the misery and suffering of others. Leave it alone, find something else to talk about.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  281. Jim Dofton

    Well Jack, I never experienced any sexual advances in parochial school in the 1950s, but I did witness racial bigotry, trying to be forced to subscribe to the magazine "Boy's Life" and being punished for my refusal to do so.

    In the Army, witnessed a catholic chaplain fondling a Korean prostitute in the officer's club ... was I to receive "Holy Communion" from his hand the next morning ... I think not. There was more inconsistencies when I wanted to be married in a church (family pressures) ... enough for now ... too many mental scars. End of Catholisism? I hope so!

    Big Jim
    Havertown, PA

    April 5, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  282. Louis Lorenzo, Bylas, Arizona

    The Catholic Church like any organized religion is a church made by men, and driven by money. You are right Jack, if the offering plate is empty, men will begin to confess their sins. But, to whom do they confess their sins to? God or MONEY. In the church's case, I would say the latter.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  283. Kevin

    Until the very deep pockets of the Catholic Church are sufficiently depleted, the cover-up will continue and no significant changes will take place. Oh, and it would help if the church's silly commitment to celibacy would go the way of all similarly antiquated rules...

    From a 53 year old Catholic in Seattle,

    April 5, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  284. Alvina from Toronto

    Catholic church, what catholic church? No more for me. Thank god almighty free at last!

    April 5, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  285. Jeremey Storey

    "Speaking to News Mediaset in Italy, the 85-year-old exorcist noted that the devil is behind 'the recent attacks on Pope Benedict XVI regarding some pedophilia cases.' ... 'There is no doubt about it. Because he is a marvelous Pope and worthy successor to John Paul II, it is clear that the devil wants to ‘grab hold’ of him.' Father Amorth added that in instances of sexual abuse committed by some members of the clergy, the devil 'uses' priests in order to cast blame upon the entire Church: 'The devil wants the death of the Church because she is the mother of all the saints.' ... 'He combats the Church through the men of the Church, but he can do nothing to the Church.' The exorcist went on to note that Satan tempts holy men, 'and so we should not be surprised if priests too … fall into temptation. They also live in the world and can fall like men of the world.'" AMEN!

    April 5, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  286. Jack

    Cafferty, if you are still on the air, The Catholic Church surely will survive

    April 5, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  287. Julius, Moose Jaw, SK, Canada

    I posted this on facebook but I will repost it here: A new joke...

    Q. What do you tell your kids when they a Priest headed their way?
    A. Run to the nearest stranger.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  288. Bob Edey

    Jack you were wrong in describing the scandal in terms of "years and years", in fact the abuse has been going on for centuries and was first recorded in a dictum issued by St. Basil the Great in 309 CE when he recommended flogging hebephiles (preference for pubescent boys) and forbidding them to ever again be near children.

    The flogging never happened.

    The clergy has been getting away with the abuse for 18 centuries and expect as it always has, to soon blow over and be forgotten.

    Bob Edey

    April 5, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  289. Alan

    I think the most important change is that lay people in catholic parishes will uphold their secular duty and detain, arrest, and prosecute sex offenders where ever they are in the church. We have allowed the church to manage this issue for far too long. If the offender is not defrocked, then mass in prison is not a bad thing.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  290. k

    how can a church survive when it practices cover-ups, secrecy, lack of accountability? The pope is not infallible–he is human just like the rest of us. This church needs to join the 20th century and allow their ministers to marry. This church keeps trying to sweep all their problems under the carpet. They focus on their status, monetary worth, power. Jesus is love and compassion which is sorely lacking in the catholic church.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  291. Hank

    The Catholic Church has been around a long time and will likely survive this terrible time. It would be wrong to condemn an entire body of believers, based on the actions of a few. The members of the church hierarchy whose hearts are in the wrong place will likely filter out. After all, they work for the ultimate Boss, whom we can't fool. I am hoping this scandal encourages all Catholics to search their souls and once again ask, "What would Jesus do?" Then do it and live it.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  292. djm in canada

    Jack has it right – when the Sunday collection starts going down, the church will belatedly offer its humblest apologies; after all, it has all those legal fees to pay!

    April 5, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  293. Chuck

    The future of the Catholic Church is already here today Jack! There were plenty of empty seats in Catholic Churches on both Palm and Easter Sunday, which have always been STANDING ROOM ONLY Sundays. I chose to leave the church years ago to avoid today's rush.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  294. Carl in San Diego

    Jack, you seem to forget that Pius XII and the Catholic Church survived the atrocities of the Holocaust by keeping their mouths shut. They will always have their followers. The church is under the age old assumption that they are above reproach and pass the blame elsewhere. They believe that if they ignore it, it will go away. The Catholic Church, and they are not alone in this, have elevated their leadership above and beyond, breaking the first commandment: "You shall have no other gods before me".

    April 5, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  295. Paul Barritt

    Here's what I want to know; why haven't those pedifile priests been prosecuted by the court system?

    April 5, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  296. Sonia Prince in Nashua NH

    There is a reason why they needed to print the NEW testament. The original bible is filled with sex, rape and violence to scare the people. It's a cult that was meant to control...which they have succeeded until people became educated, and women were finally allowed to be first class citizens! The somewhat educated people who still believe are still in existence because their parents filled their heads from birth. It's hard to go against what mommy and daddy tells you to be true. Brainwashing from birth, like any other religion....they've just softened their cult by writing the new testament. It's just another political group that wants to rule, only exception, they are protected from the law when they flee to the vatican. The rest of us have to face the law and go to jail when we commit such crimes like child abuse.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  297. honestjohn in Vermont

    The first step in fixing a problem is to admit that you have one. The Caholic churches behaviour is a disgrace to everyone including God.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  298. Edgar@Midland, Texas

    The Pope is not above God's nor man's laws.
    He must be prosecuted for his cover-ups.
    True Catholics demand justice.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  299. Greg

    The Catholic Church will survive. Unfortunately, there will always be those who will follow it, and other religions, like sheep to slaughter.
    But just how monumental must the denial be when even the most senior and visible authorities within the church refer to the various allegations as "rumor".
    It's disgusting, on all levels.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  300. Forest Walters

    Well said Mr. Cafferty.

    I can't imagine that a priest that commits the heinous crime of molesting an innocent child (or covers it up) can "pray" anyone into heaven or out of hell, yet millions of dollars and euros have been paid to these so-called Holy men for these services.

    Maybe they should be facing extortion charges as well.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  301. Sam

    Anyone ever think that some of these allegations are made up? I could say I was molested. Doesn't mean its true.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  302. Steve

    Jack: I would say that Catholics should read their history books. Richard Nixon tried to cover up the Watergate Incident and resulted in resignation of a President. If that does NOT occur with the head of the Catholics the future does not look good in the future.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  303. Dan Smith

    Jack. I cannot fathom why local civil courts cannot arrest and try these pedophiles. Further more.The people who continue to attend this orginization, must have their heads in the sand or have been completely hypnotized and oblivious of any other way to express their recognition of God. I understand people ARE coming to their senses in europe.and leaving the outfit. They will find a better path I am sure.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  304. Ed Williams

    The church will survive just fine. The members are to afraid, through the Catholic guilt, to stand up and walk out. Hell is a scary place to those people. They rather pretend it's not happening in their church, besides it doesn't matter cause they're "good catholics". I guess it's all good until it happens to your child. Every participating Catholic should be ashamed of themselves. ENABLERS!!

    April 5, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  305. frankie

    In a perfect world he would resign, however, we are living in a fallen world.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  306. Ralph Burke

    The Catholic Church is the most archaic and out-of-touch religion on Earth today. The Vatican is simply a greedy, fund-gathering business, operated by feeble old men. Like any business enterprise whose ownership is composed of over-the-hill, senile executives, it will most surely fail, as it cannot generate new revenue streams to service its current liabilities.

    Ralph Burke
    Vancouver, WA

    April 5, 2010 at 5:33 pm |