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Pope Benedict and the Church Crisis23:37
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Pope Benedict XVI kneels during a service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 2, 2010. (AP)
Pope Benedict XVI kneels during a service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 2, 2010. (AP)

It was a hard Holy Week at the Vatican.

The uproar over the sexual abuse of children by priests that swept America in recent years has now reached Europe, and the very doorstep of the Holy See.

The Pope has expressed shame and remorse for “sinful and criminal acts” in Ireland. But he has a continent and more up in arms, and a spreading crisis.

Pope Benedict’s own record of oversight is under sharp scrutiny. The Vatican has called it “petty gossip” and a top prelate compared it to anti-Semitism. But the trouble is deep.

This Hour, On Point:  crisis in the Catholic Church.Guests:

Sylvia Poggioli is senior European correspondent for National Public Radio.

Scott Appleby is professor of history – and director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies – at Notre Dame University. He's author of The Ambivalence of the Sacred: Religion, Violence, and Reconciliation. He's also editor, with Martin Marty, of the five-volume “Fundamentalism Project” from the University of Chicago Press.

Ed Wilson is a member of the board of trustees of Voice of the Faithful, and leader and founder – with his wife Anne – of the Brooklyn affiliate of Voice of the Faithful.

This program aired on April 5, 2010.

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