A Roman Catholic priest from western Massachusetts who's been a longtime critic of the church's handling of the clergy abuse crisis has called on Pope Benedict XVI to step down.
The Rev. James Scahill of St. Michael's in East Longmeadow in his sermon on Sunday also demanded greater protection of children and greater accountability from church hierarchy.
The pope has been subjected to intense criticism recently for the way he has dealt with some abuse cases. Scahill said because he has violated an important tenet of faith by not being truthful, the pope should step down.
Parish Council president Thomas LaMondia tells The Boston Globe the congregation was largely generally supportive of Scahill's message.
A spokesman for the Diocese of Springfield called Scahill's statement's "unfortunate."
This program aired on April 12, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.