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Can The Catholic Church Survive Another Sex Abuse Scandal?48:44
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Paint covers the name of Cardinal Wuerl at Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School, on Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, in Cranberry Township, Pa. Wuerl, a Roman Catholic Cardinal, and the archbishop of Washington, D.C., has come under fire from revelations in the Pennsylvania grand jury report about his actions while bishop of Pittsburgh. (Keith Srakocic/AP)
Paint covers the name of Cardinal Wuerl at Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School, on Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, in Cranberry Township, Pa. Wuerl, a Roman Catholic Cardinal, and the archbishop of Washington, D.C., has come under fire from revelations in the Pennsylvania grand jury report about his actions while bishop of Pittsburgh. (Keith Srakocic/AP)
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With Meghna Chakrabarti

“We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them,” writes Pope Francis. Can his church survive another scandal? If so, how?

Guests

Philip Pullella, Vatican correspondent for Reuters News Agency. (@PhilipPullella)

Susan Reynolds, professor of Catholic studies at Emory University's Candler School of Theology. (@SusanBReynolds1)

Thomas Groome, professor of theology and religious education at Boston College, where he is the former director of the school's Church in the 21st Century Center. Author of "What Makes Us Catholic." He is a former priest.

From The Reading List

Daily Theology: Statement of Catholic Theologians, Educators, Parishioners, And Lay Leaders On Clergy Sexual Abuse In The United States

Washington Post: "Pope Francis: ‘No effort must be spared’ to prevent Catholic Church’s abuses" — "Pope Francis said in an unprecedented letter to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on Monday that the church has not dealt properly with 'crimes' against children and must prevent sexual abuses from being 'covered up and perpetuated.'

"'We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them,' Francis wrote.

"The 2,000-word letter, the first by a pope addressed to the world’s Catholics on the topic of sexual abuse, amounted to a direct response by Francis to a rekindled crisis that has engulfed his own papacy and eroded the credibility of the Roman Catholic Church."

CBS News: "Catholic churches hold 'Mass of forgiveness' after priest sex abuse report" — "Sunday marked the first time many Catholics returned to church since a shocking new report about priest sex abuse came to light. Many churches in the Northeast held a 'Mass of forgiveness,' including St. Patrick's Cathedral, CBS New York reports.

"Bishop Ronald Gainer with the Diocese of Harrisburg joined a list of Roman Catholic clergy to pray and ask for forgiveness. It came in reaction to a grand jury report last week in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania that alleged rampant sex abuse affecting more than 1,000 children by 300 priests in six dioceses over the past seven decades."

A fury in parishes across the country this weekend, following last week’s revelations of clergy sex abuse in Pennsylvania. Pope Francis responded with an unprecedented letter to the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, writing: "We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them." But the question remains, given the power, history and traditions of the church, is true change possible?

This hour, On Point: another reckoning for the Catholic Church.

— Meghna Chakrabarti

This program aired on August 21, 2018.

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