News / Europe

Sex Abuse Scandal Casting Shadow Over Pope John Paul II's Sainthood

Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Sabina Castelfranco

Five years ago Catholics around the world were mourning the death of Pope John Paul II, who headed the church for 27 years. Now questions have arisen over his record combating pedophile priests and it appears his fast track to sainthood may be slowing down.

Catholics around the world are marking Good Friday but at the same time also the fifth anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II, the most popular pontiff of the modern age and a prime candidate for sainthood.

Thousands who took part in the Polish pope's funeral in 2005 shouted "Santo Subito!" (Sainthood Now). Just two months later, Benedict XVI, the new pope and a longtime associate of Pope John Paul II, waived the traditional five-year waiting period to kick off the sainthood process for the Polish pope.

Now there are questions over whether Pope John Paul II's fast track to sainthood may be slowing down. His beatification process is very close to its end, but is turning out to be more complicated than anticipated.

There is more than one reason for this.

One has to do with the miracle needed for Pope John Paul II to be declared "blessed". The inexplicable cure of a young French nun from Parkinson's disease had initially seemed like the perfect case. But now there are doubts over whether she has in fact completely recovered and whether she suffered from Parkinson's in the first place.

The other reasons have do with the child sex abuse scandal by priests currently engulfing the Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II's record in combating pedophile priests is being questioned and a battle has erupted in the Vatican over how he should be remembered.

New shadows on Pope John Paul II's image have been cast as revelations about new cases of child sex abuse by priests during his papacy emerge. Victims say he had to be aware and should have done more to stop what was happening.

Father Thomas Reese, a Jesuit and Vatican observer, says Europe must learn from what occurred in the United States because the child sex abuse scandals have been extremely damaging to the image of the Catholic Church.

"Well, I think there is no question that this has been the worst crisis that the United States church has experienced in its history," said Thomas Reese. "It was terrible for the poor victims who were abused, it shocked the people in the pews and really hurt the credibility of the clergy and the bishops."

Speculation has circulated that Pope Benedict may address the issue during the Good Friday ceremonies at Rome's ancient Colosseum. Shortly before Benedict became pope in 2005, he used meditations he wrote for the Way of the Cross services to denounce "filth" in the church.

Now that he is pope and the crisis is at its worst, many are hoping the pope will again to use this opportunity to issue a mea culpa and take responsibility for the scandal.

You May Like

FIFA Indictments Put Gold Cup Tournament Under Cloud

Experts say US indictments could lead to charges of other world soccer officials, and lead to major shakeup in sport's governance More

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

At a recent even in Seoul, border communities promoted benefits of increased cooperation and North Korean defectors shared stories of life since the war More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs