The Catholic Church and Sex Abuse
NPR Coverage, Commentary on the Church in Crisis
Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston speaks during the meeting of the U.S. of Catholic Bishops Conference in Dallas. June 14, 2002.
Photo: Copyright 2002 Reuters Limited
As the U.S. Catholic church wrestles with a sex abuse scandal, NPR News provides continuing coverage.
Read the June 14, 2002, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops policy statement on sexual abuse.
Read about the key bishops participating in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Dallas.
Read the April 24, 2002, statement issued after the cardinals' meeting.
June 15, 2002: Bishops Prepare to Implement Sex Abuse Policy
Catholic bishops leave their conference in Dallas with a new policy onsexual abuse by priests, but critics say the disciplinary plan doesn'tgo far enough. NPR's Duncan Moon reports for Weekend All Things Considered.
June 15, 2002: Bishops' Sexual Abuse Policy Meets with Criticism
Catholic bishops adopt a plan to bar sexually abusive priests fromdirect contact with parishioners. The policy fails to satisfy manyvictims of abuse. NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports for Weekend Edition Saturday.
June 14, 2002: U.S. Bishops Approve Policy Barring Abusive Priests from Ministry
Bishops adopt a plan that would prevent sexually abusive priests fromhaving direct contact with parishioners, but would not defrock them. All Things Considered hears from NPR's Duncan Moon and parishioners Susan Troy and Hank Adema.
June 14, 2002: Bishops Near Final Decision on Sex Abuse Policy
At the U.S. Roman Catholic bishops' conference in Dallas, churchleaders work out details on a policy for dealing with sexual abuse bypriests. NPR's Duncan Moon reports on Morning Edition.
June 13, 2002: Bishops' Conference Focuses on Sex Abuse Scandal
At the opening of the bishops' conference in Dallas, Bishop WiltonGregory concedes church leaders had a role in creating the sex abusescandal. Alleged victims also speak out. NPR's Duncan Moon and WadeGoodwyn report on All Things Considered.
June 12, 2002: U.S. Bishops to Consider Role of Lay Review Boards
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops prepares to meet in Dallas. Itis expected to discuss the role of lay review boards in investigatingallegations of sex abuse by priests. NPR's Duncan Moon reports on All Things Considered.
June 4, 2002: Bishops Set Vote on Plan to Oust Abusive Priests
An ad hoc committee recommends that the church defrock any priest whosexually abuses a child. The plan will be put to a vote at next week'sconference of bishops in Dallas. NPR's Duncan Moon reports on All Things Considered.
June 4, 2002: Church-Run Treatment Facilities Face Scrutiny
The St. Luke Institute, which treats pedophile priests, may loseaccreditation after the recent suicide of a priest. The incident hasraised questions about treatment provided by church-run facilities.NPR's Beth Fertig reports on All Things Considered.
June 2, 2002: Church Aggressively Defends Some Abuse Cases
TheRoman Catholic Church has paid large sums of money to settle sex abusecases. But it is also using aggressive defense tactics in some cases,suggesting the claimants contributed to the alleged abuse. On Weekend Edition Sunday, Monica Brady-Myerov of member station WBUR reports from Boston.
May 28, 2002: Bush Meets with the Pope
Duringan audience with Pope John Paul II, President Bush brought up the sexabuse scandal that has rocked the Roman Catholic Church in America, aWhite House spokesman confirms. For All Things Considered, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports from Rome.
May 15, 2002: Man Charged with Shooting Priest He Says Abused Him
In1993, a young Baltimore man named Dontee Stokes accused the Rev.Maurice Blackwell, a Roman Catholic priest, of sexual abuse. Now Stokesstands accused of shooting Blackwell, who was suspended after the sexabuse allegations but then reinstated by Baltimore Cardinal WilliamKeeler. For All Things Considered, NPR's Andrea Seabrook reports.
May 9, 2002: Sex Scandal's Impact on Priests
Someof the changes are subtle, but priests say life around their churcheshas changed amid the child sexual abuse scandal that has engulfed theU.S. Catholic church. On Morning Edition, NPR's Susan Stamberg interviews two pastors about their day-to-day experiences.
Browse more NPR stories on the Catholic Church
. Recent Commentaries June 12, 2002: Bishops' Pulpit
Commentator Gustav Niebuhr, a visiting fellow at the Center for theStudy of Religion at Princeton University, says the sexual abusescandal in the Roman Catholic Church is distracting from otherimportant social issues -- abortion, peace, poverty -- that bishops aresupposed to speak out about. On All Things Considered
. June 4, 2002: Change and the Church
The sex abuse scandal has led to many calls for the Roman CatholicChurch to change. But the church has always been slow to change,commentator John Crowley observes. John Crowley lives in Conway, Mass.His latest book is The Translator
from William Morrow & Co. On All Things Considered
. April 23, 2002: Catholics Stay
Commentator Jane Meredith Adams describes her decision to stay with the Catholic Church, despite its sex abuse crisis. On Morning Edition
. April 23, 2002: Roman Catholic Control
Commentator Richard Higgins says that the Roman Catholic Church'scurrent scandal is not just about issues of sex and sexuality -- it isalso about the hierarchy's control. On All Things Considered
. April 22, 2002: Passive Voice of Apology?
NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr
argues that the language coming from leaders within the Roman CatholicChurch suggests more concern for the institution than for the victimsof abuse. On All Things Considered
. April 21, 2002: The Church's Monumental Task
Essayist Kate Nelson says the Catholic church has before it the monumental task of rebuilding public trust. On Weekend Edition Sunday
. April 18, 2002: A Letter to God
Commentator Peter Freundlich writes a letter to God asking forintervention in the Mideast and in the turmoil in the Catholic church.On All Things Considered
for a listing of alternate locations.