It was the first overseas trip for Pope Benedict XVI since the latest outburst of stories dealing with allegations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. He had a tearful meeting with eight men who had been sexually abused as children by priests. The Pope expressed his “shame and sorrow” and promised to implement “effective measures” to ensure there would be no further incidents of sexual abuse. There is no question Pope Benedict is sincere, but the reality is words will not make sexual abuse disappear. There was no indication he was thinking about a much more extensive investigation that would involve all levels of the Church and identify new approaches in dealing with relations between priests and members of their parish, particularly younger boys and girls.
The issue is not whether the Pope is sincere, the issue is not whether he supports such behavior, of course he does not. But, issues such as celibacy, the absence of women from leadership positions might well be confronted at a church meeting.