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Cardinal Dulles calls clergy sex scandal a media beat-up


US Jesuit Cardinal Avery Dulles has said that the current clergy sex abuse scandal is an "American media creation" that "does not rise to the level of historical church crises such as the Gregorian revolution in the 12th century or the Protestant reformation of the 16th century."

"I don't think this is anything of comparable proportions," he said. "I don't think there's any great crisis in the U.S . . . It's really practically no news. To the extent it's a crisis, it's created by the news media. I suppose every individual case is terrible but it is not something peculiar to the Catholic church."

Stephen J. Pope, chairman of the theology department at Boston College, called Dulles' observation "stunning" and said it could reflect John Paul's feelings, given the two share similar views.

"That is profoundly out of touch with what ordinary Catholics are thinking," said Pope. "There's a very deep emotional level of anger and depression. If that's the way the Vatican is thinking, there's a very big problem."

Pope said the meeting is historical in its short notice and single agenda. In 1989, American bishops were summoned for a meeting on teachings contrary to church views and bishops from Holland were called to the carpet in 1981 for a similar incident.

Pope speculated the meeting could be about "personnel issues" such as Law's resignation and what it means for the Catholic church in the United States. He said normally cardinal conclaves have months of lead time for preparation and reflection.

Dulles is one of five American cardinals who were not invited, but he said the focus of the meeting is for those cardinals who actively oversee archdioceses to hammer out a uniform response to the widening scandal.

"American bishops want a little more ability to deal with the question than canon law gives them at this time," Dulles told the Boston Herald .

SOURCE
Boston Herald


17 Apr 2002