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Panelists assess effects of church sex scandal on ministry

The scandals prompted by clergy sex abuse are likely to prompt the "distancing of a significant number of Catholics" from church teachings already ignored by some, such as birth control and abortion, a New York Times columnist told a gathering of Catholic health care and social service leaders in Chicago on Sunday.

"Teachings will be resisted all the more readily on issues" where lay Catholics already show divergence from the hierarchy in public opinion polls, said Peter Steinfels, one of four panelists who discussed the scandal at the joint meeting of Catholic Charities USA and the Catholic Health Association.

Other panelists agreed that the hierarchy so far appears to have the most to lose in the clergy sex abuse crisis facing the church.

Catholic Charities USA | Catholic Health USA | Historic Joint Meeting
Peter Steinfels: The Church's Sex Abuse Crisis (Commonweal 19/4/02)


7 Aug 2002