Loading...
Loading...
Click here if you don’t see subscription options

Pope Benedict XVI and his key advisers are facing a long, hot summer of problem-solving and strategizing. A raid by Belgian police on the archdiocesan headquarters and residences near Brussels on June 24 left Vatican officials stunned and illustrated just how much the sexual abuse crisis has lowered the church’s standing in the eyes of some civil authorities. The country’s bishops were held for nine hours as police confiscated files, computers and cell phones. The ultimate affront came when the police drilled into the tombs of two dead cardinals and inserted cameras to look for supposed hidden documents. None were found. The police action brought sharp criticism from Pope Benedict, who was careful, however, to defend the right of civil authorities to investigate priestly sex abuse. Four days later, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling in Oregon that said the Vatican did not have immunity from potential liability for the actions of a priest accused of sexual abuse.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

The latest from america

A Mexican soldier patrols outside the Church in Cerocahui, Mexico, Wednesday, June 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Christian Chavez)
The bishops’ statement followed the slayings of two Jesuits and a person they were protecting in their parish—a crime attributed to a local crime boss in a part of the country dominated by drug cartels.
President Truman's envoy to the Vatican, Myron C. Taylor, left, has an audience with Pope Pius XII at Castelgandolfo near Rome, on Aug. 26, 1947. (AP Photo/Luigi Felici, File)
The documentation, published amid renewed debate about the legacy of the World War II-era pope, contains 2,700 files of requests for Vatican help from Jewish groups and families.
A school bus in front of a building; the building has a yellow banner on it that says “imagine a future free of gun violence.”
One month after Uvalde, we are growing numb to gun violence. Even so, we must resolve to comfort the mourners, to beat guns into plowshares, and to say “never again” and mean it.
Britt LubyJune 24, 2022
A man bows his head in prayer before a computer screen showing nine people doing the same
As pandemic restrictions have eased, most parishioners have returned to in-person Masses. But some would prefer the option for virtual services to remain.
Keara HanlonJune 24, 2022