Pope John Paul is urging American bishops not to distance themselves from parishioners in the wake of the U.S. sex abuse scandal.
Speaking to the bishops at his summer home, the pope said the approach that some American Roman Catholic leaders took to deal with the crisis may have inadvertently driven a wedge between them and the faithful. He calls it a “crisis of confidence.”
During the scandal, numerous reports surfaced of abusive priests who were moved from parish to parish rather than be punished. That prompted some victims and others to accuse the church of putting more emphasis on protecting priests over victims.
Still, the pope says he’s confident the church will achieve “self-renewal” in the United States.