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March 12, 2010
Posted: 1735 GMT

Hello from the newsroom everyone,

Today we are live in Rome and in Berlin with the latest on sex abuse accusations against the Catholic Church in Germany. Today, the German Archbishop sat down with Pope Benedict the 16th for 45 minutes to discuss the latest in a string of allegations.

The sex abuse could that has hung over the Catholic Church in Europe – from Ireland to Austria – is this time hitting particularly close to home for Pope Benedict: the alleged abuses in Germany took place in a Cathedral where the Pontiff's brother was a Choir Master.

Don't forget to vote in today's poll on whether you think the Pope is doing enough to address allegations of sexual wrongdoing, Weigh in below.

Also today, we'll go live to London where the French President is making a splash. He is accusing the United States of setting a bad example when it comes to protectionism.

Sarkozy was referring to a military refueling contract awarded to U.S. plane maker Boeing and not to European rival EADS. His words clearly hit a nerve in America: Sarkozy was the main story on Conservative website The Drudge Report in the United States.

Speaking of military contracts, I'll be talking to former Clinton administration adviser Toby Gati on Russia's recent nuclear deal with India. Just a few weeks ago, the United States sold armaments to both India and Pakistan. What do recent developments mean for U.S.-Russia relations? How does it change the power balance in the region?

Staying in the AFPAK region, we will then take you live to Pakistan, where there's been another deadly bomb attack.

Later, we'll bring you the latest developments on a probable British Airways cabin crew strike. We'll tell you how it might impact your travel plans.

All that and the latest news, weather and sports updates as they come in.

See you at the IDesk!

Hala

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Filed under: Church Abuse Scandal •Today At The I-Desk


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Muthyavan.   March 13th, 2010 2:51 am ET

Sex scandals have become very normal to rock religious heads like it has rocked many politicians in time to time. Because of a fair judicial systems and more of a transparency attitude adopted by media outlets all these things which were happening behind the curtains all these days are flashing the head lines every day. But it is not only confined to Catholic religion,it is happening to another major religion Hinduism. Recently a Hindu holy man was accused of running a prostitution ring in Delhi, another in south India caught sleeping naked with ladies.

The thing is after all these religious heads are also humans and their sudden findings are alarming, only thing they should do is to accept the truth and step dawn from their positions and purify the religion. If they continue in their religious duties, even after all these ex-posers they are then enemies to the religions and mankind. Recently Canadian government tendered an open public apology for allowing in the past forcefully conversion of native Indian children to Christianity by Priests.

War machinery and weapons trading is a very profitable trading business in the modern world and by maintaining a close relation with all the opposing parties in a war you make a good profit and prevent other arms manufacturing countries away from these markets. Some countries like Pakistan were created by war on religious and ethnic hatred and will never recognise the true human values of peace and freedom. No body knows how long these suicide bomb attacks on innocent civilians will continue, which is now mostly moved to Pakistan cities away from other trouble places.

Finally talking about Strikes in travel industry , now it is making a profit after a long bad times so the workers are eyeing for their share in the new found profits in the travel industry.

Sayan Majumdar   March 13th, 2010 6:59 am ET

Hala, nice to see you back.

the Indo-Russian relations have stood the test of time and bound to get stronger in subsequent years if not decades.

The sale of a 45,000-ton aircraft carrier (‘Admiral Gorshkov’ renamed ‘Vikramaditya’), currently under extensive refit, lease of the Akula II Class nuclear powered hunter-killer submarine (SSN) Nerpa, assistance in construction of India’s own nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) by the Russians to India, joint-production of a fifth generation fighter displays the level close cooperation now almost a symbiosis.

Sayan.

nimitz benedicto   March 13th, 2010 10:09 am ET

First of all, I respect the right of each person to his point of view. If they believe because a Hindu man was caught in a prosti ring, and because other religions are involved in sex/scandalous behavior, therefore, it is alright for the roman catholic church to also indulge in scandalous behaviour.

If that's what they believe in, , by all means let him believe what he wants.

However, in my milieu, just because many are doing sex scandalous behaviour still doesn't make it right. In my opinion, it is still wrong.

( perhap's, it's better if we watch tonight's iDesk before we comment on other topics.)

Padma Sethi (Buddhist disciple)   March 14th, 2010 11:23 am ET

Vatican and Catholic Church must eradicate this 'sexual' problem among their Priests in mainly – Western World; it appear proper and religious for Male Priests to take a vow of celibacy but being man there would always be that small minority who abused boys in their congregation. Once it is reported, however trivial the said Priest must be investigated and the Church have to choose a common word acceptable to congregation and to suspend him. Over the years, rumours have persisted among congregation of Priest's misdeed but it was the boys who got punished with parents if they complaint officially and not the priest. Pope Benedict should NOT be blamed for this sexual problems that have persisted over many decades in the Roman Catholic church. I have Buddhist converts from RC faith who claimed to be victim and their graphic confessions needs many years of 'counselling' and in my opinion boys who were abused by Priest suffered life long trauma and the Church must accept that sexual abused takes place even now and offer appropriate Children counselling services and not disowned and punish them as naughty boys. It is time that the Roman Catholic church acknowledge the facts and sets up children counselling services.

Joy Lumsden   March 15th, 2010 6:53 pm ET

To me it seems that the Roman Catholic Church has profound problems over human sexuality which cannot be cured by 'band-aid' solutions. The acceptance of the full equality of the sexes in the Church seems a necessary first step, while acceptance of the 'normality' of a range of sexual orientations would also need to be considered.
On a purely practical level, I have never been able to understand how the Church could cheerfully allow priests to have boys (and girls) alone with them, and apparently ignore the dangers inherent in such activities, at various levels. My father was an Anglican priest and I remember very well a conversation with him in which he made clear how very careful he was never to be alone with children from his congregations. If a happily married clergyman was aware of the issues raised, why has the RC church apparently arrogantly assumed that it and its priests did not have to consider the same issues?

J. Reuben Silverbird   March 16th, 2010 8:19 pm ET

It's about time someone had the courage to expose something that has been going in the church, almost since the beginning of time.I heard such stories about Catholic Priest Abusing children when I was 8 years of age. 99% of good Catholics know, and have known for centuries but choose to live in denial. They whisper it, amongst each other.

If the church allowed priests to marry, perhaps priests would not be taking advantage of children or have to hide in the shadows outside the church to have children. I would say, 50% have the same sexual desires that other men have. Most of the others lean the other way. It is safe to say, most priests live in sin, for love between woman & man is part of the sacred order of life. Ask them, for the real reason they don't allow priests to marry.

Amaka   March 17th, 2010 6:51 pm ET

Hala,
These are individual problems. They are the result of the rots that has oervaded the society. Does parents sexually abusing their own children make the institution of marriage wrong or teachers abusing their wards. Does it make sending kids to school stop.
Please, abuse in whatever form is wrong and condemnable. It is not the fault of the church AND YOU MAY LIKE TO KNOW THAT MEN AND WOMEN WHO CHEAT ON THEIR SPOUSES ARE NOTHING DIFFERENT. DO THEY NOT HAVE SEX WITHIN THEIR RESPECTIVE MARRIAGES. Yet, they cheat.

These problems of abuses are not the result of celibacy. Please tell me what you will call the case of fornicators and abusers and even those with extreme views on sex.

I DO HOPE YOU PUBLISH THIS.

Maziyar Kamkar   March 17th, 2010 7:02 pm ET

people should stop the kid's going to church and not live the kid's alone with those fathers.

Peter   March 17th, 2010 7:06 pm ET

Several hundred years ago, catholic priests were normal married men with children. Out of greed not wanting the priests children inheriting from their father the elders ruled that priests must be "celibet", this only attracted homosexuals and pedophiles in fact it became a safe haven for them to practice pedophilia and have the church protect them.
The sooner this church annuls this disgusting rule and only allows normal married men to become priests and gives women equality, only the will this scourge be rectified.

Joy Lumsden   March 17th, 2010 8:02 pm ET

In response to Amaka I would have to suggest that the Roman Catholic Church is on a different level from ordinary people. It is a powerful, autocratic institution which has taken upon itself the right to tell people how to live their lives, and to condemn those who adhere to other ways of life. It is this stance on the moral high ground which make these issues within the Church so crucial. I certainly agree that abuse of children in whatever context is to be condemned and remedied with powerful measures, but when moral exemplars prove to have feet of clay, there is a problem of a very different dimension. There need to be much more humility from the leaders of the Church, and an acceptance of the serious nature of the profound problems that have to be dealt within the Church.

Amaka   March 17th, 2010 11:32 pm ET

In response to Joy. Yes, they lead. Some are supposed to lead, but have failed woefully. Do you lump all together? Because one finger is rotten, should you now condemn all the others? Certainly, not all the Priests are bad. There are still many good Priests.

In the same vein, parents are supposed to be the first teachers at home. Those who rape and destroy their children certainly teach them morals. Yet, they cannot practice those things they teach.

I wish you elucidated more on the other ways of life that you talked about. What is bad is bad. Deep down in us we know it and only make excuses to justify our actions. There are people who can't make decisions unless they are taught. Certainly, everything in life has its good and bad. You cannot trash stuff out completely. My philosophy in life is to see the good. Dwelling on the bad can only pull you back.

I bet you most of all those crying foul now at the top of their voices are guilty of things some of which our ears will cringe when they here. Examples abound.

In effect, there is nothing wrong with the church. What is wrong is some of the bad eggs there. And we have bad eggs all over – parents, teachers, priests, evangelists, doctors etc.

Joy Lumsden   March 18th, 2010 1:46 am ET

1. Too many within the R C Church have covered up serious crimes, or refused to acknowledge the problems which exist; these attitudes undermine the moral standing of the whole Church. And I do know excellent R C priests, but they are not enough to exonerate the Church as a whole of its failings.

2. I am not so sure that the Church or individual humans can really be so certain in designating what is good and bad. As to other ways of life, I was primarily thinking of other religious beliefs. I am not sure how favourably my agnosticism is viewed by the Church, but equally I do not see any reason for respecting the teachings of an institution as profoundly flawed as the Church of Rome; of course many other religious organisations suffer from very similar flaws.

3. It is an alarming claim to suggest that 'most of all those crying foul' are guilty of equal or worse crimes/sins. On that basis no one will ever dare to voice criticism or accusations, however valid, for fear of being accused of similar or worse crimes. (OK that happens already; part of the problem.)

4. Apparently institutions (e.g. the Church) are O.K; it's just some of their members that are 'bad eggs'. But surely this is precisely the crux of the matter – all human institutions, including churches, are liable to error and failings, because they are made up of fallible human beings, and must be constantly prepared to improve and reform themselves, even sometimes at fundamental levels. That I think is where the R C Church now stands.

Sayan Majumdar   March 18th, 2010 8:05 am ET

Normal human instincts if forcibly suppressed makes their outlet in perverted form, simple as that.

It takes tons of moral and spiritual strength to practise celibacy and very few individuals can succeed without major “hiccups”.

Perhaps it will be a prudent move for the Roman Catholic Church to let their priests lead a normal married life which in no way degrades one’s spiritual beliefs and elevations.

Sayan.

Lee   March 18th, 2010 6:29 pm ET

Hala,
I was shocked just now to see a report about a high ranking European official visiting the Gaza strip. There was no comparison between Biden visiting Israel and hearing about permission to build some houses , which the world condemned, and some one being killed by a Hamas rocket. Biden was embarrassed...etc! What about the high ranking European official. Not even one word!

miriam   March 19th, 2010 6:25 am ET

Lee,

It's called double standards.

Helen   March 22nd, 2010 1:54 pm ET

This is why Catholic priests should be given an option to marry. Even St Paul says it "it is better to marry than to burn". I am quite sure a lot of these cases of abuse would have been avoided if these men were given the chance to be men and yet serve God. God did not ask anyone to be super human. I believe it is time for the Catholic Church to review its stance on marriage and priesthood.

That said, it is totally unacceptable what these "men of God" have done. They should be punished.

Sabatin Shongwe   March 26th, 2010 7:49 am ET

H
I've grown up a Catholic, spent my teenage years as an alterboy at Mater Dolorosa: Under their instruction I was able to develop my faith and find a place where I could feel at home. For that I am very gratefull; to the man and women who served there.
It is unbearable to think that in another church, someone else who was seeking the same instruction fell prey to priests who have no business in God's work. To think that the same institution that offers sanctuary to many who seek guidance, may have contributed further to this abhoration by turning a blind eye, through neglect or failure to follow up on cases that were brought forward is beyond comprehension.

How can the church stand on morality when it morally fails its own, it's most vulnerable? The church will have failed all of us if it fails to ensure that such acts continue without serious consequences to perpetrators and that perpetrators will be brought to book, so to speak. In as much as it stands on moral ground on abortion and refuses to compromise, so should its zeal be against the abuse of its most vulnerable.

Further more, the church may need to do some soul searching regarding its celibacy policy. It would be better if priests were married; straight or gay than to have vulnerable citizens abused behind the sanctuary of mystery; even worse turn a blind eye to such acts.

A. Smith, Oregon   March 28th, 2010 5:27 am ET

Pope Ratz's brother Georg Ratzinger is smack in the middle of multiple child rape cases during the time he headed the German parishes choir.

Pope Ratz placed a Cardinal from Portland, OR. into his former job overseas in the Vatican, who was previously accused of a cover up in ongoing child rape cases here in Oregon.

Pope Ratz appears to be present in the cover up and movement of serial pedophiles within the Vatican and outlining parishes.

Pope Ratz appears to have instructed Cardinals to move clergy accused of being pedophiles to other non-suspecting parishes where they repeated their preditation on new children.

Pope Ratz appears to have instructed Parishes to declare bankruptcy rather than pay the Court ordered monetary settlements to children found to have been raped and sexually abused by Catholic clergy.

Pope Ratz appears to have sent delegates to former Secretary of State Condie Rice requesting that she speak to then former President Bush to block existing Court orders seeking to include the Vatican in its monetary settlement claims.

(After meeting with Condie Rice, President Bush appears to have instructed the US Justice Dept. to block US Courts from seeking monetary damages from the Vatican!)

bl8ant   April 1st, 2010 6:35 pm ET

The pope is nothing anymore, his authority is completely compromised, he should resign and exercise humility, for crimes against humanity are grave and accountability is mandatory or the Catholic church will fester with infection and remain toxic.

I personally see all this as huge relief, the church has been poisoned with crimes and secrets for centuries and is fundamentally nothing more now than an outdated belief system that crumbles under the knowledge, technology and science we have developed...our technology advanced faster than our biology and we cling to ancient mythologies and wage wars over them in the name of jesus or allah or mohammed, it's time we jumped level and pull the curtain away from the Wizard of OZ

Kian Gray   September 12th, 2010 12:22 pm ET

married life is the happiest part of a persons life if the wife and husband really love each other"'

Carbon Microphone   December 14th, 2010 5:54 pm ET

married life is of course a very happy life, all you need to do is find some happiness deep inside yourself ~:;

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