Pope Benedict's Record Speaks for Itself in Fight Against Clergy Sexual Abuse

May 20, 2010, 09:30 ET from Our Sunday Visitor Publishing

HUNTINGTON, Ind., May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The latest accusations against Pope Benedict XVI regarding the clergy sexual abuse problem have left Catholics and others confused, disillusioned, and angry. Many, relying solely on secular media reports regarding the scandal, have rushed to hold the pope responsible for how bishops dealt with abusers in their dioceses, even to the point of calling for his resignation.

Gregory Erlandson, President of Our Sunday Visitor -- one of the largest Catholic publishing houses in the world -- was one of those frustrated with both sides of the communication divide. The secular media was only telling part of the story, but on the other hand, Catholic media was either too quiet or speaking in language easily misinterpreted by the general public.  Either way, people were confused about the issue and didn't know what to believe.

"When the accusations intensified against the pope, I could no longer rely on other sources to define the crisis for me," says Erlandson. "I made a commitment to follow the truth, no matter where it took me, to get to the real story."

Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis: Working for Reform and Renewal (Our Sunday Visitor, 208 pp), is co-authored by Erlandson and Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Almanac editor, Matthew Bunson. It is the first critically objective and comprehensive book on the clergy sexual abuse issue and more specifically, the pope's real response to victims, abusers, bishops, media, and billions worldwide.

  • What is the pope doing to ease the victims' pain?

  • How is he dealing with offenders?

  • Who is being held accountable, and how, for past mistakes?

  • What has been done to make sure it doesn't happen again since the crisis first came to light 8 years ago?

Though not meant to be an exhaustive study of the issue, Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis gives the reader the truth about the pope. It reviews his past, his work as a priest and theologian, his ascent to heading the Vatican's office for Doctrine prior to becoming pope, what he knew and when, what he's doing to redress the problem, and how his top priorities include the pastoral care of the victims.

This book brings the issues back into focus. It creates a stronger balance between facts and theories and between actions and words to alleviate confusion and assumptions. It provides the first objective presentation of the full truth, no matter how challenging, as it outlines what is needed for real reform and renewal to take place.

Additional information about the book, its authors, and a live daily blog is found at: http://www.osv.com/abusecrisis

Our Sunday Visitor serves millions of Catholics worldwide through its publishing, offertory, and communication services. Established in 1912 by a local parish priest, Our Sunday Visitor has grown into the nation's largest supplier of offering envelopes, parish and diocesan mailings, books, periodicals, curriculum, address management, and stewardship services. Our Sunday Visitor is a not-for-profit organization, returning a portion of net earnings back to the Catholic community through the Our Sunday Visitor Institute. For more information, visit http://www.osv.com

SOURCE Our Sunday Visitor Publishing