As Pope Benedict XVI led thousands of Catholics in Easter celebrations on Sunday, questions swirled about whether he would address the priest sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the church in recent months. Numerous cases have surfaced related to sex abuse by priests throughout Europe and the United States.
The Pope has also come under fire because of decisions he made decades ago, before he became Pope. In 1980, as Archbishop Ratzinger of Munich, Germany, he was involved in the decision to move a priest, Peter Hullermann, into therapy after Hullermann had been accused of sexually abusing minors. The question is whether Ratzinger was also involved in letting Hullermann return to pastoral duties within weeks. The priest was convicted of other sexual abuse charges in 1986.
In another case, a Milwaukee priest who was accused of assaulting deaf boys at a school had his trial stopped after appealing to the Vatican's office in charge of abuse cases, then headed up by Ratzinger.
On Easter, Cardinal Angelo Sodano took the opportunity to praise the Pope and dismiss what he called "petty gossip." The Pope did not directly mention the scandal in his Easter address to fellow Catholics.
"Holy Father, on your side are the people of God, who do not let themselves be influenced by the petty gossip of the moment, by the trials which sometimes buffet the community of believers." - Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the college of cardinals
"My feeling about the Vatican is that they're the ones that are responsible for -- responsible for complicity in these crimes. I feel very strongly that we have a moral and legal imperative to pursue them to hold them accountable." - Jeff Anderson, attorney for alleged abuse victims
"Crimes against children have indeed been committed. And any Catholics who are aware of such crimes and didn't act to report them bring shame on us all." - Cardinal Keith O'Brien, archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland
1. Who is the Pope? What is his role in the Catholic Church?
2. What is the Vatican? Where is it located?
3. What is the relationship between the laws of the Church and laws of the state?
1. Do you think the Pope did the right thing by not addressing the abuse scandal in his Easter address? Why/why not?
2. How should the Pope be held accountable for events and actions taken before he was Pope?
3. How is the church currently addressing the scandal accusations, according to the video?