First Topic – Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church
Dr. Leon Podles is the author of Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church. He ended that book with the election of Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI and his promise to clean up the filth in the Church. In his book, which explored the deep roots of the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal, Podles pulled no punches in describing the horrors of that abuse. He traced the enabling of abuse back to the failures of the clergy and its narcissistic culture of clericalism. As president of Crossland Foundation Podles has collected and reviewed tens of thousands of pages that document sexual abuse in every diocese in the United States and numerous cases throughout the world. His background as a retired federal investigator has given him the ability to skillfully analyze these cases. Dr. Podles recognizes Benedict's accomplishments in ridding the Church of sexual abuse but points out his failure to vindicate victims by failing to punish those who tolerated and enabled abuse. He calls for an independent lay commission with authority from the Pope to investigate the whole crisis and to make recommendations for the reform of the Church. Leon is here to make his case.