In his first visit to the United States as Pope, Benedict XVI has met with sex abuse victims from Boston, ground zero for the abuse scandals that rocked the church in 2002. Since that time, however, similar scandals have erupted in dozens of other metropolitan areas.
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In the Archdiocese of Miami, no priest has accumulated as many abuse reports as Rev. Neil Doherty, the subject of New Times' cover story this week. By the time these national controversies led church officials to take another look at his file, it was too late. The allegations against Doherty span three decades, and every archbishop who has served the archdiocese had a chance to act. As they delayed action, more abuse claims surfaced. Doherty now faces criminal charges for the one remaining alleged victim whose claims fall within the statute of limitations.
So while the pope sounds a contrite tone in his public remarks, those who claim to be abused by Doherty have known a church that protects its priests, even when means leaving children vulnerable. --Thomas Francis