The Cycle | February 25, 2013
>>> pope benedict xvi gave the final blessing over the week. it was a message of the power of prayer. the pope said he feels that god is calling him to devout himself to medication and reflection and prayer and not abandoning the church in any way. the strong message in light of the changes to church law allowing conclave to begin earlier which may be just in time as britain 's highest ranking catholic leader found himself confronted by allegations of sexual misconduct. he denies the accusations of inappropriate contact submitted by a priest and three former priests. this is a critical time for the catholic church . so let's spin on it. i think putting aside the pope's legacy which is a little bit more complicated and i'm actually going to write about that this week, just addressing these issues, it seems to me and i was reading cardinal o'brien's response to this and his statement and he writes i want to thank pope benedict for his kindness and courtesy. i will not join them for conclave in person. i don't wish media attention in rome focused on me. that's all fine and good and i don't really know if these allegations are true but it seems a little neat. it seems a little wrapped up in a bow. just sneaking out the back door while you carry on. just do your thing.
>> nothing to see over here.
>> nothing to see and of course, benedict just going. carry on. i'm take a break.
>> don't mind me.
>> you go ahead with business as usual which, of course, doesn't address any of the systemic institutional issues plaguing the church and to his credit most of this happened before benedict was pope but still was, you know, sort of involved in overseeing some of that and frankly we just see it time and time again. when you have these institutions that see themselves as insulated from, apart from, above, regular societial and legal reproach, whether it's college athletics or it's rape in the military, these are systems that, you know, prefer to deal with things inside on their own. i don't think that works out so well an it seems like this departure is just a sort of way of glossing over some of that.
>> that's the story of the catholic church and talking about the insular institutions and the catholic church and the added element that the moral authority of the church and this is -- these are priests, cardinals, a pope who speaks for god who represents god and then you can look at, you know, all of that sort of blown up in the last 20 years with the sex abuse revelations coming out and going back a generation or two and then in the story of how it went on for years without anybody saying anything, parishionors.
>> and law enforcement wouldn't believe the very few who did stand up.
>> a community. look. we can talk about this guy from britain . the pope. how about this? there is a cardinal going to be taking part in the selecting the next pope and los angeles roger mahony and basically been -- he covered up, how many priests in 1980s and 1990s in southern california ? reassigned them, sent them out of the country. never told law enforcement . i think deposed a week ago. this guy is over there helping to pick the next pope so maybe this is a little fishy with what's his name from britain --
>> welcome to rome. pick the next pope.
>> yeah. of course, the irony here is, you know, the attempt to cover up, the attempt to just shift priests around and keep it quiet. preserve the church . and not to say that there wouldn't have been blowbecome and ugly if they had been up front about what was going on but the long-term damage to the church has been far greater and frankly, you know, people look at allegations like what are coming out and don't see -- they don't feel like giving the benefit of the doubt . they have seen this play before. you know, i love and i have no hope that this will actually happen but i love the proposal of how to deal with this and how to restore confidence in the church . he points out that the cardinals to gather to elect a new pope know that one of the church 's central and most wrenching problems is the sex abuse scandal and all male hierarchy adopted policies to cover up the abuse and protect the image ahead of children and advocates for a nun as the next pope as a way to restore the church 's image. he points out that throughout history societies turned to woman to clean up the mess and the problems that men have made. i love the idea. i'm sure it will never happen but it's a great thought experiment.
>> get a woman priest, first. let's start. at least begin there. right? and then the papacy.
>> you're right. the church acted to preserve itself by putting this under the rug and attacking the problem would have been better and we see that. the church is paying for the scandal and at least thousands or millions of americans are leaving the church . 1 in 10 americans is an ex-catholic and a major reason is because of how they deal with the sex abuse scandal and the church paying for this and not dealing with it appropriately is only making it worse.
>> well, i think that whatever institution you're talking about, the idea that we allow a resignation to sort of be the last final say of the -- he resigned. okay. it's all right. that solves that.
>> nothing more to ask.
>> lost here is the fact that britain will not have a designated representative at the conclave and that's a shame for the catholics of britain .
>>> all right. straight ahead , as if the airport experience isn't annoying enough, big quote warning flares about how the cuts affect your plans to get anywhere. plus, who are the cuts likely to affect most? the next guest is in the guest spot. [ female