[quote=Sir Knight]I’m in a debate on another and I need in answering these questions … … I have a general idea of what the answers are but before I open my mouth, I want to make sure that I don’t say something incorrect regarding our faith.
I’ll give you my two cents worth:
[quote=]1. To whom were the bishops that helped cover up the priests’ pedophilia directly accountable? The Pope? Some council?
Answer: They were directly accountable to their earthly superior, (Archbishop or Pope), and also to God; just as an employee is accountable to their earlthy superior and also to God. Every human being is accountable to God, and every human, except the Pope, has an earthly superior who they are also accountable to.
[quote=]2. (a) When we hear of a response as being “from the Vatican,” what exactly does that mean?
It can either mean it is an official statement from the Pope, or from a Cardinal or from a congregation that possesses the authority to issue such statements. It can either be an infallible statement issued by the Pope “de fide”, or a fallible opinion issued by either the Pope, or Cardinal, etc…
[quote=] Does the Pope sign off on all such responses?
Not all. Sometime he does; sometimes he doesn’t.
[quote=] (b) What role, if any, did Ratzinger have in the “Vatican response” to the abuse scandal?*
I don’t know.
[quote=]3. Why wasn’t the Church’s reaction, from an outsider’s perspective, swift and decisive? Is such a view incorrect?
There could be many reasons that the Church didn’t act swiftly - human weakness, poor leadership, etc. Or, the Church may have been acting behind the scenes in ways we were not aware of. It is also possible that the Church today has very bad leaders who could not care less about what is happening (that is what Malachi Martin thought).
You don’t have to defend bad leadership when you are debating someone. You can always say that the Church has had good times and bad times (good leaders and bad leaders), and today we may not have very good leaders. In a debate you can admit that. Don’t ever compromise of doctrine, but be willing to admit that not every Catholic (even Catholic leaders) are saints.