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Copyright Graeme MacKay. Please check for MacKay's posting and publication rules by clicking here.
The Hamilton Spectator
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Tuesday March 30, 2010
The sex abuse scandals lashing the Vatican have led to calls for an end to priestly celibacy, a cleanout of the Catholic Church hierarchy and the resignation of Pope Benedict, but the pope seems unlikely to alter his approach.

The demands, widely aired in the media, are so far removed from the way Benedict works that abuse victims and other critics who raise them seem bound to be disappointed.

The sex abuse saga, while shameful enough to make Benedict issue several apologies to victims, has many aspects that apparently convince him he can continue to tackle the problem quietly but firmly, without undue fanfare.

"He will plod along undeterred," said Rev. Vincent Twomey, an Irish theologian who has known the pope for 37 years. "He takes note of things, but he's not a magician. He works steadily ... I think he'll weather the storm."

The pope signaled a determination to set his own course on Sunday in a sermon saying faith helps lead "toward the courage of not allowing oneself to be intimidated by the petty gossip of dominant opinion."

The key to deciphering Benedict's approach, Vatican experts say, is his earlier role in confronting what he calls the "filth in the Church." His tendency to ignore short-term setbacks for long-term gains also plays a part. More...

Pope seen undeterred by abuse scandal
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