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March 19th, 2010
04:57 PM ET

Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal goes global

Pope Benedict XVI is now dealing with allegations of sexual abuse by priests on two continents.

As the Vatican announced Friday that Pope Benedict XVI has signed a pastoral letter about Ireland's abusive priests, it became increasingly clear that the church abuse crisis has entered a new international phase, with allegations spreading across a half dozen countries - including the pope's native Germany.

"Now we have obvious confirmation that this is a global crisis," said John Allen, CNN's Vatican analyst and senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter. "Anywhere there is a substantial Catholic population there is the potential for this type of scandal."

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Leaders • Politics

March 19th, 2010
04:55 PM ET

Opinion: Criticism of Catholic Church is unfair

The rash of stories about priestly sexual abuse in Europe, especially in Ireland and Germany, has put many Catholics on the defensive. They should not be. While sexual molestation of any kind is always indefensible, the politics surrounding this story is also indefensible.

Employers from every walk of life, in both the U.S. and Europe, have long handled cases of alleged sex abuse by employees as an internal matter. Rarely have employers called the cops, and none was required to do so.

Read the full commentary by Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Leaders • Opinion • Politics

March 19th, 2010
04:50 PM ET

Opinion: Governments must step into abuse cases

We've come to a remarkable moment in the ongoing clergy abuse crisis. What began years ago as revelations of sexual abuse by priests - recounted, in solitary acts of courage, by their victims and played out for the most part in parishes and local newspapers - suddenly seems to have gone global.

This is because Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Sean Brady, primate of all Ireland, are now involved in the crisis in a very ground-level way.

Read the full commentary by Terence McKiernan, founder and president of BishopAccountability.org

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Leaders • Politics

March 19th, 2010
04:42 PM ET

Take back Sabbath by unplugging, group urges

'Rebooters' pledged to observe 24 hours of freedom from their devices.'

As the story goes, God spent six days creating the world and then rested on the seventh day. He told the Jewish people to always rest on the seventh day of each week, which was to become known as the Sabbath for them for eternity.

This was before Facebook, Twitter, BlackBerries and iPhones, of course. Adam and Eve didn't have friends who would get upset if texts weren't returned promptly, parents who wanted to know where their children were all the time or bosses who had complete access to their employees via work-issued devices. There is no excuse good enough to ignore the boss, even on a weekend.

But one group is trying to take back the Sabbath: Reboot - a nonprofit organization aimed at reinventing the traditions and rituals of Judaism for today's secular Jews.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture & Science

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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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