A Pope Besieged

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The Vatican used the celebrations of Easter week to stage a counteroffensive in the pedophilia scandal that has challenged its very center. Cardinal Angelo Sodano’s public declaration of support for Pope Benedict XVI, which he said was made on behalf of the Catholic clergy worldwide, was an unprecedented departure from the liturgy of the occasion. The fact that Vatican officials were willing to tinker with the rigid lines of church ceremony is a sign of desperation — but also an indication of an emerging, and vigorous, damage-control strategy. The central objective is to defend the integrity and authority of a […]

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