Pope adviser says systematic reforms needed to address abuse

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Source: Associated Press

ROME (AP) — One of Pope Francis’ top advisers warned Friday that the Catholic Church risks increased police and government intervention if it doesn’t address the clergy sex abuse scandal with system-wide reforms about the way power and sexuality are expressed.

German Cardinal Reinhard Marx told a conference on child protection that the church’s “weak excuses” to dismiss, minimize or cover-up the rape and molestation of children were no longer acceptable to the faithful. He said anyone who makes such excuses is actually complicit in the crimes of the perpetrators.

Marx welcomed public pressure to force reforms, and said the church must have a “frank discussion” about abuse of power among its leaders, and homosexuality, celibacy and training for priests, among other issues, if it wants to emerge from the crisis and regain its lost credibility.

“If no corrective action is taken by the church — and we are working on it, we must work on it — the state has no other choice but to intervene,” Marx said, referring to increased civil law enforcement investigations of church leaders in places like Chile, the United States and elsewhere.

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