What was the most important spiritual lesson of the decade? Vote on that lesson you regard as the most significant, knowing there are perhaps many lessons we might have learned from any of the significant news events of the last decade.
Although nobody is to blame for the sexual misdeeds of another, when a leader is allowed to continue leading despite serious moral or ethical shortfalls, the followers have some answering to do, as well.
Religious groups may aspire to a different standard of coverage but as long as they operate on this side of paradise, I expect journalists to give them the same treatment as they do any other human endeavor.
The Catholic Church has chosen the comfortable approach to its communications during this ongoing sex abuse scandal: to cloister itself. Systematically, it has closed down any venue or platform for discussion.
The days of papal apologies and expressions of contrition and shame have come and gone. The Church now lays blame on the reporters, not on the perpetrators and those who overlooked their transgressions.
How do some of us stay in the Church? In grief, in sadness, with a resolve not to be shut out by those who say they are speaking in the name of the Father. The Church is not an institution; it is the people.
The Pope now has an urgent responsibility -- and an extraordinary opportunity. He must not only move beyond apologies to action, but could also use his influence to urge all religious institutions to address sexuality in healthier, more open and responsible ways.
The Pope's turnabout is commendable. So are his efforts to convey apologies to victims. But until the church does what any other legal institution harboring criminals and their abettors would do, such speeches amount to empty gestures of piety.