As the world absorbs the news of the appointment of the new pope, it is time to ask how the new Supreme Leader of the Catholic Church can meet its most urgent challenge, of stopping its priests from sexually molesting small boys.
There have been, on a realistic estimate, over 100,000 such victims since 1981, when Joseph Ratzinger became head of the Vatican office which declined to defrock paedophiles and instead approved their removal to other parishes and other countries.
These widespread and systematic sexual assaults can collectively be described as a crime against humanity. The church cannot atone just by paying compensation. Unless the new pope installs a policy that minimises danger to children, he, like pope Benedict, will become complicit in ongoing but avoidable abuse.
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