Whatever trust the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops had restored with their response to clergy sex abuse has been badly eroded in recent weeks by a combination of missteps and outside criticism. Any of the latest developments would be disturbing, but taken together, critics see the church as floundering with the same problems that engulfed it four years ago. The troubling signs include: -The Massachusetts attorney general now says the Archdiocese of Boston, where the abuse crisis erupted, has failed to implement key reforms it had promised, including tracking guilty priests and teaching adolescents and teens to protect themselves from predators. Advertisement -In a 2005 deposition unsealed last month, Bishop Joseph Imesch of Joliet, Ill., said he felt no obligation to go to police in the 1970s when a priest on trial for molestation told Imesch he was, indeed, guilty. The bishop said he has reported abuse claims to civil authorities in the last few years, but when pressed by a plaintiff’s lawyer to cite examples, he could not. -In Chicago, Cardinal Francis George, a leader in shaping the bishops’ reforms and the vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, admitted he […]

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