VATICAN CITY (CNS): Pope John Paul II has assured US President George W. Bush that American Catholics have the spiritual resources to overcome the clergy sex abuse crisis.
The Pope made his comments during a May 28 meeting with President Bush after the President expressed concern about the stature of the Catholic Church in the wake of sex abuse scandals in the United States. The Pope, ‘despite the difficulties of the moment, wanted to express his trust in the spiritual resources of American Catholics committed to giving witness to Gospel values in society’, said papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters President Bush mentioned the scandal in the context of how it is damaging the influence of the Catholic Church in US society.
Speaking to reporters before the meeting, President Bush had said he would tell the Pope: ‘I am concerned about the Catholic Church in America, I’m concerned about its standing. I say that because the Catholic Church is an incredibly important institution in our country’.