Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley says Pope Benedict XVI was the U.S. church's "strongest ally" in dealing with its clergy sex abuse scandal.
O'Malley says Friday on his blog that all Roman Catholics are disturbed by recent reports of abuse from Europe. But he says there has been "misinformation" about the pope's role.
He says many in the European church were unsympathetic to U.S. efforts to deal with clergy sex abuse. But he says Benedict, then known as Cardinal Joseph Ratinzger, was instrumental in implementing zero tolerance for abusers and mandatory reporting of allegations.
The U.S. clergy sex abuse crisis erupted in Boston in 2002 after records revealed church officials kept molestation complaints secret. O'Malley was brought in to clean up the matter after Cardinal Bernard Law resigned.
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