It's acknowledged by the Catholic Church that sexual abuse against children and young adults has frequently occurred within institutions where the Church was acting in loco parentis for minor children. It has happened for as long as anyone now alive can remember and likely much longer. Maybe hundreds of years. Maybe a thousand.
With each new revelation of large scale abuse, the Church claims that it has admitted the problem and will no longer shield abusers, lie about the occurrence of abuse or cover up past abuse. The Church claims it has instituted reforms that will effectively stop the cycle of abuse. They have claimed this in many countries around the world, over more than a generation now. They have claimed this to be true in America, only to promote high Churchmen who covered up abuse and who may even have been part of it to higher positions within the Church. Most recently they claimed this in Ireland where the most extensive and grievous culture of child sexual abuse yet revealed, existed unchecked for generations.
Now, just weeks after they claimed to have come clean about Ireland, reports of widespread, systematic sexual predation in German Catholic institutions are starting to leak out. The cases reported so far, while in excess of a hundred, some of which were quite recent, may only be the tip of the iceberg. If the pattern with which abuse has been exposed elsewhere is any indication, it almost certainly is the case. It is all the more damning that this is the home country of the current Pope, who has repeatedly expressed ignorance of priestly sexual abuse and profound anger at hearing of it for the first time. It is all but certain that with Pope Benedict's intimate contacts, high and low, within the German Church, that he knew of this abuse, it's nature and prevalence for thirty years or more. Who can the people trust once they know the Pope is a liar?
How long will Catholics tolerate a clergy that repeatedly engage in this kind of behavior?