While some Roman Catholic leaders are truly penitent, says Savi Hensman, some have dug the church into an even deeper hole by their attempts to shift blame on to others. A more careful assessment is needed of claims and counter-claims.
While the response of the Vatican to calls for change, investigation, admission and openness over child abuse scandals remains culpably defensive, other Catholics have been speaking and acting much more positively.
The monumental child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church is providing endless fuel for its detractors. But the pain and outrage of millions of loyal Catholics is just as real - and can be a harbinger of deep change.