Monday, February 11, 2013

The Pope Resigns Due to Pressures Dealing with Scandals?

A Roman Catholic Pope had not resigned since the 1400s, but the current Pope is resigning at the end of this month.  He indicated he was resigning due to health issues, but others are guessing that he may be resigning due to his ineffective handling of the numerous sex abuse cases that were brought to his attention.

Indeed, many people feel that this Pope helped to cover up sex abuse in his church.  If he did, then it's about time he resigned.  The Catholic Church has a terrible reputation not only because of the huge numbers of victims who were raped by Catholic priests, but also due to the fact that the Catholic Church seems to try to cover up whatever problems anyone brings to its attention.  The first response of the Catholic Church to a problem always seems to be "Let's cover this up!"

Vocabulary is presented below to help you understand the article.  This will be a very difficult article for most ESL students to read.  There are many high-level words.  Also, this is a HUGE article....I am just supplying vocab words for the first page.  I think there are 8 pages to the article.

to resign - to quit one's job

to be raped - this is when a man forces himself sexually on a woman. In the case of the Catholic Church, there has been a lot of homosexual rape - priests have been forcing themselves sexually on boys.

abuse - abuse is when a person is harmed or hurt or mistreated.

a reputation - the general way people feel about you

ineffective - if something is ineffective, it doesn't work

to handle something - to deal with something or to address something.  If you are expected to handle a problem, you are expected to fix or take care of the problem.

to cover something up - to hide something

a mission - a goal or a larger purpose

to revive - to bring something back to life

to be clouded by a scandal - to be ruined by a scandal, to have your purpose or goal destroyed by a scandal.  If a scandal clouds a mission or purpose, it makes it impossible for people to see that mission or purpose because they are focused on the scandal.

he cast himself as the reluctant pope - actors are cast to play roles in movies.  If you are reluctant to do something, you don't really want to do something.  This author is saying the this pope always presented himself as someone who didn't want to be pope.

a bookworm - someone who loves reading books

to glare/ a glare - to glare at someone is to look at them aggressively

majesty - magnificence, splendor - greatness

pageantry - fancy ritual

to shy from - to move away from

charting the church on the course it needed - to chart the church means to establish the goal or plan or direction in which he felt the church needed to move. A chart can be used to assess a situation and to plan some type of action.

stunning - shocking

to lay the groundwork - to establish the basis for something, to establish a cause or a start for something

it needed new blood - younger people with new ideas are needed to change things

a theologian - someone who studies theology

a secularized Europe - secular means non-religious

frail - weak

to shoulder - to carry

to purge - to get rid of

to fester - to get worse and worse.  If an infection festers, you become more and more sick.

he bore the burden - he carried the weight, he had the responsibility for, he dealt with the difficult situation of...

betrayal - when you trust someone and he does something to show he is not loyal to you.  The Pope's butler stole his personal papers and gave them to the newspapers.

to be convicted - to be found guilty to be aquitted - to be found not-guilty

a grave breach of security - a serious violation of security

to rekindle - to re-start, to kindle a fire means to start a fire

if you lament something you express sadness over  that something


1)  What is your general opinion of the Catholic Church and the way it has been run/administered?

2)  Do you think that the previous pope (JP II) and this current pope handled the sex abuse allegations well? Why? Why not?

3)  The reputation of the Catholic has suffered greatly due to these scandals.  Do you think there is a future for the Catholic Church?  Why are so many people still members of an organization that has such a track record of corruption?

4)  What are some other problems the Catholic Church might have?  (Should women be allowed to be priests?  Should the church be more accepting of gay people? etc.)


Yes, I'm  the guy who wrote the very funny ESL book: New York City Sucks, But You'll Wanna Live Here Anyway

If this page is useful to you, please buy the book (it's quite inexpensive and useful!!!!). If you don't have an e-reader, drop me a line at and I'll send you a free copy via Word file.  Let me know whether you have Word 2010 or an earlier version.

Yes, I'm also the guy who created the scandal in Asia two years ago :P

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.