Christopher Hitchens, a British academic, intends to take Pope Benedict XVI, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, to court for what he says is the long term, systematic cover-up of child sexual abuse cases inside the church.
Since the first report of child abuse from Germany last February, it has been swamped by similar cases from Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, the US, and Kenya.
People are angry with the church for mishandling the cases. Pope Benedict XVI has particularly been targeted for allegedly ignoring and covering up the abuses.
And now the Vatican needs to deal with the international criticism after Vatican's second-in-command has linked pedophilia to homosexuality.
Under mounting attack, the Vatican has embarked on a damage control mode over the sex abuse scandal that involved a number of priests.
But are the newly released guidelines enough to stem this damage? And what are the long term implications on the Catholic Church?
Inside Story is joined by Mark Stephens of the law firm Finers Stephens Innocent, who is one of the lawyers who will be seeking to prosecute the Pope, Peter Jennings, the spokesman for the Archbishop of Birmingham, and Greg Watts, an author who has written several books including Labourer in the Vineyard, a biography of Pope Benedict XVI.
This episode of Inside Story aired from Thursday, April 15, 2010.