Sins in the Church to blame for child abuse scandal, admits Pope

The Times 12th May 2010

The Pope admitted for the first time yesterday that the Roman Catholic Church must accept responsibility for the child sexual abuse scandal that has engulfed it.

Speaking on a visit to Portugal, Benedict XVI said that “sins inside the Church” must be blamed, rather than “outside enemies”. He added that “forgiveness is no substitute for justice” and that the Church had to “relearn prayer and penance”.

His comments were hailed from within the Vatican hierarchy, with one senior figure on the Pope’s staff telling The Times that it amounted to a “sea change” in the way that the Church is dealing with the scandals.

Benedict’s five-year papacy has been rocked by allegations that the Vatican protected paedophile priests from prosecution in Europe and the United States. Bishops sometimes simply moved accused priests to new parishes, where the abuse continued.

Even after yesterday’s contrite statement, however, the Vatican’s critics insist that the Pope has still not done nearly enough to repair the damage or protect children from a culture of secrecy that allowed priests to rape and molest children unchecked for decades. Some have noted that while the pontiff has accepted some bishops’ resignations, no bishop has been actively punished or defrocked, not even those who admitted molesting children.

“Many are tiring of hearing about his ‘strong comments’. They want to see strong action,” said David Clohessy, the director of the main US victims’ group, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

Marie Collins, an Irish victim of clerical child sexual abuse, said that the Pope’s comments were “a step forward but not a breakthrough”.

She said: “It’s a big change from saying it’s all a media conspiracy but we still need more. The cover-up of abuse was a policy which came from Rome, not a sin in the way the Pope means. He has not gone far enough.”

Before the Pope made his comments, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, of the Dublin Diocese, said that there were “strong forces” still at work in the Catholic Church in Ireland “which would prefer that the truth did not emerge” about clerical child sex abuse.

Until now the Vatican and individual cardinals and bishops have sought to lay the blame for allegations of priestly abuse on the media, the Devil, the permissiveness of the 1960s, and on petty gossip and homosexuality.

But the Pope struck a very different note yesterday. “Attacks on the Pope and the Church come not only from outside the Church, but the suffering of the Church comes from inside the Church, from sins that exist inside the Church,” he told journalists on the plane to Lisbon. “This we have always known, but today we see it in a really terrifying way. The greatest persecution of the Church does not come from the enemies outside, but is born from sin inside the Church. The Church has a profound need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn on the one hand forgiveness, but also the necessity of justice.”

The Vatican claims that Benedict has taken the lead in investigating abuse, as pontiff and previously as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Three weeks ago he prayed and wept with victims of sex abuse at an orphanage in Malta.

On the defensive

Vatican editorial, March 25 “The prevalent tendency in the media is to stretch interpretations with the aim of spreading the picture of the Catholic Church as the only one responsible for sexual abuse”

Pope Benedict XVI, March 28 Faith in God leads “towards the courage of not allowing oneself to be intimidated by the petty gossip”

Mgr Giacomo Babini, retired bishop, April 12 “Zionist attack” is behind criticism of the Pope. “They do not want the Church, they are its natural enemies. Historically speaking, the Jews are God-killers”

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, April 7 “The errors of priests are being used as weapons against the Church”

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, April 14 “Many psychologists, many psychiatrists have demonstrated no relationship between celibacy and paedophilia but many others have demonstrated that there is a relationship between homosexuality and paedophilia”

Source: Times archives

  1. Yes they should be banished to the hills for good!!

  2. Jeasus!

    Poor old Pope Benedictine, he’s in tricky spot, that for sure.

    Having built his career on protecting the church (masterminding the slavery, pedo & abuse cover up),he is now trapped between his past and the emerging truth about his career legacy. And lets face it, when we talk about legacy, this means, crimes against not just humanity, but the most vulnerable within humanity, the young mother and her child, sold as penal slaves into rape prisons and this is a statement of fact.

    Now lets get over the facts for a bit, Old Benedict can do this cos he is not down there with the filth, he after all is an organizer, a theologian, a man of the cloth, above all this dirty stuff that makes the church tick.
    Benedictine is a manager, top manager, none of this filthy earthy truth please for his is the world of incense, robes, ceremonies, meeting and above all else, PR. He never has to get the actual blood on his hands, just ink and decisions.

    Well, Well, Indeed, Old Bendictine, how things have caught up. Tricky spots in Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia, Germany, Holland to name but a few.

    What are the options.

    A: Weather it out and make muffled statements and blanket denials.

    B: Fall down on your knees in tears and make some kinda apology and mixed bag solution proposal about changes in the organisation and rooting out the bad ones but actually do nothing.

    C: Die and pass the problem on to your next of kin in the hope that your legacy will not look so bad.

    E: Come clean. (Dont make me puke with laughter)

    F: Do Nothing.

    G: None of the above.

    Back to Jeasus what will you do!.

    My bets are on Plan C of Plan F. Reason being that dirty little Benedictine is so deeply involved in the abuse cover up, that he cannot do anything, cos HE IS THE DARK FORCE WITHIN THE CHURCH.

    Where does that leave the punters, the victims and claimants. Very simple, Benedictine cannot be a source of any initiative of worth. However, his successor may be but then again, the whole thrust of the organisation is to empower cover up kings so the next ´pope´along is likely to be just as rotten if not worse.

    Where does this leave the whole show, it means gradual and substantial but not total weakening of RCC power. The church can never clean up its own act´because its needs the filthy work to survive. Its whole core is built on concealed abuse and exploitation of the vulnerable. Despair is their collateral.

    What next………Force regulation onto religion…

    No more brainwashing.
    No more involvement in education (france).
    No involvement in orphanages.
    Stay away from children.
    Return assets to communities.
    Compensate the victims.
    Etc. etc, etc.

    And if a person wants to be a religious employee and wear a power suit, then let them go up into the hills and do their mumbles away out of harms way and not be allowed to interfere in civil society.

    Good luck and good riddance Ratzinger and you vile crew.


  3. The popular star of the Vatican organised a giant meeting of his fan club yesterday in Portugal in spite of the accusations of complicity to rape children of both sexes 500000 fans were present. He advised them all to protect the traditions of the church. The main one is of course the confessional secret and we have all learnt what that is for.

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