Vatican moves to distance Pope from abuse scandal

Critics say Pope Benedict imposed secrecy on sex abuse cases as head of doctrine in 2001 by making them subject to “papal confidentiality” in a document called Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela (Safeguarding the Sanctity of the Sacraments).

London Times | Mar 14, 2010

by Richard Owen, Rome

The Pope's spokesman claimed there was a plot to smear the pontiff. (Danilo Schiavella/EPA)

The Vatican launched a counter-attack this weekend to limit damage over reports in Germany linking Pope Benedict XVI to the clerical abuse crisis. It announced that it would lift the statute of limitations for priests accused of molestation.

Father Federico Lombardi, the Pope’s spokesman, condemned “aggressive attempts” to draw Pope Benedict into the scandals engulfing the Church after it emerged that a paedophile priest was sent to the Munich archdiocese for “therapy” while the Pope was archbishop there 30 years ago and later allowed to resume pastoral duties.

Father Lombardi said that attempts to involve the Holy Father in the sexual abuse scandals had failed, and hinted that there was a plot to smear him.

“There have been those who have tried, with a certain aggressive persistence, in Regensburg and Munich, to look for elements to personally involve the Holy Father in the matter of abuses,” he said.

Father Lombardi told Vatican Radio that “these events which are spoken of have been amply clarified by the archdiocese of Munich”.

Accusations of a papal cover-up were defamatory, he added. Monsignor Charles Scicluna, “promoter of justice” of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, also said it was “false and slanderous” to accuse Pope Benedict of a “cover-up”..

Monsignor Scicluna, a Maltese cleric whose post makes him the Vatican’s chief prosecutor in sex abuse cases, said in Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian Bishops Conference, that the future Pope had shown “wisdom and firmness” in handling cases of abuse when he was Vatican head of doctrine from 1982 until his election as Pope in 2005.

However, he admitted that “it may be that in the past, perhaps out of a misdirected desire to protect the good name of the institution [of the Church], some bishops were, in practice, too indulgent towards this sad phenomenon”.

Critics say Pope Benedict imposed secrecy on sex abuse cases as head of doctrine in 2001 by making them subject to “papal confidentiality” in a document called Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela (Safeguarding the Sanctity of the Sacraments).

On Friday the Munich-based Suddeutsche Zeitung disclosed that as Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope had been involved in a decision to allow a priest accused in Essen in 1979 of sex offences with an 11-year-old boy to stay at a rectory in his Munich archdiocese to undergo therapy.

The victim said that after a trip to the Eifel mountains the priest, “Father H”, had given him alcohol, locked him in his bedroom, taken off his clothes and forced him to engage in oral sex.

The victim told German media his family was assured at the time that the priest would not be allowed near children again.Instead “Father H” was transferred to the nearby town of Grafing – without Archbishop Ratzinger’s knowledge, according to the archdiocese. In 1986 he was given an 18-month suspended jail sentence and fined for sexually abusing minors, but later allowed to resume the priesthood.

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4 responses to “Vatican moves to distance Pope from abuse scandal

  1. He’d look better in a simple suit. And better posture.

    But I guess at that level the elites can get away wearing whatever the frak they want.

    I know it’s off topic–but the garb these people wear– Worse than bad Halloween or cheap Mardi Gras.

    He looks like Uncle Fester in the Charles Addams cartoons.

  2. My opinion is that the whole system of the Roman Catholic church and the Vatican is on question now. How many centuries have we been belied and betrayed by a papal system which just tries to preserve the system and press
    the money out of the poorest just to keep an abolute sytem alive. What the hell does a church need a STATE for ? I myself still am RC in Germany, but I really cannot tollerate the ignorant behaviour of the clerics overhere anymore. A long time ago , the Anglican Church has been confronted with many problems, and they tried to solve them . But the RC church is even trying to deny the normal natural sexuality of human beings whether male or female, but they tolerated child abuse as a so-called “cultural value” , unbelievable.Those guys have to be sent to hell . And the lack of priests ? Why is it like that ? Just because they didn´t yet realize, that every human being is just coming out of the pussy of a woman !!! But then again you see the in-human glorification of
    Mary , the mother of Jesus. But, in reality , they look at women as a sinful creature ???!!! How sick – mentally – is this RC church ???!!!

    All this makes me terribly sad, and I only do hope that they will realize in Rome that the time is over to rule the world with an inhuman idelogy. Stand up , not bow your heads, please,please, please.

  3. If you have an organization that only allows people who voluntarily swear off sex then common sense will tell you that eventually alot of the volunteer will be sexual deviants who join out of feelings of guilt and think that this will help them. Then you get this lot of sexual deviants and put them in positions of trust and autority over children and what do you think will happen?

    The answer is to rework the priesthood. Since a priest should be a pillar of the community then it only makes sense that you would want such a person married and raising a family, to better show an example of how to live to his local clergy.

    Also who would want to take advice about sexaul relationships from someone with no experience to put behaind thier advice? The Catholic church has never made sense to me, it seems to go contrary to the teachings of Christ in too many ways.

    It seems to me that the biggest problem the pharisees had with Jesus was that he stressed a personal relationship with God that didn’t require any third person help to communicate with him, and yet the Catholic church actually prays to people it deified (saints).

    I am a Christian but definetly not the type of Christian who helps support a medevil power structure whos failure to spiritually progress towards it’s own betterment has made it pretty much obsolete and drowning in superstition more than living in goodnes and grace.

  4. Pingback: Vatican: Pope to enjoy immunity from presecution for his role in child rape scandal coverups | Aftermath News

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