Pope Benedict XVI on Priest Sex Abuse

Meditations on the Way of the Cross,” by Pope Benedict XVI (nee Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger), The Holy See, 24 March 2005, http://www.catholic.org/cathcom/international_story.php?id=13446.

Your Turn,” by Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Dish, 19 April 2005, http://www.andrewsullivan.com/index.php?dish_inc=archives/2005_04_17_dish_archive.html#111393477020481863.

Andrew Sullivan posts an email condemnign the Vatican for not choosing someone who will go after pedophiles

As a fellow Catholic with a questioning brain and a personal conscience, your blog was my only comfort this morning as I absorbed the impact of Ratzinger’s election. This was a “circle the wagons” decision. The sex abuse crisis was a wake-up call that the church urgently needs to grow and change- the selection of Ratzinger is a signal that the Vatican still believes they can solve all problems with raw power (theirs) and blind obedience (ours). I never, never thought I would say this, but I really wonder if I can be a Catholic three years from now.

Good thing never talked on the subject… you know, at the Vatican’s Good Friday Mass last month

What can the third fall of Jesus under the Cross say to us? We have considered the fall of man in general, and the falling of many Christians away from Christ and into a godless secularism. Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? How often is the holy sacrament of his Presence abused, how often must he enter empty and evil hearts! How often do we celebrate only ourselves, without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride, how much self-complacency! What little respect we pay to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where he waits for us, ready to raise us up whenever we fall! All this is present in his Passion. His betrayal by his disciples, their unworthy reception of his Body and Blood, is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer; it pierces his heart. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison — Lord, save us (cf. Matthew 8: 25).

UpdateProfessor Bainbridge has similar thoughts.

3 thoughts on “Pope Benedict XVI on Priest Sex Abuse”

  1. How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride, how much self-complacency!

    Concerned Catholics demand action, not words. Under Ratzinger, action will not be forthcoming.

  2. I am a practicing Catholic, and I am not about to commit spiritual suicide because 2% of the clergy are involved in these sick acts. If we as Catholics were to look at the sins of Judas, and give up the faith because of the sins that he committed, there would be no Christian faith. You judge a faith by its teaching, not by the sins of those who are inside the church. We are called to greater holiness, not to drop our faith and commit spiritual suicide.

  3. Artie,

    You bring up a good point. The Universal Church is a transcendent body with Christ as her head. The bureaucracy on this earth is but a part of it. These officeholders are fallible and can make mistakes, even deadly ones, but it is not the earthly Church that saved us — Christ saved us!

    It is foolish to look for perfection in earthly office holders. As Pope John Paul II wrote, all Catholics have a duty to spread and enrich the faith — it is not a task we can leave to the earthly Church alone.

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