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Pope Benedict XVI Talks of Humiliation

Pope Benedict XVI Talks of Humiliation - Pope Benedict XVI conceded yesterday that 2010 had been a year sullied by the child sex abuse crisis which has plagued the Catholic Church for the last 12 months.

Making his traditional Christmas address to the Roman Curia, the pope argued that 2010, the Year For Priests, had begun with “great joy” only for it to unfold “so differently from the way we expected”.

“We were all the more dismayed, then,” he said, “when in this year of all years and to a degree we could not have imagined, we came to know of abuse of minors committed by priests who twist the sacrament into its anti-thesis, and under the mantle of the sacred profoundly wound human persons in their childhood, damaging them for a whole lifetime.”

Quoting the vision of the 12th-century saint Hildegard of Bingen, the pope said that “the face of the church is stained with dust”, adding: “We must accept this humiliation as an exhortation to truth and a call to renewal . . . We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that has occurred.

“We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life . . .”

Pope Benedict XVI Talks of Humiliation

The pope returned to one of his recurrent ideological obsessions, namely moral relativism, when he suggested that the church’s mishandling of sex abuse offenders has to be seen in “the context of our time”.

While acknowledging “the particular gravity of this sin committed by priests and of our corresponding responsibility”, he also said: “In the 1970s paedophilia was theorised as something fully in conformity with man and even with children. This, however, was part of a fundamental perversion of the concept of ethos. It was maintained – even within the realm of Catholic theology – that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself . . .”

Pope Benedict XVI Talks of Humiliation

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