Authors Greg Erlandson and Matthew Bunson continue the discussion they began in the book from Our Sunday Visitor, Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis: Working for Reform and Renewal. Send us feedback at email@example.com. Kindle Edition available for download at amazon.com.
A few weeks ago, Cardinal Tarcicio Bertone kicked up headlines by linking the Church's sexual abuse crisis and pedophilia to homosexuality. Yesterday, however, the Cardinal was clearly echoing the words of Pope Benedict XVI, when he spoke about the crisis within the context of the Year for Priests.
Cardinal Bertone, speaking to priests in the Vatican at a conference on "Priests Today," called them to an idea where they were "brothers of every person...whom they must love and serve with total selflessness." The Cardinal linked this spirit of selflessness to the gift of celibacy.
It was in this context that the cardinal lamented "the sorry of infidelity, on occasions grave, of some members of the clergy, who have had an extremely negative influence on the credibility of the Church." Cardinal Bertone cited Benedict's words about "a 'persecution' that is born within the Church herself," and echoed the Pope's call for "a period of rebirth and spiritual renewal."
Vatican officials privately are saying that the Pope's Letter to the Catholics of Ireland has become a template for the rest of Vatican officialdom in how to approach the subject of abuse without defensiveness and with humility.
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