Scandal threatens Pope Benedict’s legacy – USATODAY.com

KyaemonMay 27, 20109min25910

Scandal threatens Pope Benedict’s legacy – USATODAY.com

http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2010-04-01-benedict_N.htm

ROME — As his fifth anniversary approached, Pope Benedict XVI had been building on a legacy of a scholarly man who tenderly urged people to look to the moral teachings of Jesus Christ to answer the dilemmas of modern life, be they political or personal.

Although his predecessor John Paul II traveled the globe often to meet millions of adoring Catholics, Benedict has been content to remain close to home and out of the limelight.

But today, five years to the day of the death of his charismatic predecessor, Benedict faces a sex scandal that some Vatican observers say threatens to overwhelm his accomplishments.

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Emma Fattorini, an author specializing in church topics and a historian with Rome‘s Sapienza University, said it would be unfair if that happened.

“These scandals could become a defining set of events, that really is a risk, but I hope that does not happen,” Fattorini said. “These problems are bigger than the church and if they became central they would obscure so much good.”

In recent weeks, a series of sexual abuse and pedophilia accusations have emerged, two of which accuse the church’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a Vatican office that decides whether priests should be tried and defrocked, of ignoring abuse allegations against some priests. Benedict, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was head of the office from 1981 to 2005.

There is no evidence that Benedict was involved in the decisions in the cases raised, and up until recently, he had been praised by U.S. bishops for moving against cases of abuse by priests. Cardinals across Europe used their Holy Thursday sermons to defend Benedict.

Vienna’s Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, speaking of Benedict’s long years as head of a Vatican office that investigates abuse, said the future pope “had a very clear line of not covering up but clearing up.”

Many think Benedict, who turns 83 this month and celebrates his anniversary April 19, must confront the matter.

“Much of what the Holy Father has accomplished so far, things like his encyclicals on love and hope, explorations into the relation between faith and reason … the reinstatement of the Latin Mass, these things are too esoteric for the general public to absorb and understand,” said Alistair Sear, a London-based church historian. “But scandals like these resonate.”

Fattorini said part of the problem is that Benedict lacks the charisma of John Paul, whose famous mea culpa — carried out against Cardinal Ratzinger’s advice — helped the Catholic Church seek forgiveness for wrongs committed during the Crusades, the Inquisition and against Jews in during the Catholic Church’s 2,000-year history.

10 comments

  • Kyaemon

    May 27, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Edward 1975

    Pits and McGoo: This has been an ongoing issue for the church for decades. It’s one that should have never happened. Priest and clergy are in positions of exteme trust and to abuse that by preying on the most innocent of society is unforgiveable and to try and defend it is even more ludicrous.

    The church should step up and end this dark time in their history and purge themselves of these predators, restore some semblance of dignity. They need to do the right thing, the Christian thing.

    Gemini

    You may be correct. But when a priest does it and the Church does its best to hide the fact makes it worst. Thats what the law suits are about. The Church knowing about Priests molesting children and taking no steps to protect the children and prosecute the abuser. Other than moving the Priests to other parishes and other victims. If this Pope continues to turn a blind eye to the problem he’ll do more damage to the Church than any other pope before him.

    HNSJR
    The Pope’s “legacy” is to protect those who molest children…some legacy, some church…lets hope he has not also been guilty of these same crimes against children….some Pope…some religion….punishing the children and forgiving those who assault them…

  • Kyaemon

    May 27, 2010 at 8:30 am

    uquackmeup

    If God cast Adam and Eve out of the Garden for eating an apple what do you think will be done to any Priest who would commit such acts against the Innocent? Or those who condone such actions.

    Outback
    The Pope doesn’t have to resign and the church doesn’t need to be disbanded.

    The Pope needs to do what other religious leaders and politicians do when they are embroiled in a scandal. Just come out and acknowledge it and ask for forgiveness. Instead the church accuses critics of being anti-Semitic. How stupid! That pis.ses people off even more.

    Kevebx12

    A priest / pastor will never tell you, don’t believe in us, trust the Bible, it’s the other way around, the churches say believe in us, we are the Bible. Ask anyone what is your purpose for being in a church? you will be shocked by what is said.

  • Kyaemon

    May 27, 2010 at 8:31 am

    galwaydave:

    Pope Benedict XVI Is a throwback to the old nefarious popes of the middle ages. He is more concerned with personal power and the secular power of the Church he controls, than protecting the most innocent of its own members. I grew up believing that the church was long past this type of behavior. If the Church suffers from this atrocity within its leadership, then it is only by the will of God that it does. Yes I am a Catholic, and no I will not remain silent about this.

    zippy68

    No matter how grievous the crime, there are those that will defend it because it is their belief that they are being attacked. It’s very simple – the RCC has a long history of sexual abuse and they covered it up. Period.

    mmesa

    It is truly time the Vatican is held accountable for the terrible crimes commited by priests in its church. No other religion has the immunity status of the cathalic church. We has a christian nation cannot expect others to hold up a higher standard when we do not. The child rape that has been covered up for centuries need to be brought out into the open and delt with. We are in the 21st century. When other countries or individuals commit crimes againt humanity, we hold them reponsible. Why should the church be any different. How can the church expect its followers to be able to look others in the eye with this darkness hovering over their head?

  • Kyaemon

    May 27, 2010 at 8:33 am

    crzymf

    This is the end of belief in the catholic system not the belief in Christ himself, the final nail to the cross. These men are not homosexuals but pedophiles that hide behind the cloth and confess their sins only to repeat them again and again. Poor children who have to endure such violations and shame on those who cover and hide these evil men.

    valuevoter

    Nonsense. This has been going on FOREVER. Not just this pope Beneditct, every pope! Not only have priest ALWAYS molested young boys and had sex with other priests, it has ALWAYS been tolerated by the church. This is not an isolated incident or a case of “a few bad apples”. This is the systematic sexual violation of children, and it happened with the knowledge of the church. If an ordinary person molests a young boy, he goes to prison. If a priest molests 200 young boys, he gets a comfy retirement and the winky-winky from the pope. Nice.

    Dzan’s reply to larryrutk:
    larryrutk (1 friends, send message) wrote:1h 36m ago
    Give it up already you antiChrist liberals! I dare you to condemn muslims like you do Christians. This smear campaign by the lame stream media reveals how they hate the Catholic Church and view Christianity as a threat to their liberal agendas. May they all rot in Hell!

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    You guys protect pedophiles and then have the nerve to try and hide behind the holocaust. Absolutely nauseating. You guys need to take a long hard look in the mirror and think about why people are so ticked at you. Really, covering up for pedophiles, and you really think we shouldn’t be mad about that.

  • Kyaemon

    May 28, 2010 at 8:03 am

    mikemark

    Cleanliness is next to Godliness, And that’s exactly what the church needs is a good cleaning. Should have been done years earlyer, even if that involves the higher positions of these involved within the Church … No one is above the laws of the land , or even those of God !

    So let it be written , so let it be done ….

    Valuevoter
    And not without reason. It is one thing to abuse and hurt children, but it is quite another thing for an organization like the catholic church to cover it up and facilitate the abuse. Priests molesting children with the full knowledge and protection of the church is wrong. When priests were found to have molested children, the church as an organization did everything in its’ power to thwart the investigations, moved and hid offending priests. When the priest in Milwaukee was found to have molested over 200 young boys, the church looked the other way.

  • Kyaemon

    May 28, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    valuevoter

    You call systematically protecting pedophiles and Nazis, and telling the AIDS ravaged victims of Africa to not use condoms that will save their lives and economies tenderly urging people? This guy is a monster and he’s a nightmare for the Catholic church. The sooner he’s gone the better off the world will be. He’s rather protect his legacy than the victims of the legions of predator pedophile priests beneath him. The Church should be criminally investigated for complicity in child rape. It’s absolutely disgusting that they can go on with impunity.
    ———–
    And this will not get better, soon. The very idea on the part of the church that the catholic church hierarchy is above the law, both legally and morally, must be challenged. Why can catholic priests molest young boys–one priest molesting more than 200–and they remain free and “untouchable”. If a non-priest did this, he would be in prison.

  • Kyaemon

    May 29, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Outback

    giolla (11 friends, send message) wrote: 3m ago
    Outback,
    “The Church” did nothing wrong. Individuals within the Church did. I agree with you that THEY should take responsibility for their actions, admit their mistakes, ask forgiveness, do everything possible to rectify the situation, and never do those things again. That is what makes for repentance.

    Many try to lay this at the feet of Pope Benedict, but so far, no one has been able to prove that he was involved in any wrongdoing. If he was, he needs to deal with the same retributions as anyone else. If not, there is nothing he can do or say that will change the situation.

    I pray for all of the victims of this mess…those abused, those accused, and those of us who had nothing to do with it yet are persecuted for the sins of others.

    ………………………….

    That depends on your definition of “The Church”.

    Perhaps I should have said the Hierarchy of The Church.

    In any case it is obvious to me that:
    this has been going on for some time.
    it is world wide.
    many in the church knew about it.
    the guilty priests were sheltered from prosecution.

    If I shelter a bank robber from the law I am charged with aiding and abetting.

    And just how does one find out if the Pope or any other church leader had their hand in this? The Vatican is a sovereign state and not subject to the laws of other countries. Was there an investigation? What did it reveal? The only ones that can implicate the Pope in this would be Cardinals or Bishops that told him about it. Will they now come out and reveal that?

    Like any other scandal it is the cover up or perceived cover up that angers people more than the scandal itself.

  • Kyaemon

    May 29, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Shoebox911

    This scandal is like the 6 million Jews who were systematically murdered by Nazi Germany? Wow… if I was Jewish, I would be extremely offended by such a callous and disrespectful comment. Besides a plethora of other differences, the Jewish victims of WWII were COMPLETELY innocent while the criticism of the pope and his handling of the cover-up, while harsh in many respects, is completely justified.

    How dare this papal preacher paint the Vatican as some kind of “victim”!!!

    (His message: Your Church priests victimize other people. Don’t make out as if your Church is the victim like the Jews in WW II – and get away with it)

  • Kyaemon

    June 2, 2010 at 4:15 am

    truckman
    Martin Luther was right to (point) out the corruption in the church, sadly it still goes on.

  • Kyaemon

    June 4, 2010 at 5:43 am

    crzymf
    This is the end of belief in the catholic system not the belief in Christ himself, the final nail to the cross. These men are not homosexuals but pedophiles that hide behind the cloth and confess their sins only to repeat them again and again. Poor children who have to endure such violations and shame on those who cover and hide these evil men.

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