The Pope and those pesky sex scandals of the priestly kind
Posted by dorian on March 29, 2010
Pope will ‘not be intimidated by petty gossip’ over sex abuse scandals
Pope Benedict XVI began Holy Week on Sunday by suggesting in his Palm Sunday address that the Catholic Church would “not be intimidated” by the sex abuse scandals sweeping it.
By Nick Pisa in Rome
Published: 3:30PM BST 28 Mar 2010
In a clear indication that the Vatican continues to insist the stream of abuse revelations are part of a conspiracy the Pope said: “From God comes the courage not to be intimidated by petty gossip.”
Although he did not directly mention the crisis that has seen claims of abuse from Ireland, Germany, Austria, Holland and Brazil the 82 year old Pontiff’s message was evidently clear.
As he spoke, thousands of pilgrims who had gathered in a sunlit St Peter’s Square clapped and shouted “Viva il Papa” (Long Live The Pope). The scandals seemingly not to have had an impact on their faith.
Last week the Vatican’s official newspaper L’Osservatore Romano said the abuse allegations were part of an “ignoble attempt to strike at Pope Benedict XVI and his closest collaborators at any cost”.
The Pope’s Palm Sunday address, marked the beginning of Holy Week, the Roman Catholic’s Church’s most solemn seven days and which culminates with Easter Sunday.
He added: “Christ guides us towards goodness and does not let us be disarmed by ingratitude.” He also spoke of how man can sometimes “fall to the lowest, vulgar levels” and “sink into the swamp of sin and dishonesty”.
In recent days the Pope himself has been drawn into the abuse scandals with claims that he knew both about Father Lawrence Murphy, an American paedophile priest and a German one, Father Peter Hullerman.
In both cases the Vatican has denied cover ups and defended the Pope – his spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said his response to the sex abuse crisis had been “effective” and that he had always followed a policy of “zero tolerance”.