Vatican official defends Pope Benedict in sex abuse scandal

(CNN) — A top Roman Catholic official opened a conference on protecting children from sexual abuse Monday by defending Pope Benedict XVI, arguing that he deserved thanks for his efforts.

Cardinal William Levada said Benedict, before becoming pope, enacted many of the reforms that followed the eruption of the church’s sex-abuse scandal a decade ago.

“But the pope has had to suffer attacks by the media over these past years in various parts of the world, when he should receive the gratitude of us all, in the church and outside it,” Levada said in his opening address to the conference.

Levada leads the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office charged with enforcing church law. Benedict held the same post before he became pope in 2005.

During that period, the office was charged with cleaning up after the revelations that church officials protected priests who were accused of molesting young parishioners, particularly in the United States and Europe. The scandal has led to criminal charges and expensive legal judgments in cases that are still working their way through the courts.

Levada said more than 4,000 cases of sexual abuse had been reported to his office in the past decade, revealing the need for “a truly multifaceted response.” He reaffirmed that church leaders have “an obligation to cooperate with the requirements of civil law regarding the reporting of such crimes to the appropriate authorities,” but added that the offenders “are a tiny minority of an otherwise faithful, committed clergy.” Read further:


1 reply

  1. Celibacy or Islamic teaching of Chastity: that is the question?

    The Holy Quran states:

    Then We caused Our Messengers to follow in their footsteps; and We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow them, and We gave him the Gospel. And We placed in the hearts of those who accepted him compassion and mercy. But monasticism which they invented for themselves — We did not prescribe it for them — for the seeking of Allah’s pleasure; but they did not observe it with due observance. Yet We gave those of them who believed their due reward, but many of them are rebellious. (Al Quran 57:28)

    The scandal related to child abuse of up to 200 deaf children by a priest and the cover up by the Catholic Church’s bureaucracy has brought the institution of celibacy into question in the first half of 2010. I felt that it is prudent to freeze some teachings about celibacy as they exist in the church today, to preserve a snapshot for the posterity.

    My interest in this issue is not to defame the Pope or the Church but to examine the institution of celibacy and if it contributes to sexual abuse. Some recent news and opinions on this issue are collected in this knol.

    Wherever the Islamic teachings differ from those of Christianity, we can demonstrate the superiority of the Islamic teachings and their greater utilitarian value. See my other knols, including those on alcohol, gambling and HIV infection. When the dust will settle we will be able to high light the elegance of Islamic teachings pertaining to chastity over man made teaching of monasticism.

    Read further to have a comprehensive view of the issue at hand and the extend of the problem:

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