Former Pope Benedict has blamed the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal on the results of the sexual revolution of the 1960s and a common collapse in morality.
Critics accused him of attempting to shift blame away from the Church.
In a uncommon essay, Benedict, who for 23 years headed the Vatican doctrinal workplace that has been broadly criticized for its dealing with of sexual abuse instances, argues that the sexual revolution led some to consider that pedophilia and pornography have been acceptable.
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The 91-year-old, who in 2013 turned the primary pope in six centuries to resign, additionally bemoaned that some Catholic seminaries had an overtly homosexual tradition and thus failed to coach clergymen correctly.
“It may very well be mentioned that within the 20 years from 1960 to 1980, the beforehand normative requirements concerning sexuality collapsed totally, and a brand new normalcy arose that has by now been the topic of laborious makes an attempt at disruption,” Benedict wrote.
Benedict was head of the doctrinal workplace earlier than he turned pope in 2005. He was in cost in 2002, when the first-wave abuse instances have been uncovered in Boston.
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Abuse scandals in Eire, Canada, Chile, Australia, France, america, Poland, Germany and elsewhere have since led the Church to pay out billions of in damages to victims and compelled it to shut parishes. Many instances date again many years earlier than the 1960s.
Revelations that predatory clergymen have been typically moved from parish to parish slightly than expelled or criminally prosecuted as bishops coated up the abuse have shaken the church globally and undermined its authority.
Late final yr, Australian Cardinal George Pell turned probably the most senior Catholic to be convicted for little one intercourse offenses. His position as a former prime adviser to Pope Francis introduced the scandal to the center of the papal administration.
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Benedict supplied his evaluations in an extended essay in Klerusblatt, a month-to-month Church journal in his native Bavaria area of Germany. A Vatican official confirmed it was genuine.
The previous pope, who lives secluded in a former convent on the Vatican grounds, mentioned he needed to “contribute one or two remarks to help on this tough hour.”
The impetus for the essay, titled “The Church and the Scandal of Sexual Abuse,” was a summit of senior bishops that Francis held in February to debate the disaster, he mentioned.
“Among the many freedoms that the Revolution of 1968 sought to combat for was this all-out sexual freedom, one which now not conceded any norms,” he wrote, in keeping with an English translation revealed by a number of Catholic web sites.
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He mentioned the unfold of specific intercourse schooling for younger schoolchildren and nudity in promoting had contributed to a loosening of ethical bearings.
Some theologians took to Twitter to criticize Benedict.
“That is an embarrassing letter,” mentioned Brian Flanagan, professor of theology at Marymount College in Virginia.
“The concept that ecclesial abuse of kids was a results of the 1960s, a supposed collapse of ethical theology, and ‘conciliarity’ (the Church after the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council) is an embarrassingly flawed clarification for the systemic abuse of kids and its cowl up.”
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Massimo Faggioli, professor of theology at Villanova College, referred to as it “a caricature” of the Church within the post-Vatican II interval, “with all its ingenuities and a few tragic errors.”
Benedict wrote that after the Second Vatican Council there was a “far reaching breakdown” of the standard strategies of priestly formation that coincided with a dissolution of the Christian idea of morality.
“In numerous seminaries gay cliques have been established, which acted kind of overtly and considerably modified the local weather within the seminaries,” he writes.
Benedict, who has appeared in public solely a handful of instances since his resignation, mentioned the state of affairs in Catholic seminaries has since “enormously improved.”
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