[QODLink]
Europe

Former pope denies covering up sexual abuse

Benedict denies cover up in what is believed to be first statement directly responding to sexual abuse accusations.

Last Modified: 24 Sep 2013 19:31
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Many victims groups say Benedict did not do enough to stop the sexual abuse of children by priests [Reuters]

Former Pope Benedict has denied that he tried to cover up sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests, in his first direct published comments since he stepped down in February.

The comments, which a victims group rejected, were made in an 11-page letter to Italian author and mathematician Piergiorgio Odifreddi, who had written a book about the problems facing the Church before the pope resigned in February.

"As far as you mentioning the moral abuse of minors by priests, I can only, as you know, acknowledge it with profound consternation. But I never tried to cover up these things," said Benedict, who now has the title Emeritus Pope.

Excerpts of the letter were published in the Rome newspaper La Repubblica on Tuesday with the former pope's permission.

Victims groups have accused Benedict of not doing enough to stop the abuse of children by priests while he was pope and before when he was head of the Vatican's doctrinal office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) rejected his assertion.

"In the Church's entire history, no one knew more but did less to protect kids than Benedict," SNAP said in statement.

"As head of CDF, thousands of cases of predator priests crossed his desk. Did he choose to warn families or call police about even one of those dangerous clerics? No. That, by definition, is a cover up," the SNAP statement said.

Victims groups say there is much still to be discovered about how the Church behaved in the past and want more bishops who were aware of abuse to be held responsible.

269

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
In Brussels, NGO staff are being trained to fill the shortfall of field workers in West Africa.
Lawsuit by 6-year-old girl, locked up for a year, reignites debate over indefinite detention of 'boat people'.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Citizens of the tiny African nation say they're increasingly anxious of the fallout after alleged coup.
A humanitarian crisis and a budget crisis converge in the heart of the human smuggling corridor in Texas.
join our mailing list