Retired Pope Benedict XVI speaks out on Catholic Church sex abuse scandal

I am told that he bypassed Vatican media. Perhaps that was to make sure he was reported as saying the things he really intended to say.

From R. R. Reno at First Things:

He provides anecdotes about seminary training in the 1970s and 1980s that indicate that an insouciant dismissal of the Church’s magisterium was not the sole province of moral theologians. A certain “progressive” mentality predominated, and it drove out anything that had the slightest smell of the authority of revelation. During the pontificate of John Paul II there were entire sectors of the Church in quasi-open rebellion, loyal to the imperative of release rather than the bishop of Rome. To this Benedict adds detailed observations about the inadequacies of the Church’s own legal code that made the official mechanisms for disciplining clerical sexual abuse ineffective. The overall impression: Overwhelmed by the Revolution of ’68, riddled with dissent, and structured by institutional and canonical assumptions ill-suited to present realities, the Catholic Church has become an ungovernable mess. The picture gives one sympathy for the men trying to master her present, grave challenges. More.

It is easier to invent the raging Woke than to disinvent them.

Also at First Things (read the whole of both articles if you follow the Church cataclysm), Charles J. Chaput writes

Like the laypeople they serve and lead, priests are shaped by the culture from which they emerge. They should be held, rightly, to a higher standard because of their calling. But priests and bishops have no miraculous immunity to the abnormality bubbling around them. Ratzinger locates the seed of the current crisis in the deliberate turn toward sexual anarchy that marked much of Europe in the 1960s, and the complete failure of Catholic moral theologians to counter it—a failure that more often resembled fellow-traveling. He also notes, as did Del Noce, the dirty little secret of the sexual revolution: Relaxing sexual norms does not reduce an appetite for violence, including sexual violence. It does exactly the opposite.

Ratzinger acknowledges that “In various seminaries homosexual cliques were established which acted more or less openly and significantly changed the climate in the seminaries.” He also notes a problem that infected leadership: “Above all, a criterion for the appointment of new bishops [became] now their ‘conciliarity,’ which of course could be understood to mean rather different things.” More.

Reality check: The most significant thing about the scandal is that the people I was told to avoid in the past because they were unhinged extremists turned out to be right on the subject of how bad the Church’s situation is. Their prescriptions may or may not be correct but their diagnosis has been accurate.

See also: Controversial Cardinal Pell verdict continues to raise doubts While there is good reason to accuse many high-ranking Catholic dignitaries of sex crimes, the case against Pell has been suspect from the beginning. Some say that underlying it is Pell’s role in attempting to expose shady financial dealings at the Vatican. Don’t rule that out.


Catholic Church scandal is about money as well as sex This is a long, messy story but if you skim through it, you will gain some insight into an often overlooked relationship between sex abuse and money in the Church decline drama.