Cardinal Downplays Reports Of Church Sexual Abuse As “Petty Gossip”
Cardinal Angelo Sodano began Pope Benedict’s Easter Sunday Mass by defending him against charges against the church of sexual abuse. It is the first time within memory that the papal Mass was changed in such a way.
“Holy Father, the people of God are with you and will not let themselves be influenced by the petty gossip of the moment, by the trials that sometimes assail the community of believers,” Sodano said.
Sodano’s speech also indicated that the Vatican’s strategy was that the pope would not address the issue directly for the time being, at least not in the context of religious services.
The church is also defending itself against charges of abuse against deaf boys in Wisconsin between 1950 and 1974 by the Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy. (pictured)
The Vatican has denied any cover-up over the abuse of 200 deaf boys in the United States by Reverend Lawrence Murphy from 1950 to 1974. The New York Times reported the Vatican and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, were warned about Murphy but he was not defrocked.
Meanwhile, the pope’s personal preacher apologized for comments he made comparing the plight of the church to the suffering of Jews.
“If — and it was not my intention to do so — I hurt the sensitivities of Jews and victims of pedophilia, I am truly sorry and I ask for forgiveness,” Father Raniero Cantalamessa said in an interview with Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper.
He also said the pope was not aware of his remarks and that the pontiff heard them for the first time along with everyone else in St. Peter’s Basilica on Good Friday.Click here for reuse options!
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