Former Pope: “I Never Tried To Cover Up” Pedophilia

Pope Benedict XVI speaks broadly on his tenure in a letter to Italian philosopher

  • Share
  • Read Later
Vincenzo Pinto / AFP / GETTY

Pope Benedict XVI arrives for his weekly general audience, February 6, 2013.

Francis is not the only Pope making headlines. Today Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI made his first public comments since he retired from the papacy on February 28–he wrote an 11-page letter to an Italian mathematician and philosopher, Piergiorgio Odifreddi, earlier this month, and the Italian newspaper La Repubblica has published excerpts in Tuesday’s edition.

Benedict directly addressed the sexual abuse crisis that has plagued the Catholic church for much of the last decade. It is believed to be the first time he addressed the crisis in the first person. “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,” he wrote. “It’s also not a motive for comfort to know that, according to sociological research, the percentage of priests guilty of these crimes is no higher than in other comparable professional categories…In any event, one must not stubbornly present this deviance as if it were a nastiness specific to Catholicism.”

More broadly, the letter is part of an ongoing conversation about Benedict’s theological writings. Piergiorgio, an atheist thinker, had published a lengthy essay in 2011 critiquing Benedict’s work as far back as his 1967 “Introduction to Christianity,” and Benedict took the opportunity to respond. The former pope addressed a range issues beyond the sex scandals, from classic theological questions like the conflict between good and evil and how much can be known about Jesus as a historical figure to wonkier debates like whether or not theology should be considered a science. Benedict also told Odifreddi that a “religion of mathematics” does not take into account the “three fundamental themes of human existence,” freedom, love, and evil.

Earlier this month, La Repubblica published a letter that Pope Francis had written an atheist intellectual Eugenio Scalfari.

65 comments
CarolineRedbrook
CarolineRedbrook

I would advise the Ex-Pope to review the 10 Commandments, especially : "Thou shall not bear false witness." as I fear that the ex-Pope has just added prevarication to his list of sins. The evidence is overwhelming that he had knowledge of pedophilia and child abuse actions going on in the worldwide church. Enablers must be held as responsible as accused pedophiles like the numerous pedophile priests, Sylvain Kustyan, Jerry Sandusky, etc., because without the complicity of enablers these predators could not continue their depraved abuse of our innocent children. Pedophiles must be apprehended before they have years to continue to destroy young lives. Sandusky is now safely behind bars. But unfortunately, many priests (thanks to the ex-Pope) and Kustyan, who has been formally charged with two counts each of 1st Degree Sodomy and Sexual Abuse of a ten-year-old little boy, have not yet been brought to justice. Kustyan fled to avoid imminent arrest. Formerly of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Hermin/ Mazingarbe, France, Kustyan is now a fugitive from the law. Perpetrators condemn their victims to a lifetime of emotional and psychological trauma and often permanent physical ailments as well. Since the average pedophile has 300 different victims in their lifetime and since the recidivism rate among pedophiles is virtually 100% and since there is no effective treatment and no known cure, pedophiles and their enablers must be stopped ASAP!

Justin Blurblur
Justin Blurblur

Paedophile pretended to be a priest in order to molest boys and the Pope & the Catholic church get the blame? Why don't blame gay then since the ones molesting the boys are clearly gay?:(

Diane Fortier
Diane Fortier

It's about time some one from the higher standings came forth and admit the truth and honesty of his feelings.

Nathan Parsons
Nathan Parsons

Guess you can't cover up something you're in denial about.

Donna Creaser
Donna Creaser

knew! Did nothing! Just didn't want to spoil your perfect status quo! Disgusting! Deplorable in your or any body's position!!

George Salis
George Salis

He just accidentally tried to cover it up.

eagle11772
eagle11772

"It’s also not a motive for comfort to know that, according to sociological research, the percentage of priests guilty of these crimes is no higher than in other comparable professional categories."  I would say that's a LIE.  Name any other "profession" with so many convicted, and unconvicted, pedophiles, and any other "profession" that has paid out SO MUCH MONEY because of it.

Jaerik
Jaerik

"It’s also not a motive for comfort to know that, according to sociological research, the percentage of priests guilty of these crimes is no higher than in other comparable professional categories."

This is more damning of the church's exclusive claim to morality than anything else he could have possibly said.

RamondeJsPolank
RamondeJsPolank

SANTIAGO,DR.—Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI is sincere upon his condemnation when addressing the sexual abuse crisis: “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…”

Frank Ukonga
Frank Ukonga

Breaking News:68th UN Meeting in New York , USA: Message From the Office of the Executive Chairman SDP Edo state of Nigeria His Excellency Prince Frank Onaivi Ukonga commend the Presidents and leaders of the world attending the UN 68th summit: His Excellency Prince FRANK UKONGA Chairman SDP Edo state of Nigeria greets and commend all the Presidents and ;leaders of the world converged today in New York to find solution to world contemporary problems of mankind of the 21 Century anno Domini.http://nationalpeoplesnews2.blogspot.com/2013/09/breaking-news68th-un-meeting-in-new.html

Christine McAusland
Christine McAusland

Post 2012, the difference is the internet connecting approx 40% of the globe. I believed in Radar first and appreciate profits are read differently but without taxation at this level will have implications in the economy. (No 1 Profit Arms and weapon's hence the nightmares some must really suffer).

Louise Noyb
Louise Noyb

Pedophiles are criminals. They are found in "all" areas of society.

crigs
crigs

That's not good enough. You could have helped to uncover pedophilia worldwide. You knew the best what's going on. Sorry ! 

Ricky Ric
Ricky Ric

ㄕㄖㄗㄋ ςh。uld R3ad D_c。mm3nt H3 muςt . . . 8_laugh¡ng. Huahahaa. . .

RustyYates
RustyYates

The Catholic Church should be investigated under the RICO laws.

Elaine N Lala
Elaine N Lala

Of course, the former Holy Father is a man of God, he was a great Pope.

summapologia
summapologia

Given that Hans Zollner said ‘it was not communicated well enough how much he’s done to clean out the stables’, I'd just note that he was the one behind the 2001 reforms that first required dioceses to report sexual abuse cases to Rome and that maintained that ‘civil law concerning reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities should always be followed’, that he was the one who suspended the serial abuser Marciel Maciel from the priesthood, banishing him to a monastery and began a full investigation into his order, the Legion of Christ, a hugely powerful political force within the Church at the time and he was first Pope to meet with abuse victims and apologise, in particular his message to Irish victims of abuse: "You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry." He said that their dignity had been "violated" and said the guilty men would "answer before Almighty God and before properly constituted tribunals". It should be perfectly obvious to anyone who honestly reflects on his record that, as he put it, he 'never tried to hide these things.'

Wil Moor
Wil Moor

Will u just take a look at this creep! Is this the guy I want to lead me into righteousness & to God........I'LL TAKE MY CHANCES IN HELL!

Ramón Jurado
Ramón Jurado

Pope John Paul II is a criminal and the man responsible for such crimes

Kathleen McNally
Kathleen McNally

I see many of you should get your Souls in order, in this string. Cast your demons out, many of you appear infested.

Wonderer_
Wonderer_

@Janet Wells Me too. I believe him 200%.

Wonderer_
Wonderer_

Do your homework. Get your facts and prove it! make sure you use "reliable sources" (I hope you understand the meaning of "reliable" which means information from an acceptable organization, eg. UN, UNESCO etc.) and put them here! Otherwise you are simply speculating things which you don't know anything about, just like the blog of takiskonst which is in serious need of clarification :-)

Wonderer_
Wonderer_

@JaerikI hope you read the beginning of the sentence which says "it's also NOT a motive for comfort to know". I hope you have the ability to understand that what he is trying to say here is that the church is not a special case, as the media so love to portray.
It does NOT encourage it, it points out that this is not PARTICULAR to the catholic church. This is a response to the book written by Odifreddi so I would recommend you read his book before reading the pope's answer before making statements such as above :-)

Wonderer_
Wonderer_

@Bob Packettread Summapologia's comment. Not rocket science :-)

Wonderer_
Wonderer_

@takiskonst It is only logical to think that she used the past tense as he is not pope anymore :-)

Wonderer_
Wonderer_

@takiskonst Do your homework. Get your facts and prove it! make sure you use "reliable sources" (I hope you understand the meaning of "reliable" which means information from an acceptable organization, eg. UN, UNESCO etc.) and put them here! Otherwise you are simply speculating things which you don't know anything about, just like the blog of yours which is in serious need of clarification :-)

Wonderer_
Wonderer_

@takiskonst  @Louise NoybDo your homework. Get your facts and prove it! make sure you use "reliable sources" (I hope you understand the meaning of "reliable" which means information from an acceptable organization, eg. UN, UNESCO etc.) and put them here! Otherwise you are simply speculating things which you don't know anything about, just like the blog of yours which is in serious need of clarification :-)

Wonderer_
Wonderer_

@takiskonst  @Louise NoybGet your facts and prove it! make sure you use "reliable sources" (I hope you understand the meaning of "reliable" which means information from an acceptable organization, eg. UN, UNESCO etc.) and put them here! Otherwise you are simply speculating things which you don't know anything about, just like the blog of yours which is in serious need of clarification :-)