Excerpts from the Pope Emeritus’ 11-page letter have been published in the Rome newspaper, La Repubblica on Tuesday, in which Benedict XVI denies he was part of a sex abuse cover-up, and fired back at the author who penned the book about problematic issues within the Catholic Church as reported by Reuters.
According to Reuters, the former Pope responded to priestly sex abuse allegations in a book by Italian author and mathematician Piergiorgio Odifreddi written before his resignation in February. Certain aspects of the work angered the Pope Emeritus and with his permission, La Repubblica, published Joseph Ratzinger’s rebuttal to comments made by the author that allege Benedict XVI covered up the sex abuse of children by priests.
In the issues discussed so far it is a serious dialogue, for which I - as I have said repeatedly - I am grateful. The situation is different in the chapter on the priest and Catholic morality, and by still another in the chapters on Jesus As for what you say moral abuse of minors by priests, I can - as you know - just take note with deep concern. I have never tried to hide these things. That the power of evil penetrate to such an extent in the inner world of faith is for us a suffering which, on the one hand, we have to endure, while, on the other, we must at the same time, do everything possible to ensure that such cases do not repeated. Nor is it reassuring to know that, according to the research of sociologists, the percentage of priests are guilty of these crimes is not higher than that found in other similar professions. In any case, you should not submit this deviation ostentatiously as if it were a specific filth of Catholicism.
Benedict's letter is the first authorized published material since his resignation in February. A source close to the retired Pontiff claimed the Pope Emeritus resigned due to a mystical experience, however that story has since been refuted. Joseph Ratzinger was the first Pope in 600 years to retire.
The Catholic Church has made great strides in the past decade in the prevention and elimination of child sex abuse since the crisis erupted out of Boston in 2002.
In the 11-page letter, the Pope Emeritus explains his mixed reaction to Odifreddi’s book and points out specific topics he took issue with that include the debate between science and religion, Bible interpretations, and Jesus Christ.
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