Pope Benedict XVI letter, society’s aversion to talking about God.
Retired Pope Benedict XVI has printed a brand new letter blaming the persevering with Catholic clergy abuse disaster on the sexual revolution, developments in theology following the Second Vatican Council, and fashionable society’s aversion to talking about God.
The letter, one in every of a handful the ex-pontiff has shared publicly since his resignation in 2013, instantly drew criticism from theologians and Vatican watchers. They famous it doesn’t deal with structural points that abetted abuse cover-up, or Benedict’s personal contested 24-year position as head of the Vatican’s highly effective doctrinal workplace.
The previous pope as an alternative factors the finger at a spread of esoteric points, from a supposed societal “psychological collapse” introduced on by the protests of 1968, to a declare that the sexual revolution declared pedophilia to be “allowed and applicable,” and to “vehement backlashes” by theologians towards a 1993 encyclical by Pope John Paul II.
“Among the many freedoms that the Revolution of 1968 sought to battle for was … all-out sexual freedom, one which not conceded any norms,” Benedict says at first of his textual content.
“The psychological collapse was additionally linked to a propensity for violence,” the ex-pope continues, claiming: “That’s the reason intercourse movies have been not allowed on airplanes as a result of violence would escape among the many small neighborhood of passengers.”
“On the identical time, independently of this growth, Catholic ethical theology suffered a collapse that rendered the Church defenseless towards these modifications in society,” says Benedict.
A prolonged 5,500-word textual content, the previous pope’s letter was printed in a single day April 10 by a number of right-wing Catholic web sites, together with the EWTN-owned shops Nationwide Catholic Register and Catholic Information Company.
The Vatican press workplace didn’t instantly reply to requests to confirm the letter’s authenticity, however the city-state’s information portal reported on the textual content at size, saying it was first written for a German journal for clergy, Klerusblatt.
Launch of the letter comes lower than two months after Pope Francis hosted a first-of-its-kind summit in February on clergy abuse with the heads of the world’s Catholic bishops’ conferences and leaders of spiritual orders.
Francis opened the summit with a promise that the Catholic Church can be taking over new “concrete and efficient measures” to confront clergy sexual abuse. Weeks later, he accepted the primary overarching youngster safety coverage for Vatican city-state.
On the finish of his letter, Benedict locations the blame for clergy abuse on the dearth of appreciation for the position of God in fashionable society.
After an obvious reference to the well-known 1966 Time journal headline that requested “Is God Lifeless?”, the previous pontiff says: “Western society is a society through which God is absent within the public sphere and has nothing left to supply it.”
“That’s the reason it’s a society through which the measure of humanity is more and more misplaced,” Benedict continues. “At particular person factors it turns into immediately obvious that what’s evil and destroys man has turn out to be a matter after all.”
“Why did pedophilia attain such proportions?” asks the ex-pope, answering: “Finally, the reason being the absence of God.”
Plenty of famous theologians took to Twitter in a single day to criticize Benedict’s tackle the basis causes of clergy sexual abuse.
Julie Hanlon Rubio, a professor of social ethics at Santa Clara College’s Jesuit College of Theology who was written extensively on sexual morality, referred to as the ex-pope’s evaluation “deeply flawed.”
“The willingness accountable a permissive tradition and progressive theology for an issue that’s inside and structural is gorgeous,” stated Rubio.
Brian Flanagan, an affiliate professor at Marymount College in Virginia whose most up-to-date e book focuses on the church’s want for continuous purification, referred to as Benedict’s textual content “embarrassing.”
“The concept that ecclesial abuse of youngsters was a results of the 1960s, a supposed collapse of ethical theology, and ‘conciliarity’ is an embarrassingly flawed rationalization for the systemic abuse of youngsters and its coverup,” wrote Flanagan.
Massimo Faggioli, an Italian who teaches at Villanova College and has written extensively on the Second Vatican Council, famous that Benedict didn’t point out controversial instances like these of Mexican Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, a serial youngster abuser and rapist who based the highly effective and well-connected Legionaries of Christ.
Benedict investigated Maciel for years earlier than his election as pontiff in 2005, when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Religion.
However the serial abuser was not faraway from ministry till after the loss of life of John Paul II, when Ratzinger was grew to become pope. Francis lately blamed John Paul’s inaction on unnamed “filters” on the Vatican who prevented motion from being taken towards Maciel.
Additionally unmentioned in Benedict’s letter is disgraced ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who John Paul appointed because the bishop of Metuchen, N.J., in 1981, the archbishop of Newark in 1986, the archbishop of Washington in 2000, and made a cardinal in 2001.