Pope Emeritus emerges from retirement to defend record on sex abuse

"I never tried to cover these things up," Benedict wrote

Topics: Pope Benedict, Sexual assault, Sexual abuse, Catholic Church, ,

Pope Emeritus emerges from retirement to defend record on sex abusePope Emeritus Benedict XVI(Credit: AP)

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has emerged from retirement to respond to criticism of his handling of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.

In a newly-released letter, published in La Repubblica, Benedict defended his record against accusations that he covered up the abuse during his time as pope.

“I never tried to cover these things up,” Benedict wrote. “That the power of evil has penetrated so far into the world of faith is a suffering we must bear.”

Benedict also rejected the claim that abuse is rampant in the Catholic Church, arguing in his letter that “according to research by sociologists, the percentage of priests guilty of these crimes is no higher than those present in other similar professional fields.” He went on to accuse his critics of trying to “present this deviation as if it were filth pertaining only to Catholicism.”



As USA Today notes, the renewed dialogue with Benedict and his perceived lack of remorse for his failures to do more to stop stop sexual assault within the church has reignited outrage among survivors of sexual abuse and other advocates.

Jeff Anderson, a Minnesota attorney who has handled several abuse suits against the church, called the statements “alarming and disturbing.”

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests also responded to the former pope’s remarks, saying: “The opposite of ‘covering up’ is ‘uncovering’ or ‘disclosing,’” the group said in a statement. “We cannot name one predatory bishop, priest, nun, brother or seminarian who was publicly exposed because of Benedict.”

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Rose Jay via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Labrador Retriever

    These guys are happy because their little brains literally can't grasp the concept of global warming.

    Hysteria via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    German Shepherd

    This momma is happy to bring her little guy into the world, because she doesn't know that one day they'll both be dead.

    Christian Mueller via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Golden Retriever

    I bet these guys wouldn't be having so much fun if they knew the sun was going to explode one day.

    WilleeCole Photography via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Bulldog

    This dude thinks he's tough, but only because nobody ever told him about ISIS.

    Soloviova Liudmyla via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Beagle

    This little lady is dreaming about her next meal-- not Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

    Labrador Photo Video via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Yorkshire Terrier

    This trusting yorkie has never even heard the name "Bernie Madoff."

    Pavla via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Poodle

    She is smiling so widely because she is too stupid to understand what the Holocaust was.

    Aneta Pics via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Boxer

    Sure, frolic now, man. One day you're going to be euthanized and so is everyone you love.

    Dezi via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    French Bulldog

    He's on a casual afternoon stroll because he is unfamiliar with the concept of eternity.

    Jagodka via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Rottweiler

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could all be this care-free? But we can't because we are basically all indirectly responsible for slavery.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...