Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/25/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Benedict answered allegations that the Church covered up child sex abuse.

Pope Benedict has said in a letter to La Republica, that he never attempted to cover up the sexual abuse of children in the Church. Benedict broke his post-retirement silence to write the important letter.

Pope Benedict celebrates Mass during his tenure. He most recently sent a letter defending his work to protect children within the Church.

Pope Benedict celebrates Mass during his tenure. He most recently sent a letter defending his work to protect children within the Church.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

9/25/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Pope Emeritus Benedict, health, retirement, Vatican, letter, child abuse, cover up, La Repubblica

ROME, ITALY (Catholic Online) - Pope Benedict responded to a series of questions by letter, sending a long reply to the editor of La Repubblica, Piergiorgio Odifreddi an outspoken atheist and mathematician.

The letter follows another to Odifreddi sent by Pope Francis. Both popes have responded to his inquiries in an unprecedented communication. Typically, popes are inaccessible to the media with most information being relayed by representatives and in writing.

For popes to respond with lengthy and detailed letters is seen to be a rare thing in modern times and could represent a shift in the way the Church handles criticism and inquiry, responding quickly and in detail to the media on important issues of concern to many people.

Benedict has been living in retirement since February, and following a stay at the Papal villa, he retired to a monastic life to end his days in prayer and contemplation, out of the public eye. He has kept this promise, although the letter to La Repubblica is a slight departure.

In responding to allegations that the Church may have covered up the abuses of priests, Benedict replied "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."

In 2010, Pope Benedict revised Church rules to make it easier to remove abusive priests and to protect children. He also met with victims and advocates on several occasions dating back to 2008. Benedict has never shied from the issue, no matter how embarrassing it has been for the Church.

Unfortunately, many people do not understand how the Catholic Church operates. It is the oldest single institution in modern existence. As the early Church spread beyond the Middle East into the world under the Roman Empire it also developed its administrative structure to serve a global communion of people knit together in local Dioceses throughout the world. The government of the Catholic Church does not govern a Nation, with lands and political institutions. Rather, it shepherds a flock, cares for a communion of believers joined by faith, creed, sacrament and way of life.

The Pope is the the Bishop of Rome and Successor of the Apostle Peter. He, in communion with all of the Bishops of the Church, pastorally governs the communion of the Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. They also meet to resolve important pastoral matters entailed in governing the Church. Yes, there are structures in place which deal with every aspect of the life of the global Catholic Church, including Canon or Church Law and a process for enforcing that law.

The Church does move at a slower pace than the modern age of mass communication now expects. However, that slow and methodical approach - which may seem even glacial to modern outsiders -  is also deliberate and spares the Church from hysteria and precipitous actions which can sometimes ensnare nation states.

Since the Church also oversees more than 1 billion followers, the pace at which issues can be addressed can appear to be slow. What appears to be a crisis can be just another day of the week in the life of a Church as she deals with multitudes of needs as well as many and varied crisis situations. The Church is no stranger to danger, to crisis, or to corruption. These things are always handled in their turn, even if larger, secular governments may move more quickly to address them in real time.

Every priest, as a citizen of their own nation, answers to their national justice institutions, which  rightfully provide the first response to problems and any allegations of illegal activity. The Church also has an important role, but it is secondary to the immediate response that occurs locally.

The Church also has a duty not to obstruct justice when a crime is reasonably believed to have occurred. Recent Church reforms have focused on clarifying Church law so that those supervising priests and other clergy do not ever mistake their obligations of providing pastoral oversight to in any way ever obscure the absolute requirement of facing scandals, punishing crime and protecting victims.

Pope Francis has pledged the Church will take "decisive action" to deal with all issues relating to the abuse of children within the Church. Pope Emeritus Benedict did the same. 

Click here to learn about our Saint Michael the Archangel conference this Nov 1-3!


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Living Faith

Holy See announces progress made against poverty, ecological abuse begins with dignity of fellow humans Watch

Image of

By Catholic News Agency

Global efforts to fight poverty protect the environment and the common thread of promoting human dignity must connect all make decisions about the economy, a Holy See representative told a United Nations body this week. New York City (CNA) - "In our efforts to ... continue reading

Pope Francis on the devil: 'The evil one conceals himself, and comes with very polite friends, knocking at the door' Watch

Image of Pope Francis delivers homily.


Pope Francis delivered a homily on one of his favorite topics Friday morning during a mass at the Saint Martha residence. The homily focused on how the devil's temptations never wane. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis' recent homily in the chapel at the ... continue reading

Cuba still 'very far from a normal pastoral situation' after papal visit Watch

Image of The church in Cuba seeks dialogue with the government and with society while

By Kevin J. Jones, CNA/EWTN News

After Pope Francis' visit as a "missionary of mercy," Cuba is now in a prime moment to move forward in its relationship with the Church and work for the common good, said a representative of an aid group that works in the country. Havana, Cuba (CNA/EWTN News) - ... continue reading

The devil moves in with stealth and charm, but then 'starts giving the orders,' Pope warns Watch

Image of Pope Francis related the story of Jesus casting out devils. The Pharisees accused him of driving out demons by the power of the Beelzebub, the prince of demons.


Pope Francis, speaking at Mass Friday morning, warned the faithful about the ways of Satan. "The evil one conceals himself, and comes with his very polite friends, knocking at the door, asking permission, but then moves in and spends time with the man and, ... continue reading

3 Biblical ways to achieve small victories in our Walk with God Watch

Image of Walk with God.


Life struggles are inevitable but to look at them more than just a bump in the road is like putting rocks in your backpack before a hike. God doesn't want that - our journey to Him is meant to shape us in a way He planned for us. Little by little, we achieve victories ... continue reading

Families 'free us from the sea of loneliness and indifference,' Pope Francis says Watch

Image of After recently concluding a series of catechesis on the family as a lead-in to this year's synod gathering, Pope Francis explained that he would start a new catechesis on the

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

Family rescues us from indifference and loneliness and teaches us the essentials of life, Pope Francis said - adding that as the family of God, the Church has the same role and must evaluate how to live this out. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - "Like Saint ... continue reading

Respecting life the Gospel way Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

For the sake of our salvation, we need to pay serious attention, and act with purpose, to what Jesus teaches here in Matthew's Gospel: "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will ... continue reading

Young girl blessed by Pope Francis during visit to U.S. believes the 'miracle has begun' Watch

Image of Julia Bruzzese was blessed by Pope Francis.


12-year-old Julia Bruzzese, who has been experiencing symptoms of Lyme disease, suffered from sudden paralysis that doctors are still unable to explain. However, following a blessing from Pope Francis, the young girl seems to be healing. NEW YORK, NY (Catholic Online) ... continue reading

'God did not create us to live in sorrow or to be alone,' Pope Francis says of marriage Watch

Image of Pope Francis' comments were made during his Oct. 4 Mass marking the official opening of this year's Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family.

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

Pope Francis formally opened the synod of bishops Sunday, telling participants that the union between a man and woman is the foundation of God's plan for the family, and a solution to the many forms of loneliness in today's world. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - ... continue reading

FULL TEXT: Family synod prayer vigil, Pope Francis's full address Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Presiding over a prayer vigil in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis led the beginning of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, at the Vatican. Drawing tens of thousands of the faithful, many were present in the Square since the afternoon for a ... continue reading

All Living Faith News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Romans 1:16-25
16 For I see no reason to be ashamed of the gospel; ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:37-41
37 He had just finished speaking when a Pharisee ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 13th, 2015 Image

St. Edward the Confessor
October 13: Edward the Confessor was the son of King Ethelred III and his ... Read More