Two weeks ago, it was announced Benedict XVI would submit a written defense testimony after being sued in civil court for having allegedly “responsibly approved” the appointment of a known abuser as pastor to a Bavarian parish in the 1970s.

Now, Pope Francis has also come to the defense of the retired pope, saying in a recent interview with America magazine he was “the leader in taking … decisions” for “how the church is taking responsibility for this monstrosity … to institutionalize [the protection of minors] within the Church.”

“Some history. Until the Boston crisis, when everything was uncovered, the church acted by moving an abuser from his place; covering up, as often happens in families today. The problem of sexual abuse is extremely serious in society.”

Pope Francis explained that even though the “official statistics” show “3 percent [of abusers] are Catholic priests,” that “if there had been only one case, it would have been monstrous.”

“The abuse of minors is one of the most monstrous things. The practice, which is still maintained in some families and institutions today, was to cover it up. The church made the decision to not cover up anymore. From there progress was made in judicial processes, the creation of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.”

In finishing his answer to the interview question about abuse, Pope Francis asked his own question.

“What should the church do, then? I believe we have to go forward with equal transparency. Keep moving forward with seriousness and with shame. The church takes responsibility for its own sin, and we go forward, sinners, trusting in the mercy of God.”  

Pray for an end to abuse everywhere!


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  1. Benedict XVI has served humanity with dedication and distinction. May the Pope Emeritus be blessed with good health.


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