«Holy Father, the people of God are with you and will not let themselves be influenced by the petty gossip of the moment, by the trials that sometimes assail the community of believers».
This was the words of Cardinal Sodano before the Easter Sunday Mass in the Vatican.
The Vatican broke with papal ritual yesterday, allowing a leading cardinal to begin the Easter Sunday Mass with an address that seemed more like a pep talk for Pope Benedict, who is in the eye of a growing storm over clerical sex-abuse.
In his surprise speech, Cardinal Angelo Sodano lauded the pontiff as «a solid rock», praised his «unfailing leadership» and declared «the Church is with you», as the thousands of faithful huddled under umbrellas in St Peter’s Square cheered and applauded.
Shielded from the drizzle by a canopy, the Pope looked weary during the Easter Sunday ceremony, but his face broke into a smile for the cardinal’s paean. And when Cardinal Sodano had finished speaking, the Pope rose from his chair to embrace him.
In his own Urbi et Orbi address hours later, he made no direct mention of the paedophilia scandal which has engulfed the Church, creating the biggest crisis of his five-year-old reign as head of the Catholic Church.
Easter brought a message of pardon, goodness and truth, he said. Humanity was suffering and the salvation of the Gospel was needed «to emerge from a profound crisis, one which requires deep change, beginning with consciences».
He mentioned the religious persecution suffered by Christians in Pakistan, recalled the hardships of the victims of the recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, denounced drug-related violence in Latin America and prayed for peace in the Middle East.
But, of the allegations of clerical sex-abuse around the world, including Germany, Ireland, Austria, Italy, Malta and the US, and of the allegations of a cover-up that led all the way to the Vatican, there was not a word.
Among the Catholics leaving the square in Rome at the end of the Easter Mass, there were some who were disappointed with the Pope’s words. «He should just address the crisis directly … They should deal with it in a lawful, equitable and just manner, and they should treat victims with respect,», Nancy Malone of the US told Reuters.
Benedict has been accused of knowingly allowing a paedophile priest, Father Peter Hullerman, to continue working in his diocese when he was archbishop of Munich, as well as failing, in his capacity as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to act against a American cleric who assaulted around 200 boys in a school for the deaf in Wisconsin.
The last edition of the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, denounced the personal accusations made against Benedict as a «vile defamation operation».
The Vatican has stressed that only a tiny minority of priests have abused children, and, in his address in St Peter’s Square, Cardinal Sodano pointedly mentioned «the 400,000 priests who generously serve» around the world. Later, the Venetian Cardinal Angelo Scola went on Italian television to say that the Pope was holding up well against a campaign of «deceitful accusations» drawing on his «usual spiritual energy».
«Catholic priests suffers like Jews»
Meanwhile, the Vatican was still reeling from its Good Friday PR disaster,
Inside the Vatican, the Pope’s personal preacher, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, compared the mounting criticism of the Catholic Church over child abuse to the «collective violence suffered by the Jews»
It provoked an instant tide of anger and incredulity from victim support groups and the Jewish lobby. Father Cantalamessa apologised over the weekend:
«If – and it was not my intention to do so – I hurt the sensitivities of Jews and victims of pedophilia, I am truly sorry and I ask for forgiveness», he said.
Source: UK Newspaper The Independent.
The gossips of sexual abused Children have already costs to Catholic Church in the US two billion dollars i compensations.
If this Cardinal is right, how could the Pope entertain these gossiper`s, and agree to their demands?
The Pope has accepted heavy payouts, that have almost bankrupted the Roman Catholic Church in the US.
BBC has aired a report that confirms that 12.000 such gossips have been presented in the court of Law in countries like the US, Brazil, Ireland and Germany.
Surprisingly judges have agreed to support the allegations of all these 12.000 gossipers. An investigation in Ireland claims that 150.000 Irish children have been abused by Catholic clergy since the 1930-ties.
Cardinal Ratzinger have earlier been accused of not providing documents to the Judges that wanted to probe claims of sexual abuse of Children by Catholic priests. Some of the accused priest have simply not been traceable. Many of them hidden by the Catholic faithful, in Pontifical institutions all over the World.
This is a crime. The Vatican statehood should be dissolved, and the criminal stripped from their diplomatic immunity, and brought to justice.
Read more about sexual abuse of Children in Ireland by Catholic priests.