But he urged efforts "to address the sin of abuse within the wider context of sexual mores" as well as a reassessment of "the values underpinning society."
"What does it mean to speak of child protection when pornography and violence can be viewed in so many homes through media widely available today?" the pontiff said on the first full day of his US visit.
"Children deserve to grow up with a healthy understanding of sexuality and its proper place in human relationships. They should be spared the degrading manifestations and the crude manipulation of sexuality so prevalent today."
Describing clerics who sexually abuse children as "gravely immoral," the octogenarian pope warned that the scourge of pedophilia "is found not only in your dioceses but in every sector of society."
He's factually correct. The rate of abuse among Catholic clergy is comparable to that of other clergy, and teachers. What was newsworthy about the priestly scandal, however, was the cover-up of this abuse by several bishops.
I'm glad to see Pope Benedict address the "pornification" of America, but I'm afraid that his message will be lost in the MSM's "has he said enough about the abuse crisis?" approach to this visit.
I agree with the pope on the overall message, though naturally the media and other assorted folks will run with the “he’s blaming someone else” angle. However, the scandals always seemed to be more about homosexuality than pedophilia, per se. Has he addressed specifically the issue of keeping homosexuals out of the seminaries?