The premise is FALSE; the breakdown in society did not lead or motivate multitudes of priests, bishops and church leaders to homosexual perversion and pedophilia. It was the lusts of their own heart and their own perverted desires that led to the raping of boys and girls for DECADES and the RC chuch did everything in it's power to cover up the scandal (including "pope" John Paul spiriting away Cardinal Bernard Law to a cushy safe from prosecution retirement in Rome.) for years and years until it could no longer be covered up. The book "The Faithful Departed" documents the facts and "the breakdown in society" excuse doesnt cut it.
By the way, the last time I checked, the new "pope" is the same as the old pope, he has done everything in his power to continue to protect Bernard Law in cushy retirement from prosecution and from having to deal with any of those nasty questions about his part in protecting homosexual, pedophile, priests and church leaders throughout his so-called ministry.
I don’t think that anyone is trying to excuse the pederast priests scandal by general social mores. Would you rather the Holy Father not comment on the society we live in?
If Pope Benedict is truly sincere in his desire to heal the pain of the perverted priests' victims, he will defrock Bernard Law for starters. Does anyone believe this will happen?
Also, keep in mind that many or most of these priest abuses took place in the '50s. The "breakdown" of society which we now refer to did not begin in that decade.
Regardless of what has occurred in the general population, I wish the Pope wouldn't compare that to the abuses of priests.
These men, according to the Church, received a calling to dedicate their lives to God and, thereby, they took on the responsibility of leading others, adults and children, to live good and holy lives.
According to the words of the Pope, we now can view priests as not much different than the average good person who gives his/her life to caring for children, teaching them right from wrong, and always being there for them.
The laity who take care of their parents, are there for their friends, support their families, help out in many other ways, do not have to put anyone in the Church hierarchy on a higher plateau than that of themselves.
Jmouse007 and others:
I am thankful to Pope Benedict whose writings and clear teachings are refreshing in this world of as he puts it, one that embraces a dictatorship of relativism. Furthermore, I appreciate the Pope for meeting with those who have been the victims of sexual abuse by Priests. I pray that this might be the first step toward the beginning of healing.
Still, I have some concerns as to why is it that sexual abuse of minors seems to be portrayed in the TV media as a Catholic Problem. I would like to point out a recent article from the Protesant/Evangelical magazine Christianity Today. The online version of the article posted on 4/10/2008 states:
In the last three years, an average of 23 new articles each day have appeared in secular media sources revealing sexual abuse allegations arising in Protestant churches in the United States. Protestant denominations have been tempted to call sexual abuse a Catholic Problem; this simply is not true. within the past eight years, verdicts, judgments, or settlements exceeding hundreds of millions of dollars have been levied against Protestant churches for sexual abuse allegations arising from children participating in minstry programs.
So, from my calculation, that is 25,185 allegations of sexual abuse of minors that happened in Protestant churches. In addition, there have been stories of huge abuse in American public schools, although I don’t have the figures to cite.
So again I have some questions, 1) Why has the TV media not covered this story, 2) Why is it that non-Catholics use the sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic Church, which is a serious moral failure on the part of the individual priests who perpetrated this crimes, and the Seminaries who ordained these men and Bishops who failed to address the warning signs.
I think part of the reason is the secular-media, driven by the spirit of the evil one (Satan), knows who in the end is the real McCoy is, and that is the Catholic Church. It is an institution that goes back to antiquity and is one that cant be forced by the secular-medias agenda to conform to the spirit of the age in terms of abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and sexual morality, etc.
In summary, as Pope Benedict alluded to, there is a dictatorship of relativism in U.S. culture that has contributed to a break down of absolutes in terms of what is right and what is wrong, which in turn is impacting the moral foundation of all America, not just Catholics and the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, the TV media (CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC) does not seem to care about sexual abuse of minors. I will exclude Fox News as Bill OReily on his show has helped hold judges, who dont sentence individuals who sexual abuse minors, feet to the fire on this issue. Finally, again, I am grateful that Pope Benedict is addressing it, but it seems there are some here who will never give the man credit. It makes one wonder, if many use the failings of the Church at the human level (Catholic Theology views the Church as the Body of Christ, so just as Christ had a Divine and human nature, the Church is a visible sign of a spiritual Communion of God and Humanity), to justify not wanting to confront the moral failures in their own lives, rather than seeking reconciliation and conversion to Christ.
God Bless and Regards