• News
  • Angels
  • Bible
  • Faith
  • History

Retired Pope Benedict Asks For Forgiveness Over Handling Church Sex Abuse Cases But Not Ashamed Of His Doings

Retired Pope Benedict asks for forgiveness over handling church sex abuse cases but admitted to no personal or specific misconduct after an independent assessment questioned his behavior in four cases while he was archbishop of Munich, Germany.

Pope benedict wearing a traditional white church outfit
Pope benedict wearing a traditional white church outfit

“I have had great responsibilities in the Catholic church. All the greater is my pain for the abuses and the errors that occurred in those different places during the time of my mandate,” the retired pope added.

Benedict, 94, was responding to a Jan. 20 study from a German legal company that had been commissioned by the German Catholic Church to investigate how accusations of sexual abuse were handled in the Munich archdiocese between 1945 and 2019. Benedict, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, commanded the archdiocese from 1977 until 1982.

The report’s authors condemned Benedict’s handling of four cases during his time as archbishop, accusing him of malfeasance for having neglected to restrict the ministry of the priests in the cases even after they had been convicted criminally. The investigation also blamed his predecessors and successors, noting that there had been at least 497 abuse victims throughout the decades and at least 235 probable abusers.

Munich’s current archbishop, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, apologized last month on behalf of his archdiocese “for the suffering inflicted on people in the church over the past decades.” The Vatican on Tuesday revealed a letter Benedict wrote to answer to the claims, alongside a more technical reply from his team of attorneys who had delivered a first 82-page response to the law firm concerning his nearly five-year stay in Munich.

Pope benedict wearing a white church outfit and giving a speech on mic
Pope benedict wearing a white church outfit and giving a speech on mic

The judgment of Benedict’s lawyers was resolute: “As an archbishop, Cardinal Ratzinger was not involved in any cover-up of acts of abuse,” they stated. They chastised the report’s writers for misinterpreting their submission and said that they supplied no evidence that Benedict was aware of the criminal background of any of the four priests in question.

Benedict’s redaction was significantly more subtle and spiritual, but he went on at length to thank his legal staff before even addressing the issues at hand or the victims of abuse. In the letter, Benedict issued what he called a “confession,” recalling that daily Mass begins with people confessing their sins and begging forgiveness for their flaws and even their “grievous errors.” Benedict stated that in his contacts with abuse victims when he was pope, “I have seen at first hand the effects of a most grievous fault. “And I have come to understand that we ourselves are drawn into this grievous fault whenever we neglect it or fail to confront it with the necessary decisiveness and responsibility, as too often happened and continues to happen,” he wrote. “As in those meetings, once again I can only express to all the victims of sexual abuse my profound shame, my deep sorrow and my heartfelt request for forgiveness.”

Two cases concerned priests who had offended when Ratzinger was archbishop but were maintained in pastoral ministry without restrictions. Similarly, a pedophile priest who had been imprisoned in another country was allowed to transfer to Munich in 1980 and eventually placed into ministry. The priest assaulting a youngster in 1986 got a suspended sentence. A previous “error” in Benedict's team's report to the law firm that argued Ratzinger wasn't there at the 1980 meeting where the priest's relocation to Munich was discussed. But Ratzinger wasn't there, they said.

Benedict expressed his displeasure at the use of his “oversight” to “cast doubt on my truthfulness, and even to label me a liar.” In spite of this, he claimed he was encouraged by the messages and gestures of support he had received. “I am particularly grateful for the confidence, support and prayer that Pope Francis personally expressed to me,” he said.

The Vatican defended Benedict's record after the law firm study, emphasizing that he was the first pope to meet with abuse victims, declare strict punishments for priests who molested minors, and direct the church to seek forgiveness for its clerics' sins. Finally, Benedict noted that he is nearing the conclusion of his life and will soon be judged by God.

“Quite soon, I shall find myself before the final judge of my life,” he wrote. “Even though, as I look back on my long life, I can have great reason for fear and trembling, I am nonetheless of good cheer, for I trust firmly that the Lord is not only the just judge, but also the friend and brother who himself has already suffered for my shortcomings.”

What Did Benedict Confess In Two Popes?

In the following news exchange on retired pope benedict asks for forgiveness over handling church sex abuse cases, Benedict admits to knowing about and regretting his silence over Father Maciel's long-term sexual misconduct, hinting that this is the cause for his desire to step down: "I was aware of Father Maciel's long-term sexual misconduct and regretting my silence." Benedict declares that he no longer hears God's words and that he wishes to abdicate. Benedict is comforted by Bergoglio, who also extends to him the gift of absolution.

Conclusion

What are your thoughts on the news of Retired Pope Benedict asks for forgiveness over handling church sex abuse cases? Can you ever forgive such a filthy person in disguise as a priest? For me, it is not possible.

Comments (0 comments)

    Recent Articles

    • Helping Teenagers Read The Bible Is Fundamental

      Helping Teenagers Read The Bible Is Fundamental

      Teenagers frequently inquire about the Bible's relevance in their own lives. Teenagers who pose that question frequently do so from a place of uncertainty about their knowledge of Scripture....

    • Why Is Sunday School Necessary For The Young Ones In Christianity?

      Why Is Sunday School Necessary For The Young Ones In Christianity?

      In the United States, a Sunday school is an educational institution that is often Christian in nature. Christian catechesis is provided through Sunday school sessions, which are typically held before church services on Sundays.

    • What Should Be The Role Of Youth Ministries Of Churches In Guiding The Youth?

      What Should Be The Role Of Youth Ministries Of Churches In Guiding The Youth?

      A maturity level religious ministries of faith groups or other religious organizations that serve young people between the ages of 12 and 30 are known as youth ministries, which are also known as youth groups in some circles.

    • What Is The Need Of Weekly Activities In Churches?

      What Is The Need Of Weekly Activities In Churches?

      Summer is an excellent time to experiment with new weekly activities with your church family. People have taken time off from work and are hoping to have a little fun while they are doing so.

    • The Importance Of Special Events Or Festivals In Christianity

      The Importance Of Special Events Or Festivals In Christianity

      The plurality of Christian festivals or special events is centered on a special occasion or event in the life of Jesus. These holidays help Christians remember the tale of his life, but they also grab attention to their religious significance.

    • Church College Ministry

      Church College Ministry

      College Ministry FBC would like to ensure that college-age adults (ages 18-24), including students from Baylor, MCC, and TSTC, have a church family at this critical period in their lives by providing them with opportunities to serve in their local church.

    • Why Is Mom2Mom Necessary In Churches?

      Why Is Mom2Mom Necessary In Churches?

      Mom2Mom is a ministry that exists to educate, train, encourage, and assist women as they embark on their parenthood journey. It is a non-profit organization.

    • Global Missions Of The Churches

      Global Missions Of The Churches

      Global missions are carried out through Adventist Mission, which is an office of the Seventh-day Adventist Church's world headquarters. Adventist Mission is the frontline mission arm of the Adventist Church.

    • Church Facilities - The Importance For A Perfect Ministry Event

      Church Facilities - The Importance For A Perfect Ministry Event

      Do you require FBC church facilities for a ministry event that you are organizing? Fill out the online form or print and fill out a paper version, to start the process.