Sunday the 16th of May

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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Abuse crisis is Church’s 9/11, says Vatican official

The concern of now-retired Pope Benedict XVI and the promises made by the majority of Church leaders were not able to stop the evil of clerical sexual abuse, which has been the 9/11 of the Catholic Church, the retired pope’s personal secretary said.

Even if the “catastrophe” of abuse does not fall on one particular date, but rather extends over “so many days and years” and has claimed “countless victims,” Archbishop Georg Ganswein said in the wake of the Pennsylvania grand jury report, “the Catholic Church is looking – full of dismay – at its own 9/11.”

Speaking during a book presentation in Rome on 11th September, Archbishop Ganswein, who is also prefect of the papal household, said, “I don’t mean to compare the victims or the number of abuses concerning the Catholic Church with the 2,996 innocent people in all who lost their lives on 11th September.”

“No-one, so far, has attacked the Church of Christ with airlines full of passengers. St Peter’s Basilica is still standing” as are other symbolic churches in the Western world, he said, according to news reports.

“And yet, the news coming from America that recently informed us about how many souls have been irreparably and mortally wounded by priests of the Catholic Church, gives us a message (that is) even more terrible than if there had been news that all the churches in Pennsylvania had suddenly collapsed together with the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington,” he said.

Picture: Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the papal household, is pictured in a 2016 photo at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Stefano Rellandini, Reuters).