Pope fails to satisfy critics


Pope Benedict XVI’s first state visit to his native Germany which wrapped up Sunday fell far short of the expectations of sex abuse victims and those clamouring for a more open and tolerant Church.
Benedict’s four-day marathon taking in Berlin, the former communist East German city of Erfurt and staunchly Catholic Freiburg aimed to reinvigorate a Church in crisis in the face of the abuse scandals and growing secularisation. The leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics addressed cheering masses and held talks with the political class as well as Muslim, Jewish, Protestant and Orthodox leaders in a conciliatory gesture among the faiths.
However, those expecting the pope to take concrete steps toward healing religious rifts or modernising the Church in the interest of winning back alienated Roman Catholics were deeply frustrated. “All in all this visit was a disappointment – the Pope snubbed Protestant Christians and above all many Catholics,” said the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung. “The visit will deepen the divides within the Catholic Church. In England (last year) the Pope was able to turn the scepticism towards him into enthusiasm. But not in Germany.”
Those who expected a softening of his stances on sexual dogma, the role of women in the Church or outreach to other faiths “don’t know this pope,” Tzscheetzsch said. Even protests in Berlin attacking the paedophile priest scandals and the pope’s opposition to gays and artificial contraception remained low-key. The pope used his trip to call German Catholics to order and hammer home his ultra-conservative credo on a range of issues such as artificial contraception, abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage. But he acknowledged that the Church was at a difficult crossroads and urged the faithful to remain true to Rome in “this time of danger and radical change” and a “crisis of faith”.
Irish child abuse amounted to torture: The abuse of children by Catholic clerics revealed in a series of judicial reports included acts that amounted to torture and inhuman and degrading treatment, Amnesty International Ireland said Monday. “The abuse of tens of thousands of Irish children is perhaps the greatest human rights failure in the history of the state,” Amnesty executive director Colm O’Gorman said at the launch of new research by the human rights watchdog.
“Children were tortured. They were brutalised; beaten, starved and abused. There has been little justice for these victims. “Those who failed as guardians, civil servants, clergy, gardai (Irish police) and members of religious orders have avoided accountability,” O’Gorman said. Mainly Catholic Ireland has been rocked by a series of clerical child abuse scandals revealed by landmark judicial investigations that found horrific abuse had been covered up for decades. O’Gorman, who was himself a clerical abuse victim, said the abuse described in a judicial report into childcare institutions from 1936 onwards meets “the legal definition of torture under international human rights law”.
The Amnesty research document “In Plain Sight”, which was launched by Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald, was accompanied by a poll which showed the overwhelming majority of Irish people believe that wider society has a responsibility for what happened. The watchdog’s poll found that 85 percent of people believe “individual members of society should have done more to protect these children”. O’Gorman said the abuse investigations revealed what happened to children but not why. “This abuse happened, not because we didn’t know about it, but because many people across society turned a blind eye to it. “The research reveals that the true scandal is not that the system failed these children; but that there was no functioning system. “Instead children were abandoned to a chaotic, unregulated arrangement where no one was accountable for failures to protect and care for them,” O’Gorman said. The most recent judicial report in July sparked outrage in the Irish government and led to a clash with the Vatican.


  1. I hope one day Holy See will also look what our hierarchy is doing???? We also have many rogue priests with same allegations and some are even out of control. There was a time when Catholic denomination was in majority in Pakistan. Now they are in minority due to the moral behaviors at all levels. We need your attention.

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