Paedophile crime not Pope's fault

THE recent reports of widespread accusations of paedophilic attacks carried out by Catholic clergymen should be set in context.

According to the figures from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome there are approximately 400,000 male priests and religious men living in religious communities in the Church. From this number the Holy See in the past ten years has received approximately 3,000 complaints of a sexual nature, of which 60 per cent related to the abuse of minors. This covers multiple cases from individual priests/brothers and extends also to include past decades.

The existence of one case of sexual abuse is one too many and brings disgrace and shame on those who perpetrated such heinous attacks.

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However, to launch attacks upon Pope Benedict XVI and the hierarchy of the Church is to betray the true "outrage" of the liberal media and the dissenters within.

The Church and its teachings are the real focus of the attacks of those who wish to see the liberalisation of the Catholic Church to accommodate the zeitgeist of the western world. Those who have welcomed the "sexualisation" and "liberalisation" of culture in the West since the 1960s have only one enemy left taking a counter-cultural stand, namely the Catholic Church. The Church has sought to remain true to the Judeo-Christian ethic that sex and marriage are intrinsically linked and human life is sacred.

We do not hear the same outrage where sexual abuse takes place in other institutions or religious communities. The fact remains that most cases of sexual abuse of young people takes place within the family unit and not the presbytery.

Andrew Gray, Edinburgh