Pope Benedict XVI criticised over lack of action on church sex abuse

Pope Benedict XVI has been criticised for not doing enough to tackle sex abuse in the Catholic Church
Pope Benedict XVI has been criticised for not doing enough to tackle sex abuse in the Catholic Church Copyright Gregorio Borgia/Copyright 2017 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Rhal Ssan
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button
Copy/paste the article video embed link below:Copy to clipboardCopied

For many years, the Catholic Church has faced claims of sex abuse by clergy. With the recent passing of former Pope Benedict XVI, who was pontiff between 2005-2013, many online groups are sharing mixed reactions to his life and papal legacy.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Catholic Church has faced claims of sexual abuse by clergy for many years. With the recent passing of former Pope Benedict XVI, who was pontiff between 2005-2013, many online groups are sharing mixed reactions to his life and papal tenure.

Some accuse the late Pope of failing to take significant action over the sexual abuse claims that rocked the church both before and during his time as pontiff.

In a statement from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) after Benedict's death, the former pope was directly accused of being an ‘abuse enabler’.

And while some have credited Benedict with taking important steps to formalise the Vatican's response to clergy sexual...

Posted by SNAP on Sunday, January 1, 2023

The group went on to say that “Benedict was more concerned about the church’s deteriorating image and financial flow”, than making “true amends to victims of abuse”.

Some victims' groups have also raised questions over his time as Archbishop of Munich in the 1970s and 1980s.

In early 2022, a report commissioned by the Catholic Church in Munich accused the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as Benedict was known before becoming pope, of mishandling cases of sexual abuse involving priests under his responsibility.

🇻🇦🇩🇪 A long-awaited report on sexual abuse in Germany’s Munich diocese has faulted retired Pope Benedict XVI’s handling of several cases when he was archbishop in the 1970s and 1980s.

Posted by Euronews English on Thursday, January 20, 2022

While Benedict has always denied any personal wrongdoing, he did acknowledge that “abuses and errors” were made.

The report identified at least 497 victims, more than half of whom were aged between 6 and 14.

Some people online sought to defend the record of Benedict, crediting him with starting the process of kicking out or ‘defrocking’ abusive priests in the church. He frequently spoke about sex abuse in public speeches, saying he wanted to get rid of the “filth” in the organisation.

However, many victims and victim groups have argued that he simply didn’t go far enough to address the scale and severity of the crimes committed.

For these people, former Pope Benedict XVI’s death is not a moment to praise his long life, but a painful reminder of tragic events.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

As Pope Benedict is buried, will a tell-all book unearth dark secrets?

Spanish bishop rebukes priests for comments about Pope Francis 'going to heaven soon'

Pope Francis opens Vatican meeting on the church's future and says 'everyone' is welcome