"I am learning to be pope," Benedict XVI quipped in a rare aside to reporters back in 2006, little over a year after his fellow cardinals had elected him Supreme Pontiff in a brief, momentous and somewhat surprising conclave in the Sistine Chapel. Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was not forecast as a likely winner in polling among the 110 cardinals.
But win he did, and on Monday, as Benedict marks the fifth anniversary of that election, he could still make the same observation about his learning curve, and few would dispute him, though most would wish it were not the case.
With the pope and the Vatican beseiged by revelations of cases of the sexual abuse of children by clergy and growing questions about Benedict's role in the crisis, many critics and even a growing number of his friends are pressing the pope to take charge of the situation, or at least show some of the same urgency and attention to this crisis as he did to policing orthodoxy during his 23 years as the hardline head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
"There is absolutely no strategy, and I say that as a friend of the pope's," said an American bishop who travels to Rome regularly and voiced the frustration shared by many churchmen in the U.S. and elsewhere. Apparently, that sentiment is not widely-held in the upper echelons of the Roman Curia, the papal bureaucracy. "I don't think they know how to handle this. Read more - by David Gibson – Politics Daily
Church in worst credibility crisis since Reformation, theologian tells bishops – by HANS KÜNG – The Irish Times – read more
AP Exclusive: How the pope got his US lawyer - By NICOLE WINFIELD - Journal Times – read more
Tony Blair tells the Pope: you're wrong on homosexuality – April 8, 2009 – Times Online – read more
It's not the sex. It's the cover-up – by Matt Gurney, NP Editor, April 15, 2010 – National Post – read more
France Condemns Vatican for Blaming Abuse on Gay Priests – Voice of America – read more
"Unconditional obedience is owed to God alone" Galatians 2:11 - Church in worst credibility crisis since Reformation, theologian tells bishops – by HANS KÜNG – The Irish Times – read more
Five myths about the Catholic sexual abuse scandal – by David Gibson – The Washington Post – read more
Pope Breaks Silence Over Recent Church Scandals - - New York Magazine – read more
Ratzinger, Hurley, Maida & Accomplices – The child sexual abuse cover-ups are only the tip of the iceberg. “Kids Are Being Hurt!!!” – read more
Abuse coverup reports hardly unfair to pope – by BILL GOUVEIA - Attleboro Sun Chronicle – read more
Disappointment as Pope speaks in generalities - By David Willey – BBS News – read more
The Third Strike – by Andrew Sullivan – April 10, 2010 – The Daily Dish – The Atlantic – read more
“The blind leading the blind” With all due respect, Benedict XVI and some of the hierarchy? YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO HURT ANYONE! Kids Are Being Hurt!!! – read more
Pope Benedict calls for Catholic church penance, but questions about reform persist - By Robert Marquand, - The Christian Science Monitor – CSMontior.com – read more
“…a conformity, in which it's obligatory to think like everyone else, to act like everyone," Benedict XVI said. - New York Magazine – read more
Shifting Blame - Vatican Attempts - to Hide Behind Gay Priests - Sexual Orientation - Again! -> Kids Are Being Hurt!!!
"Ricky Martin Foundation" advocates for the well being of children around the globe in critical areas such as social justice, education and health. Read more
Flagrant Disregard For All Of Humanity, Especially For Children – Being Publicly Demonstrated by Benedict XVI and hierarchy - Failure to Accept Responsibility for Decades of Child Sexual Abuse Cover-ups - Kids Are Being Hurt!!! - by Fr. Marty Kurylowicz Read more
Vatican -> WATERGATE (AGAIN)? - No “Checks and Balances” Kids Are Being Hurt!!! – by Fr. Marty Kurylowicz – read more
Vatican distances itself from prelate's gay remarks - By Brendan Trembath – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) – read more
Vatican: Bishops Must Report Alleged Abuse To Police - by BARBARA BRADLEY HAGERTY - National Public Radio NPR – read more
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Refutes Vatican Official's Statement on Pedophilia and Sexual Orientation – read more
'Halo has been tilted' - South African Catholic clergymen among those condemning Cardinal Bertone - By BIENNE HUISMAN – Times LIVE – read more
It's Not About Homosexuality: Blaming the Wrong People for the Sexual Abuse Crisis – by Rev. James Martin, S.J. – The Huffington Post - read more
Victims slam 'blame-shifting' Vatican – AFP - The Sydney Morning Herald – smh.com.au – read more
Gay priests are not paedophiles – by Austen Ivereigh – guardian.co.uk – read more
Fr Marcus Stock, General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales – In deep appreciation, for being a voice of sanity and clarity – extremely beneficial to children, MSK – read more
“Someday, maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well considered and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit.” Erik Erikson
…whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6
Protect children and the entire world will be safe.
Important note: No disrespect meant to Pope Benedict XVI or the hierarchy, the one and only concern is the safety and well-being of children. Kids Are Being Hurt!!!