A reader in Germany writes:
After lunch today I walked down to the Central Station to pick up a copy of the Sueddeutsche. There must be more than 10,000 words on the child abuse scandal in the A section, many jarring details, maps show how these problems were recurrent all over the country, especially in schools for young boys. These scandals progressed in America and we read about them, a reporter writes, but it turns out that exactly the same thing was going on all over Germany--but the German church was better able to keep it all under wraps.
They have a summary of an interview with the Regensburg Bishop, Gerhard Mueller, who says "Leutheusser is a liar," referring to Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, the Justice Minister. He goes on to says that the justice minister is part of a dark and secretive conspiracy led by Free Masons who want to bring the church down. This guy is just nuts. But how revealing of their strategy. Presented with undeniable evidence of abuse, they claim to be the victims!
The original interview is in La Stampa in Turin. The Sueddeutsche's editorial, penned by Matthias Drobinski, says that the scandal plainly now affects the pope directly since much of the worst abuse occurred during his tenure as archbishop of Munich and Freising, and his claims not to have been involved simply aren't credible.
"The crisis of confidence affecting the church has not occurred because the church is an association of abusers. The church is in crisis precisely because, confronted with undeniable evidence of abuse, it expresses concern for itself instead of offering to help the victims of the abuse, by offering compensation, for instance. This crisis results from the church's refusal to admit that the priesthood and religious orders are attractive to men with sexual identity issues."
This can't go on for ever. And the responses that come out of the Vatican and the Germany prelacies show that its instincts are still to insist that it's the victim and attack those who pursue the evidence of abuse.
Ask yourself: what business does Benedict have lecturing to the Irish in view of his own role in the scandal in Bavaria?
(Photo: A traffic sign depicting children is pictured at the Benedictine-run Ettal Monastery is pictured on March 12, 2010 in Ettal, Germany. Munich prosecutors opened an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by priests made by 20 alumni of the Benedictine-run Ettal Monastery school in Bavaria, while a lawyer involved in the case charged that hundreds of boys had been beaten, many of them severely, by staff at the school decades ago. At least 170 victims have reported sexual abuse in a widening scandal involving allegations against priests at several Catholic high schools across Germany. Pope Benedict XVI is to meet with the head of the German Bishops' Conference, Robert Zollitsch, on Friday to discuss the abuse allegations. By Miguel Villagran/Getty)