13 April 2010
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Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, right, and Cardinal Angelo Sodano attend the Easter Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s square, at the Vatican, Sunday, April 4, 2010. (AP / Gregorio Borgia)
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In this photo taken Tuesday Nov. 28, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI is accompanied by his aide Rev. Georg Gaenswein, at centre gesturing, and Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, at left, prior to boarding a plane from Leonardo Da Vinci Airport, near Rome. (AP / Alessandra Tarantino)
Updated: Tue Apr. 13 2010 9:37:58 AM
CTV.ca News Staff
Two of Pope Benedict XVI’s top advisors have addressed the sexual abuse cases that have shaken the Roman Catholic Church, but appear to have only added more fuel to the fire.
On Monday, the Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said it was homosexuality that caused pedophilia, and not celibacy.
Bertone made the comments in Chile, where one of the Church’s highest profile sex abuse cases involves a priest having sex with young girls.
“Many psychologists and psychiatrists have demonstrated that there is no relation between celibacy and pedophilia. But many others have demonstrated, I have been told recently, that there is a relation between homosexuality and pedophilia. That is true,” he told a news conference. “That is the problem.”
The remark has drawn scorn from gay rights advocates.
Additionally, the pope’s private secretary says the Holy Father doesn’t have to comment on the sexual abuses cases because it is the bishop’s responsibility to deal with them.
“It does not make sense, nor is it helpful, for the Holy Father to comment personally on each case,” the Monsignor Georg Gaenswein told the daily Bild.
“It is overlooked too fast that various bishops and bishops conferences carry responsibility,” he told Germany’s largest newspaper.
“Criticism that helps the cause is always legitimate,” he added “But I doubt that in this case the criticism really follows this purpose.”
Gaenswein added that no one has condemned sex abuse more than the pope.
Hundreds of sex abuse cases in the Church have come forward in Germany, including some in the Munich archdiocese where Benedict, then Joseph Ratzinger, was archbishop from 1977-1982.
In 1980, Ratzinger approved the transfer of a known pedophile priest to Munich to undergo therapy but also to return to the ministry. The priest was later convicted of molesting children.
On Monday, the Vatican published a guide on how to deal with allegations of abuse and made clear bishops and other clergy should reports cases of abuse to police.
Robert Cornellier, whose brother was abused while in the Church in the 1970s, says there is nothing new in the rules.
“It’s a PR reaction because the world is reacting to what has come out in the past weeks,” he told Canada AM from Montreal. “I say to the victims, don’t go to the bishop or the clergy, go to the police, that’s the only way people can get some kind of justice”