VATICAN CITY — The clerical sex abuse scandal is causing Pope Benedict XVI great pain, the Vatican’s No. 2 official said Thursday.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s secretary of state, said that like all pastors the pope has suffered greatly for the cases of sex abuse of minors by priests.
The comments were reported by the ANSA news agency during Bertone’s trip to Chile.
Bertone insisted the church has the “inner strength” necessary to keep up its mission, according to the report.
Cases of abuse in church-run institutions are rocking the church across Europe, including Benedict’s native Germany, and elsewhere.
On Thursday, Norway’s Catholic Church said it has received new allegations of clergy abuse, one day after revealing that its former bishop resigned after admitting to child molestation.
The current bishop, Bernt Eidsvig, said he has received e-mails alleging new cases of abuse. But he said the nature and seriousness of the allegations remain unclear.
Norway’s Catholic Church disclosed on Wednesday that the reason Eidsvig’s predecessor, 58-year-old Georg Mueller, resigned in June was that he had admitted to abusing a boy about 20 years earlier, when he was a priest.
Mueller’s current whereabouts are unknown.
A spokesman for a church-affiliated hospital in Germany says Mueller moved into an apartment on the premises in December but no longer lives there.