Cardinal: Pope Active in Confronting Abuse Crisis

SANTIAGO, Chile, APRIL 13, 2010 ( Benedict XVI will continue to look for ways to confront the sexual abuse crisis in the Church, and he will «not stop surprising us» with his initiatives, says Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Pope’s secretary of state.

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The cardinal said this Monday at a press conference in Chile, where he arrived last Friday to visit the quake-stricken country. He has met with various government and Church leaders, and presided over a Mass at an altar in the square in front of the cathedral of Concepción, which was badly damaged by the Feb. 27 earthquake.

«I believe that the Pope will launch still more initiatives,» Cardinal Bertone said in response to a question. «I can’t say, but other initiatives are being considered. He will not stop surprising us with his initiatives on this specific theme.»

According to the Italian prelate, «other institutions should also take concrete steps, from the heart» to defend the dignity of children and young mothers.

Cardinal Bertone recalled that on various occasions Benedict XVI has asked forgiveness for the acts of pedophilia committed by the clergy, such as «in the letter to the Catholics of Ireland and in various discourses in the United States and Australia.»

In response to a question on celibacy, he said that «many psychologists, many psychiatrists, have said that there is no relationship between celibacy and pedophilia, but many others have shown, and have told me recently, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and pedophilia.»

Pederasty, he acknowledged, is a pathology, and that the actions of abuse by clergy «are very grave and scandalous.»

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