Pope Benedict issued a sobering Christmas speech today, admitting that sexual abuse in the church has reached "an unimaginable dimension,” and calling for major reflection. “We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible,” the pontiff proclaimed, according to the New York Times. “We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen.”
But though Benedict called the scandal a “humiliation,” he did add that it had to be viewed in the context of a society in which pornography was considered normal and sexual tourism is increasingly common. “The psychological destruction of children, in which human persons are reduced to articles of merchandise, is a terrifying sign of the times,” he said.