As Abuse Scandal Nears Pope, Vatican Fires Back
But sex-abuse cases 'growing every day' in Germany
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2010 8:51 AM CST
In this Sept. 13, 2006 file picture Pope Benedict XVI walks with brother priest Georg Ratzinger in Regensburg, southern Germany.   (AP Photo/Diether Endlicher,File)
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(Newser) – A day after high-level Catholic officials admitted that "serious mistakes" were made in handling a sex abuse case in the German diocese where Pope Benedict XVI was then archbishop, the Vatican came out swinging in defense of the embattled pontiff. Benedict, as the Vatican's cardinal in charge of sex-abuse policy, "showed wisdom and firmness in handling these cases," a spokesman tells the AP.

Some "have tried to personally involve the Holy Father in the matter of abuses," said a Vatican spokesman. "For any objective observer, it's clear that these efforts have failed." But the New York Times notes that a storm is swirling: “The cases are growing every day,” says one German lawyer. And the outcome jeopardizes “Benedict’s central project for the ‘re-Christianization’ of Christendom,” says one biographer. “But if the root itself is seen as rotten, then his influence will be badly compromised.”