Pope: Church Must Face Abuse's 'Terrifying' Truth
Catholicism dogged by 'sin within'
By Emily Rauhala, Newser User
Posted May 11, 2010 8:15 AM CDT
Pope Benedict XVI waves from the popemobile after arriving at Portela Airport for a four-day trip to Portugal on Tuesday, May 11, 2010.   (AP Photo / Victor R. Caivano)

(Newser) – The Catholic Church must finally face the "terrifying" truth of clerical sex abuse, says Pope Benedict in what Reuters notes are perhaps his most frank comments since the scandal broke two months ago. Catholicism's greatest threat, he told reporters aboard a flight to Lisbon, is no longer enemies from the outside but "sin within," and the church has "a very deep need" to do penitence and "accept purification."

The pontiff's trip to Portugal will focus on a different spiritual crisis: the decline of Catholicism in Europe. In Portugal, notes the BBC, 90% of people say they're Catholics, but only about 20% regularly attend Mass. Benedict plans to speak about "the joy of faith and hope" during his four-day tour, a rep says.

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May 11, 2010 9:51 PM CDT
to whom does a priest confess
May 11, 2010 5:28 PM CDT
I'll believe what he has to say when he kicks 'Bernie Law' a.k.a. Cardinal Bernard Law out of Rome and back to Boston to face the grand jury that's waiting for him. No more talk of 'penitence' etc. Action, it's time for action and start with Cardinal Law. It's all so pathetic, 90% of Portugal claims to be 'catholic' with 20% attending Mass. There you go, it's that way throughout Europe. If it wasn't for the little boys being sodomized I'd feel sorry for Mr. Ratzinger, as it is...
May 11, 2010 5:15 PM CDT
Send all the bad ones to jail, and let them enjoy what jail has to offer them ;)