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Benedict Emerges to Pin Sex Abuse on Sexual Revolution

He publishes a 6K-word letter 'to assist in this difficult hour'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2019 8:35 AM CDT
In this July 21, 2008, file photo, then-Pope Benedict XVI is shown.   (Dean Lewins/Pool Photo via AP, File)

(Newser) – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has emerged from the shadows with a new letter that assigns blame for the clergy abuse crisis. In a 6,000-word letter whose authenticity was confirmed by Benedict's personal secretary, Benedict begins by writing that his remarks are intended "to assist in this difficult hour." At the National Review, Michael Brendan Dougherty succinctly follows the thread of his argument: that the "revolutionary spirit" of the '60s made its way into the church. "Possessed by that spirit, arrogant theologians determined on creating 'another Church' destroyed the traditional moral theology of the Faith, leading to a complete breakdown of moral discipline in the clergy and even a generalized spirit of blasphemy, which Benedict intimately and unforgettably connects with the phenomenon of child abuse," Dougherty writes. Here are major quotes from the letter and some reaction to it:

  • In pointing a finger at the sexual revolution of the 1960s, Benedict writes that graphic sex education and porn became commonplace as a result of the "egregious event," and "the mental collapse was also linked to a propensity for violence. That is why sex films were no longer allowed on airplanes because violence would break out among the small community of passengers. ... Part of the physiognomy of the Revolution of '68 was that pedophilia was then also diagnosed as allowed and appropriate."

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