Pope 'Ashamed' of Sex Scandal; Addresses Issue before U.S. Arrival

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 16, 2008 | Go to article overview

Pope 'Ashamed' of Sex Scandal; Addresses Issue before U.S. Arrival


Byline: Joseph Curl, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Pope Benedict XVI commanded the American stage for the first time yesterday, welcomed by thunderous cheers and a rare presidential airport greeting after declaring that he was "deeply ashamed" by the sex-abuse scandal that rocked the church. The pontiff vowed to do all he can to ensure that priests never harm children again.

"It is a great suffering for the church in the United States and for the church in general and for me personally that this could happen," he told reporters aboard his plane before arriving at Andrews Air Force Base.

"We will do everything possible to heal this wound. I am deeply ashamed, and we will do what is possible so this cannot happen again in the future. ... We will absolutely exclude pedophiles from the sacred ministry," he said

His six-day visit was expected to be dogged by questions about the 5,000 priests who sexually abused thousands of boys and cost Catholic dioceses more than $2 billion in settlements.

Gary Bergeron, who was molested by a priest in the 1970s in Massachusetts, called the pope's comments "a step I've been looking for," Mr. Bergeron said he was disappointed that Benedict did not plan to visit the Archdiocese of Boston, the scene of a case that sparked the greater scandal.

The pope arrived aboard "Shepherd One" just before 4 p.m. at Andrews Air Force Base to kick off a whirlwind U.S. tour that will take the 80-year-old pontiff to a pair of massive Masses at Washington's Nationals Park and New York's Yankee Stadium, a stop for prayer at the World Trade Center site in New York and an address to world leaders at the United Nations.

Mr. Bush and Benedict each used both hands to greet one another; Mr. Bush did not kiss the pope's ring, but bowed slightly.

The pair then walked up the red carpet, through an honor guard - the pope waving with both arms and smiling broadly.

Security was extremely tight, even more so than for a presidential landing at Andrews. Although there have been no threats deemed "credible" by the Secret Service, al Qaeda leaders last month accused Benedict of taking part in a "new crusade" against Muslims. In addition, other Islamic militants previously threatened the pope over his quotation in 2006 of a medieval text condemning Islam's prophet Muhammad.

The pope had been expected to address the pedophile priest scandal during his visit to America, but he chose to discuss the topic en route from Rome after picking four questions from the Vatican press to answer. Still, he is not expected to grant a request for an audience to victims of predator priests.

The largest group of victims of priests, the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP), yesterday called for strong actions, not mere words, from the pope.

"It's easy and tempting to continually focus on the pedophile priests themselves," said Peter Isely, a board member of SNAP. "It's harder but crucial to focus on the broader problem - complicity in the rest of the church hierarchy."

"We're way beyond the point at which an apology, a nice gesture, a few soothing words and promises, will be meaningful," SNAP said in a statement.

The pope could well have some stern words for Mr. Bush when the pair meet today in the White House. The two disagree on such major issues as the Iraq war, capital punishment, immigration and the U.S. embargo against Cuba.

The German-born pontiff has been particularly outspoken in his opposition to the war in Iraq, saying before the U.S. invasion - when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - that a preventive strike could not be justified under Catholic doctrine. In his Easter message last year, Benedict said "nothing positive" comes from the war in Iraq, although he tempered that rhetoric this Easter.

"Obviously, there were differences years back," White House press secretary Dana Perino said, but added that the pope and the president would likely focus their discussion on human rights, religious tolerance and the fight against violent extremism. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Pope 'Ashamed' of Sex Scandal; Addresses Issue before U.S. Arrival
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.