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Wednesday 14 April 2010

Abuse allegations "orchestrated by Pope's enemies"

Posted in: International Daily News, Features
By Daily News staff - 9th April 2010

Vatican cardinals are claiming sex abuse allegations have been orchestrated by the Pope's enemies, who resent his opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion.

The Telegraph reports the cardinals are saying that only a tiny minority of Catholic priests molested children and that the church was being subjected to an unjustified, politically-motivated campaign of hatred.

Cardinal Julian Herranz of Spain says the Pope's opposition to gay marriage and abortion has put him at odds with "powerful lobbies (which) would like to impose a completely different" agenda on the church.

Angelo Sodano, the dean of the College of Cardinals, has told the Vatican's official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano the Pope embodies moral truths that aren't accepted, and the shortcomings and errors of priests are being used as weapons against the church.

"It's not a bishop's fault if one of his priests is stained by grave wrongdoing. And certainly the pontiff is not responsible."

The Telegraph reports Cardinal Sodano provoked outrage from victims of clerical sex abuse when he said during a mass at the Vatican on Easter Sunday that Catholics should not be distracted by "petty gossip" over how Benedict dealt with child sex-abuse allegations in his five years as Pope, his 20 years as head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and when he was archbishop of Munich in the 1980s.

The newspaper says critics have accused the Pope of discouraging bishops from reporting suspected cases of sex abuse to the police and of maintaining a culture of secrecy over the issue.

It says the scope of the crisis spread wider still after the Vatican confirmed reports that a Catholic bishop from Norway resigned last year after being found guilty of sexually abusing an altar boy in the early 1990s.

It has also emerged five historical sexual abuse claims are being investigated by the Catholic Church in New Zealand. Victims' counsellors have told the New Zealand Herald the situation here is no better than the scandal-plagued dioceses overseas. Daily News staff - 9th April 2010

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