Head of US bishops defends Pope`s record fighting sex abuse
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Last Updated: Thursday, April 01, 2010, 22:11
  
Vatican City: The head of the US Catholic Church on Thursday defended Pope Benedict XVI's record in fighting priestly paedophilia, praising the pontiff for introducing measures to combat the scourge.

"It was Pope Benedict who gave us, in different ways, the ability to handle this crisis more quickly and in a way that helps to heal," Chicago Archbishop Francis George told Vatican Radio.

George said the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), "enabled us to keep the predators out of the priesthood permanently in ways that were not possible before and... encouraged us to reach out to victims."

"None of that would have been possible had it not been for the legal permission and pastoral impetus of Pope Benedict," George said.

Benedict headed the CDF for 24 years from 1981 until 2005. Paedophile priest scandals have erupted in Italy, The Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and the pope's native Germany, while Ireland and the United States have been rocked by claims of Church cover-ups of abuse committed decades ago.

"This will remain with us as long as victims are alive, because the effects on victims are long-lasting and we shouldn't think that we can put this simply behind us," George said.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, April 01, 2010, 22:11


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