London: A Roman Catholic leader in Britain has compared the paedophile scandal involving priests with the banking collapse that led to recession worldwide.
Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols linked the behaviour of abusive priests with that of the city traders whose unrestrained lending threw the world into a financial crisis, according to the Daily Mail.
The remarks made during a question-and-answer session at the Mansion House draw fresh attention on the issue of child abuse faced by the Catholic Church.
The good works of the majority are overshadowed by the misbehaviour of the few, the Archbishop said responding to a suggestion that a few badly-mismanaged banks had tarnished the reputation of the city.
"That's what sticks, that's what you have to deal with," the Archbishop said.
The bishops in England and Wales who are led by Archbishop Nichols and Pope Benedict himself have delivered sweeping apologies for abuse by priests.
According to reports, paedophile clerics are estimated to have sexually assaulted 3,000 children over the past 50 years, but their crimes were habitually covered up by Church authorities.
The Archbishop's comparison amounted to a stronger condemnation of the behaviour of the city than that made by Pope Benedict during his state visit.
The Pope said the financial crisis was a result of moral failure and added: "There is widespread agreement that the lack of a solid ethical foundation for economic activity has contributed to the grave difficulties now being experienced by millions of people throughout the world."
The Pope spoke in a separate speech of his "deep sorrow and shame" over the behaviour of clerics: "Sadness is also due to the fact that the church was not vigilant enough and not sufficiently fast and decisive to take the necessary measures."
First Published: Wednesday, October 06, 2010, 14:48