Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen has rejected accusations that the pope is silent on the ie of clergy sexual abuse. Benedict XVI. had made it clear from the start that abuse was "a crime, a mortal sin," Overbeck said late Sunday evening on ARD television.
In Germany, this message is hardly received, because in this country "priests have gambled away trust and abused power". At the same time, the bishop emphasized that many priests were performing their duties impeccably. He commented on the program "Anne Will" on the topic "Benedict's silence – Are we still pope?". Against the backdrop of the abuse scandal, Pope Benedict XVI had. Apologized to victims of sexual abuse in Ireland in mid-March in a pastoral letter. On behalf of the Church, he expressed shame and remorse, reproached bishops with "failure in leadership. The Pope did not specifically address the German situation. The church in Germany nevertheless took the letter as a directive. "We Germans must also learn this" Overbeck emphasized that Benedict XVI. exercised "a universal ministry for the whole church. "We Germans must also learn this," the bishop said. In the five years of his pontificate, the pope has "brought new clarification to theologically substantive questions". In this context, the bishop also explicitly mentioned Rome's approach to the ultraconservative Pius Brotherhood. In an at times heated discussion, filmmaker Rosa von Praunheim accused the church of "mendacity and bigotry". He recalled witch burnings and the church's stance on homosexuality. Overbeck said homosexuality is a sin and goes against human nature. Sexuality has essentially to do with love, he said, which opens up to children.