“By vatican standards, almost confirmations”

As previously reported, the pope apparently wants to ask forgiveness for the sexual abuse of Catholic clerics. The Vatican itself says so far only, a "Mea culpa" is conceivable – for Ludwig Ring-Eifel almost a confirmation. A central act of contrition would be necessary, says the KNA editor-in-chief to our site.

Interviewer: How sure is the "Mea Culpa"??
Ring-Eifel: It is not yet certain, it has been well-informed media sources in Italy who have reported this. And our correspondent in Rome has also been able to verify some things in the Vatican. They say in the Vatican that it is quite conceivable, it is quite probable. These are for Vatican conditions yes almost already confirmations. We at the CBA ame that something like this will come, and that between the 9. and 11. It is said that it is quite possible, it is quite probable, that on July 1, at the end of the Year for Priests, the Mass will be celebrated either in St. Peter's Square or in St. Peter's Basilica.
Interviewer: A plea for forgiveness has been discussed for a long time, many wished for it already in the Pope's letter to the Church of Ireland. Why now perhaps nevertheless?
Ring-Eifel: One must see this as a learning process. Vatican gradually realizes that this abuse scandal is not just a series of local flashpoints. After all, this started in the 90s in the USA, then later came Australia, then came Ireland, then Germany. One has always then reacted locally more or less appropriately. And in the meantime it is understood in the headquarters of the universal church that it is a problem that probably plays a role on all continents. In some more and in some less. And that one must set therefore evenly a central act of contrition, in order to explain that also obligatorily for the entire world church that one explains oneself to the conversion ready and that one asks for forgiveness representative for the perpetrators.
Interviewer: Already in 2000 with the "Mea culpa" of Pope John Paul II. there had been concerns in the College of Cardinals that today's church could not apologize for offenses committed by earlier generations. How do you see it in the case of sexual abuse??
Ring-Eifel: There the same applies as at that time, it was clarified at that time by the way by Cardinal Ratzinger: Of course, it is not the Church as such that can be guilty, but the guilt always lies with individuals. But the church as a whole represented by the bishops and the pope can ask forgiveness for what individuals have done. Substitutionary confessions of guilt are always somewhat problematic theologically, because Catholic theology only recognizes individual guilt. But at that time one has already found a way to carry out this also as a central act. And this time it will be very similar.
Interviewer: How must one imagine the framework if the Pope were to actually address the abuse scandals at the conclusion of the Year for Priests?
Ring-Eifel: There's still a lot of back and forth speculation going on there. It could remain with a very simple intercession that is formulated there, which perhaps one of the cardinals of the curia formulates as a substitute. It could also be in a kind of liturgical act with the lighting of candles symbolizing the victims. There are no limits to the imagination. I think it is important that the Vatican finds a way to put this into the picture. That was the great strength of John Paul II., that he knew how to put such things in the picture, so that they also come across on TV worldwide. That is one of the weaknesses of Pope Benedict, that he thinks more in words than in pictures. In this case, it's not just the words that matter, but also the way they are presented. And there will still have to find something.The interview was conducted by Monika Weib.

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