Pope em. Benedict XVI. © Osservatore Romano (CBA)
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Speaks out in a long essay on the crisis in the Catholic Church. He cites godlessness and an alienation from the faith – and the '68 revolution – as the central causes.
In the letter, published Thursday by the private Catholic media network CNA/EWTN and others, the pope emeritus calls for a "renewal of faith" and a new turn to God to overcome the current crisis.
In his letter, he cites godlessness and an alienation from the faith as a central cause of abuse, which has also spread since the 1960s in a turning away from Catholic sexual morality. This has also had fatal consequences in theology, in the training of priests and in the selection of bishops.
The 68er revolution and the pedophilia
Benedict XVI. writes that the essay was written on the basis of notes he took at the anti-abuse summit held in February at the Vatican. From this, he said, he drafted the letter for the April ie of the Bavarian "Klerusblatt" after consulting with Pope Francis.
"Why was it possible for pedophilia to reach such an extent?"In the last, the reason lies in the absence of God," asks the pope, who resigned in 2013. We Christians and priests also prefer not to speak of God, because this speech does not seem to be practical.". A society with an absent God is a society in which "the measure of the human" is increasingly lost.
At the beginning of his essay Benedict XVI writes., that it had been part of the "physiognomy of the '68 revolution" that pedophilia was also permitted. In the same time a "collapse of the Catholic moral theology" had taken place, which had also made parts of the church "defenseless against the processes in society". Also in various seminaries "homosexual clubs formed, which acted more or less openly and clearly changed the climate in the seminaries".
"Yes, there is sin in the Church and evil"
It is with "shock" that we see today "that things are happening to our children and young people that threaten to destroy them. The fact that this could also spread in the church and among priests must shake us to a special degree."
The Pope Emeritus, who will turn 92 in a few days, also warns against attempts to reform the Church according to human and political standards. The church today is "widely regarded only as a kind of political apparatus," it continues: "One speaks about it practically almost exclusively with political categories, and this applies even to bishops who formulate their ideas about the church of tomorrow largely exclusively in political terms."
The crisis "caused by the many cases of abuse by priests pushes us to look at the Church as something almost rotten, which we now have to take thoroughly in hand and reshape ourselves. But a church made by ourselves cannot be a hope."Benedict XVI. stresses further: "Yes, there is sin and evil in the Church."However, the "holy church, which is indestructible" still exists today.