May 11th, 2010
10:26 AM ET

Pope calls reality of sex abuse scandal 'terrifying'

Pope Benedict XVI made one of his strongest statements to date on the sex abuse scandal sweeping the Roman Catholic Church, saying Tuesday the reality he has seen is "terrifying."

And he distanced himself from criticism of the media by senior Vatican officials, saying the most important attacks on the church don't come from the outside, they come from the sins of the members of the church, CNN senior Vatican analyst John Allen said.

Benedict was speaking on his plane en route to Portugal, where he is making a four-day visit.

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Filed under: Church Abuse • Vatican
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. John the scientist

    Now if he could just realize that religion is built around a 5,000 year old myth, we'll be in business!

    May 11, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jessica

    All i still hear is "image" – its terrifying, not because of what happened to all those kids...no, because of the image it gives the church. Its not upsetting that the media is bashing them, its upsetting their own clergy make others not "trust" the church.

    Just once I want to hear them talk about the lives destroyed and no mention about the church, period.

    May 11, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  3. teresa, kent, oh

    If the Pope wants to fix the Catholic church and it's followers, HE MUST address this issue. He must make as many pedophiles and abusers ACCOUNTABLE. If the Pope does this OR AT LEAST MAKES A BIG dent in the removal and punishment: he will the greatest Pope that ever lived.

    The best thing for the Catholic church right now is to help the victims by making their abusers pay.
    The most awesome thing for me watching all this unfold is that many VICTIMS still believe in the Catholic faith. True followers and believers of the Christ.

    @ martin: good points. May i add another: there is only ONE unpardonable sin. One. Makes me wonder if in the grander scheme of "blasphemy" if child abusers might be guilty.

    May 11, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  4. JK65

    Agree with Mike in NJ and Mike! I too was raised Catholic and it is so hard for me to remain so. I am a 40 something mom. I feel like a hypocrite everytime I take my children to church. In addition to the pedophiles, our bishop is a total hypocrite as he also misappropriated funds. I say the Pope must resign, reorganize the Catholic Church, shake out the evil and allow priests to marry again!

    May 11, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jammer

    He should be terrified. When big guys with guns start dismantling this most corrupt and wicked of organizations he will be even more terrified. Let's get on with that already.

    May 11, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. michelle

    The catholic church is doing its best to deal with the situation at hand. The devil is on the loose and temptation is great these days. The catholic church still continues to be in my heart and i will pray for the church everyday.

    May 11, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  7. mamadeo

    davec said it – arrest the pope and charge him with aiding and abetting child molestation

    May 11, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dennis

    He needs to acknowledge his role by stepping down.

    May 11, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  9. denver

    remember with god all things are possible lets all say a prayer . keep the faith.men not of faith do evil things, not the church. where two or more come in my name i will be their also.
    Praise be to JESUS

    May 11, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  10. joe

    The last time the church ran everything, we affectionately called it the "Dark Ages".

    May 11, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  11. indyreader

    MartinSA: "effectively, the expanded logic is child molesters are not worthy of redemption."

    Weigh this against the goal of preventing more children from being molested. I and many others have not ignored that 'serious theological issue' but rather have already come down on the side of "hey, they can be forgiven and redeemed while they sit in a jail cell just as easily as any other inmate, and with the added bonus of relieving at least part of the worry on the part of the parents and children in the church."

    It's all well and fine to go through the mental exercise of fretting over such un-testable ideas like redemption and the fate of one's eternal soul, where the fruition only comes after death, but here in the real world, we need real, verifiable justice. Trying to trump that inarguable fact with mush-brained magical thinking is why more and more reasonable people are giving up the supernatural aspects of religion in favor of a less irrational, more logically consistent ethical system. Hallelujah and amen.

    May 11, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. Barry

    I was raised catholic and now do not attend that church.
    1. Stop talking and fix the problem
    2. Help those that have been molested and defrock those that molest, turn over to the law.
    3. Declaring bankrupcy in the dioces that it happened is not helping those that where molosted. Its hiding so you will not lose money. The church is not a building or property! Its the people you are driving away, wholesale!
    4. Do you have so little faith in God that you must hide behind the law to help you right the wrongs? To what end...you still have the money but no parishers?
    Oh yea of little faith! I beleive in the church, but other than the top guy(GOD) I have lost faith in all the trappings!

    May 11, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  13. Steve

    Letting priests marry and have children will solve 80% of the problems. You don't hear or see as much of this from other religions who allow priests to be married and have children. Wasn't it God who said go be fruitful and multiply?

    May 11, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  14. mabel floyd

    yes–talk is cheap
    the church needs to accept married priests–both men and women–
    quit trying to send people to hell for using birth control to limit the number of children to a number their can afford and children their mother can have and not not ruin her health. if using birth control pill is a sin or abortion is a sin then preach it–but punishment is God's business
    GET OUT OF POLITICS
    start being a role model of behavior the church wishes to encourage

    May 11, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  15. not moved

    trying to keep the publicity to a minimum to save face (pedophile face).

    May 11, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
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