From the papal airplane: “Pedophile priests will be completely excluded from the priesthood.”

The correspondent from La Reppubblica has the details, reported from on board the airplane.

The Pope says every effort is being made to avoid any repetition of what happened before.

He said: "Pedophile priests will be completely excluded from the priesthood."  

"We are profoundly ashamed and we will do everything possible so that this is never repeated in the future."

"It is more important to have good priests than to have many priests", the Pope underscored.

"If I read the stories of these victims, it is hard for me to comprehend how it was possible that priests would have betrayed in this way their mission to comfort, to give the love of God to those children"

"Never again pedophile priests."

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13 Responses to From the papal airplane: “Pedophile priests will be completely excluded from the priesthood.”

  1. Chironomo says:

    This is PRECISELY the kind of pronouncement that needs to come from Il Papa on this trip. Although not an issue that has come up on the liturgical-blogs in relation to this trip, it is perhaps the largest stumbling block for the US Church. Bravo!

  2. Maureen says:

    This is what we have all wanted to hear. This is what we all want done, as much as is
    humanly possible.

    Bless you, Holy Father. Thank you.

  3. Gerry says:

    Nope. The vast majority of abuse cases had nothing to do with pedophilia. (Look the word up in a dictionary.) This may be a case of the Pope incorrectly expressing himself in English, or that he has been gravely misinformed about the crisis.

  4. Anthony OPL says:

    Certainly, most of the offences were pederasty rather than paedophilia, but the point still stands. Especially since while “paedophile priests” is a blanket statement, perhaps even a declaration of his intent to deprive all (proven) guilty clerics of the clerical state, it is much more difficult to make the same argument about pederasts, whose “only” crime is technically a failure of continence. Even if it is homosexual pederasty (as in the majority of cases), homosexuality can’t be considered to make a man invalid matter for ordination since he is still ontologically a man. Rather, it can only be regarded as a gravely scandalous vice, for which a priest may have the penalty above imposed, but it would need to be consistent with the teaching of the Church regarding clerical continence. Any and all sexual activity is prohibited to unmarried Catholics, regardless of orders. Thus, commission of sexual acts of a (further) disordered kind (since extramarital sex is already disordered) simply magnifies culpability, rather than introducing a new form.

    Sorry about my waffling post Father, no disrespect meant. I just hope to have conveyed some of the subtlety and complexity of this issue, which is perhaps never discussed in the popular sphere.

  5. TomG says:

    Gerry’s right: it’s ephebophilia, not pedophilia, meaning with adolescents. From what I have read, upwards of 80% of the cases were with adolescent boys. Male homosexuals in the priesthood is the problem, folks!

  6. Volpius says:

    The Pope understands the need to speak plainly and simply to the media, if he had said what some of you are saying the headline would have been something like “Pope denies there is a problem with paedophile priests”. Giving media interviews is not the place for waffling or discussion of various meanings of words in the English language. The Pope said exactly what needed to be said.

  7. Volpius says:

    The Pope understands the need to speak plainly and simply to the media, if he had said what some of you are saying the headline would have been something like “Pope denies there is a problem with paedophile priests”. Giving media interviews is not the place for waffling or discussion of various meanings of words in the English language. The Pope said exactly what needed to be said.

  8. AlephGamma says:

    A translation ‘chain of custody’ probably could clarify and help with the precise meaning of what the Pope meant. For example German ‘wenn’ could translate to ‘if’ or ‘when’ depending on context. In which case “When I read the stories of these victims…” reads much cleaner.

  9. diogenes_not says:

    Splitting hairs over ‘legal’ definitions of the crime is sickening! Whether the child was 6 years old or 13, what these priests did was WRONG!

    The real issue is will the Pope actually do anything to them. As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he headed the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and was responsible for deciding whether to discipline priests accused of sexual abuse.

    The outcome was that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, threatened all witnesses to such abuse with excommunication if they reported the crime to state, or other non-Church, bodies.

  10. diogenes (not): This is not an exercise in splitting legal hairs.   These are pathological and moral distinctions. 

    For an ill to be healed, it must first be correctly diagnosed.

    If great energy is put into applying the wrong remedy, because the problem was misdiagnosed, the suffering is prolonged.

  11. JP says:

    diogenes_not said: The outcome was that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, threatened all witnesses to such abuse with excommunication if they reported the crime to state, or other non-Church, bodies.

    That is a complete and utter falsehood. He did no such thing, at any time. Anyone who wants the truth behind this horrendous accusation should read this:

    http://jimmyakin.typepad.com/defensor_fidei/2005/04/observe_this.html

  12. Eddie Rogers says:

    Dear Father John:

    I hope that like many other priests that I now of, you are in the Church, so these pedophile abuses do not occur again. Sadly the Pope had no choice to say that he was ashamed. Three years ago he blamed the pedophilia on homosexual priests and stated they would not be allowed in the seminaries. Now they are going back to the seminaries to look for the pedophiles. It is my opinion that the Church was caught off-guard in 2002 and had to pay a billion dollars. Now the Church has regrouped and a veil of secrecy that no goverment or individual from the outside can pierce, covers all the actions of the Church. Pedophilia in the Catholic Church is worlwide. The Pope has granted Sanctuary to former and current pedophiles that are still wearing a frock. Once again I hope that this blog is sincere and that from the inside you can make the Church change their ways. ER

  13. sbm says:

    The real problem is the bishops who enabled this crime to happen over and over again. We have a structural and cultural problem with our leadership. Bishops moved these priest from position to position to position and they committed their crime again and again and again. Some bishops even had their subordinates intimidate people who dared to complain. Some diocese moved their tracking of criminal priests (the paperwork) to the Vatican consulate in DC so that US courts could not subpena the records.

    Until the Pope deals with the cultural cancer in our leadership, we are doomed to have more scandals which they will not only attempt to cover up but enable.

    Does the Pope not realize the bishops enabled this crime, or does he know but refuses to deal with it for some worldly reason?