The nonstory of Ratzinger’s call to “penance”

Via the NY Times:

In his most direct reference to the sexual abuse crisis that has reached the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday that it was necessary for Christians to “repent” in light of “the attacks of the world, which speaks to us of our sins.”

But in an approach typical of the tough-minded yet media-averse theologian, Benedict aimed his message directly at the church, offering his remarks in an off-the-cuff homily at a small, untelevised Mass at the Vatican.

“I have to say that we Christians, even in recent times, have often avoided the word ‘repentance,’ which seems too harsh,” Benedict said at a Mass later broadcast on Vatican Radio.

“Now under the attacks of the world, which speaks to us of our sins, we see that the ability to repent is a grace, and we see how it is necessary to repent, that is, to recognize what is wrong in our life,” he added.

Such self-pity! He acknowledges the “sins” upon the church are real, but claims those “of the world” (in Latin, the secular) are “attacking” Rome. Attacking them with facts you don’t dispute?

Talk is cheap, though perhaps more dear for those who claim infallibility. I’ll believe in his “repentence” when his office cuts the PR bullshit and takes concrete steps are taken to bring guilty parties to justice–which of course will never happen, as that would mean penalties for Ratzinger himself. The man had abusers under his jurisdiction at least half a dozen times (Peter Hullerman, Marcel Maciel, Lawrence Murphy, Michael Teta, Robert C. Trupia, and Stephen Kiesle.) and failed to act decisively in all six cases.

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