Good morning, Netizens…
AP–FILE - In this April 7, 2010 file photo, Pope Benedict XVI, listens to his personal secretary Georg Gaenswein…
The Vatican has gone into full-fledged damage control over the priest sex scandal just before the Pope leaves on his first foreign trip before this world-wide scandal erupted. Officials are promising surprising new initiatives. The pope’s personal secretary is speaking out. And bishops around the world are being told to report abuse cases to the police, not shove them into obscure bureaucratic loopholes where no one, save the highest members of the Vatican, can ever peer.
This new-and-improved strategy comes to life just as the Vatican attempts vainly to stem the damage from weeks of sordid tales about priests who molested and abused children and the Vatican officials who kept them quiet. This all comes just before the Pontiff’s trip to Malta this weekend. Abuse victims on that predominantly-Catholic island are mad as wet hens and demanding a papal audience and apology.
Benedict’s personal secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, spoke out Tuesday for the first time since the scandal broke, defending the pope’s prolonged silence on the German cases and charging that Benedict had done more than anyone else to crack down on abuse.
Perhaps more telling than other statements, Giovanni Maria Vian, the editor in chief of the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, conceded that there had been communications problems in the initial phases of the scandal, and that some comments by Vatican officials seemingly minimizing the scandal or attempting to deflect it had not been prudent.
In short, the Pope appears to have been caught stating that the Vatican hierarchy should perform as he has suggested rather than how he has done in the past.