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18 April 2008


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I'm not sure what you mean exactly by the comment about B16 limiting the discussion to pedophiles. I've been watching him on TV at home and covertly on the computer at work. He has almost always referred to the sexual abuse of "minors". I never got the sense that his public discourse has been about pedophiles. Indeed, as you point out, most of the abuse did not involve pedophilia but pederasty (sexual abuse of a post-pubertal adolescent). I don't think the pope is excluding this at all. His comments on the abuse have been relatively small parts of his talks, however.

I did like that the Vatican broadcast his meeting with the bishops. As one commentator said, this was done so that the people can directly hear what the Pope said, not hear what a handful of American bishops says the Pope said.


I'm referring to what he said on the airplane. From John Allen's transcript:

"The first is the level of justice, the juridical level. We now have also norms to react in a just way. I would not speak in this moment about homosexuality, but pedophilia, [which] is another thing. We will absolutely exclude pedophiles from the sacred ministry, this is absolutely incompatible. And who is really guilty of being a pedophile cannot be a priest. So the first level is, as we can do justice and help clearly the victims, because they are deeply touched. So [there are] two sides of justice, on the one hand that pedophiles cannot be priests; on the other hand, to help in all the possible ways to the victims."


Interesting. The relationship between homosexuality and pederasty is still troubling. I'm not trying to imply that all homosexuals are pederasts, but it is a strong gay subculture with a long history, at least (see the Wikipedia entry). This issue is connected with the abuse issue, but it is complex and will be controvertial. I think he was wise not to address it at this time.

Note he said that he would not speak about homosexuals "in this moment" - it seems to me that he's drawing a bright line by addressing pedophiles (who can argue with that?). And of course, the church expects priests to be celibate whether gay or not. But, perhaps he doesn't want to get embroiled in a public discussion about the role of homosexual culture in such cases when his main objective is to help the church and the victims heal from the abuse.


Yeah, he seems like a "let's attack this problem one step at a time" kind of guy, doesn't he?

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