POPE Ratzinger took time this week to lament what he described as a steady diet of news about evil in the world.
Every day, through the newspapers, television, radio, evil is reported, repeated, amplified, making us used to horrible things, making us become insensitive, and, in some way, poisoning us. Hearts harden and thoughts darken.
According to this report, he also complained that the mass media:
Tend to make us feel like spectators, as if evil regards only others and certain things could never happen to us.
It’s no surprise that Ratzinger, speaking on the Spanish Steps in Rome after he kneeled in prayer before the Catlicks favourite idol, Mary, made no mention of the RC’s own significant contribution toÂ “the evil in the world”.
The day after he spoke, for example, under the headline Ireland’s bishops ask forgiveness over sex abuse scandal, AsiaOne reported that Ireland’s Catholic bishops have apologised and asked for forgiveness after an official report uncovered decades of child sex abuse by priests and a cover-up by top churchmen.
The bishops, meeting for their winter conference, said the “scale and depravity of abuse” revealed in last month’s report was shocking, and conceded that the culture of cover-up appeared widespread within the church.
The Irish Bishops’ Conference, meeting over two days in the university town of Maynooth, said they had agreed to open talks with Ireland’s child welfare inspectors to audit church protection policy.
The bishops said in a statement.
We are deeply shocked by the scale and depravity of abuse as described in the report.We are shamed by the extent to which child sexual abuse was covered up in the Archdiocese of Dublin and recognise that this indicates a culture that was widespread in the Church. The avoidance of scandal, the preservation of the reputations of individuals and of the Church, took precedence over the safety and welfare of children. This should never have happened and must never be allowed to happen again. We humbly ask for forgiveness.
Ireland’s top two Catholic churchmen, primate of all-Ireland Cardinal Sean Brady and Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, plan to brief the Pope on the report in Rome tomorrow.
The Vatican’s envoy to Dublin said sorry on Tuesday for “any mistake from our side”, after a meeting with Ireland’s foreign minister, who had expressed deep disappointment at the Vatican’s silence over the affair.
It’s not just the Church’s appalling record of child abuse that’s been receiving wide coverage. There are also reports of its murky financial dealings.
One recent headline said Vatican Bank reported to be facing money-laundering investigation.