As a Catholic physician who has met many who have been sexually
abused by priests, and as one who was sexually assaulted myself by
a Carmelite priest when I was a young doctor in Dublin, I have
learned that clergy sexual abuse has been part of the culture of
the Roman Catholic Church for many centuries.
Pope Benedict XVI has played a central role in allowing the priest
sexual abuse of innocent children to flourish worldwide from the
24 years that he was the head of the office that dealt with clergy
sexual abuse cases, and since 2005 as Pope. The Pope, when known
as Cardinal Ratzinger, in 2001, issued a Vatican edict to
hierarchy all over the world, to put the institution of the
church’s interests over any other interest and to have all cases
of clergy sexual abuse centralized under his authority in the
Vatican under Exclusive Competence and the Pontifical Secret.
Why didn’t Ratzinger report all cases of child sexual abuse by
clergy to the legal authorities for investigation? Why did
Ratzinger protect the predator priests and not remove the predator
priests and complicit bishops from the priesthood? Why did
Ratzinger not care about the children, the innocent victims?
Probably because he has had very little life experience of women
and children, as a celibate male.
It offends me deeply to read that one observer in the above
article called the victim/survivors ‘crazies’. From all that I
have learned about this scandal and the central role that Pope
Benedict XVI has played in it, it astounds me that he continues to
protect himself from accountability, and that others in powerful
places are allowing him to get away with all the harm that his
poor decisions have caused in the lives of so many victims and
Besides the betrayal of trust and soul-murder of so many, there
have been many suicides around the world, by those who gave up
hope that anyone would believe their story of having been sexually
abused by a priest or by a member of the hierarchy.
Please read THE CASE OF THE POPE, written by Geoffrey Robertson,
QC, judge at the United Nations for crimes against humanity. Mr
Robertson challenges the Pope’s belief of having diplomatic
immunity. He says the Vatican is not really a sovereign state.
In my view, it is time for Pope Benedict XVI to become accountable
and to apologize to the world for all the harm that his policies
have done to so many human lives. No more smokescreens and denials
and revictimizations of the victim/survivors please!
Sincerely, Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh, Chicago, Illinois, USA