In 2006, Benedict additionally compelled the Rev. Marcial Maciel, the founding father of a conservative Catholic order referred to as the Legionaries of Christ and one of many church’s most infamous pedophiles, to retire “to a lifetime of prayer and penitence.”
However eight years after Benedict surprised the church by abruptly retiring in 2013, he was confronted with allegations that he had recognized for years that Maciel had been preying on youngsters.
“No, this isn’t appropriate,” Benedict’s longtime private secretary Georg Gänswein stated in an announcement to the German newspaper Die Zeit.
Whereas Benedict was by no means personally accused of sexual abuse, a Vatican report launched in 2020 stated each he and John Paul II ignored allegations that now-defrocked Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had been seducing seminarians.
“Benedict did take steps to self-discipline some clergymen, however he did not discover a approach to punish the bishops,” Gibson stated. “He couldn’t convey himself to try this, essentially the most egregious instance of that being Cardinal McCarrick.”
McCarrick pleaded not responsible in 2021 to sexually assaulting a teen practically 50 years in the past in Massachusetts. He’s nonetheless awaiting trial and no trial date has been set but.
Benedict was additionally accused in 2022 of mishandling 4 circumstances of priest intercourse abuse from 1977 to 1982 when he was the archbishop of Munich in what was then West Germany. Legal professionals who drew up the report stated Benedict categorically denied any wrongdoing.
“I feel Benedict took quite a few necessary steps to handle the priest intercourse abuse challenge, however the bar was so low it didn’t make a major distinction,” Gibson stated.
Benedict was gradual to react, Gibson stated, as a result of he “had such a pious, personalistic view of Christianity.”
That strategy, he stated, has been disastrous for the Catholic Church.
“Individuals had been rightly horrified by the sexual abuse allegations, however they had been much more infuriated by the cover-ups,” Gibson stated. “Permitting these accountable to go unpunished, that was unforgivable for a lot of Catholics.”
The Vatican didn’t instantly reply to an NBC Information request for remark Saturday. In January, when the report into sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in Germany’s Munich diocese was launched, Benedict’s private secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, instructed reporters that Benedict would “study the textual content with the mandatory consideration,” within the coming days. He added that Benedict had expressed his “shock and disgrace” at “the abuse of minors through the years of his preach.
Boston lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, who turned well-known after his makes an attempt to go after predator clergymen had been dramatized within the Oscar-winning film “Highlight,” stated Benedict “continued the cover-up of clergy sexual abuse by saying the suitable issues however not taking substantive motion.”
“Respectfully, Pope Benedict did little or no to alleviate the struggling and loneliness of childhood sexual abuse victims,” Garabedian stated. “The here-and-there restricted motion by Pope Benedict compounded the ache of clergy sexual abuse victims all over the place.”