Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Cardinal Bertone: Pope Benedict will address the clergy sex abuse crisis

VATICAN CITY (AP) _ Pope Benedict XVI recognizes the damage and pain caused by the clergy sex abuse crisis and will seek to heal wounds during his U.S. trip next week, the Vatican’s No. 2 official said Tuesday.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, in an interview with The Associated Press, said Benedict will deliver a message of “trust and hope” when he meets American clergy at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.

Benedict “will try to open the path of healing and reconciliation,” said Bertone, the Vatican’s secretary of state.

The abuse crisis has caused “so much suffering for the victims, for the families of the victims and above all to the church because it was a contradiction with the great educational mission of the church,” Bertone lamented during the 30-minute interview in the frescoed Treaty Hall of the Apostolic Palace.

Bertone also spoke of Benedict's address to the United Nations and message to the American people:
Bertone said “the dignity of the human being” will be at the center of Benedict’s U.N. address, linking the visit to the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Asked what impact the speech might have on U.S. policy, the Italian cardinal noted that “the United States shares the ideals of the United Nations.”

The theme of the trip, “Christ our Hope” is a reflection that Benedict is “not a pessimistic pope,” Bertone said.

He noted the importance of religion in American life and the Catholic Church in America. While the pope is aware that Catholics in the United States and elsewhere in the world stray from church teaching, the cardinal said, Benedict wants his pilgrimage to give his flock “reason for faith and for hope.”

(Via Gary Stern @ Blogging Religiously).