Photo Credits: ITV
As it could be expected from the Catholic Church, officials found another way to excuse the Church for the growing sex abuse crisis. The former pope, Benedict XVI, published a letter presenting sex abuse in the church as the product of the 1960s sexual revolution and homosexuality. As BBC reports, he said that cultural and historical change led to a "dissolution" of morality in Catholicism. The sexual revolution in the 1960s led to homosexuality and pedophilia in Catholic establishments and the only solution to the problem, the former pope said, was "obedience and love for our Lord Jesus Christ."
His letter sparked criticism from people who believe it is "deeply flawed." According to BBC, Vatican expert Joshua McElwee said in the National Catholic Reporter: "It does not address structural issues that abetted abuse cover-up, or Benedict's own contested 24-year role as head of the Vatican's powerful doctrinal office."
Allegations of child sex abuse by priests in the Catholic Church date back decades before the 1960s and the cause of this cannot be directed to either the sexual revolution or to homosexuality. There are many unresolved issues inside the Church that have led to abuse and cover up of that abuse. Also, when some priests were accused for sexual abuse based on evidence, the Church applied minor punishments, always trying to defend its officials rather than the victims.
But none of this is enough for Church officials to accept the fact that sex abuse is a real problem with serious consequences, or to find a way to prevent it. They are always trying to relativize their role and to blame others for what is happening inside the Church. Benedict's letter is a typical example of this practice and his arguments make no sense. As Patheos reports, he is saying that part of the physiognomy of the Revolution of ’68 was that pedophilia was allowed and considered appropriate, adding that that it was only recently that we realized pedophilia was wrong… and that atheism bears some of the blame.
Benedict is not the head of the Church anymore but his ideas are not alone and certainly there are Catholic Church officials who agree with his letter. But this letter is, as one Catholic theologian noted according to Patheos, "an embarrassingly wrong explanation for the systemic abuse of children and its cover up.”