Why Can’t The Pope Apologize?

Pope Benedict XVI’s American adventure has come to an end.

The Catholic leader performed his final mass at New York’s Yankee stadium Sunday, during which he briefly addressed the sex abuse scandal, a running theme in his Stateside visit.

In a glancing reference to the sexual abuse of children by priests, he said that praying for the kingdom of God “means not losing heart in the face of adversity, resistance and scandal. It means overcoming every separation between faith and life, and countering false gospels of freedom and happiness.”

Benedict and his colleagues obviously want to put the scandal behind them, but such an ending most likely won’t come to pass.

There was anger even as the Pope offered his initial abuse address, as he flew over to Washington DC. And that anger does not seem to be dying down. MWC News Editor Robert Weitzel definitely isn’t letting the issue be swept under the carpet. He penned a scathing review of the Pope’s “apology” and also insists the Pope offer a few more apologies:

A “penitent” Benedict said that he was “deeply ashamed” of the pedophile priests who scandalized the Catholic Church in the U.S. He said, “It is a great suffering for the church in the United States and for the Church in general and for me personally that this could happen.” He did not dwell on the suffering of the 13,000 victims, one of whom described what happened to her as an “abuse of her soul.”

There are a number of other people to whom he needs to apologize: [such as the] gays whom he called emotionally immature and homosexuality “objectively disordered…

One can’t help but wonder why the Pope can’t muster an apology.

Perhaps it’s his holiness’ humility. As he said during his American tour: “No words of mine could describe the pain and harm inflicted by such abuse. It is important that those who have suffered be given loving, pastoral attention.” While that would make a convenient explanation, it sounds like a cop-out. More likely, the Pope refuses to say “I am sorry,” because such a confession would inherently highlight the Church’s guilty conscience. And the Pope can’t have the international movement implicated in this largely American dust up. As the Catholic Church says,

The basic requirement for a good confession is to have the intention of returning to God like the “prodigal son” and to acknowledge our sins with true sorrow before the priest.

Modern society has lost a sense of sin. As a Catholic follower of Christ, I must make an effort to recognize sin in my daily actions, words and omissions.

As Ashley Hall points out, the Pope previously worked in the Vatican’s legal department. He knows the exact depth and horror of the abuse, which, according to the Church, was afflicted on at least 13,000 kids. The Pope’s knowledge, however, didn’t make it into his claims of shame.

Like an ex-gay preacher man, Pope Benedict XVI’s asking for suppression, rather than forgiveness. Thus, the Church’s road to reconciliation remains unpaved.

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  • foofyjim

    The pope doesn’t approve of freedom and happiness?

    Didn’t I read something about “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” somewhere? Where could that have been? Oh right! The Declaration of Independence! That was Thomas Jefferson paraphrasing John Locke about inalienable rights and the founding of our country.

    I say if the pope don’t like it, he should go back to Rome and continue to play dress-up with his red Prada shoes and funny hats while the rest of humanity figures out that Catholicism has nothing to do with reality and the modern world. I’ll take my moral lessons from Jefferson and Locke over Benedict any day.

  • Paul Raposo

    I remember a friend telling me that the Papal letter his priest read out in church regarding the abuse was about a paragraph long and took a minute to read. The letter he read condemning equal marriage was four pages long and seemed to go on forever. One of the main tenets of their opposition to equal marriage was to “protect” children.

  • emb

    The pope can’t apologize because of MONEY, dears. If the church formally acknowledges not only the sexual abuse but the subsequent efforts to cover up the events and protect the priests involved, it leaves its considerable coffers exposed to lawsuits by the victims.

    As usual with this or any other “religious” organization, it’a all about protecting the finances.

  • M Shane

    Strange that the pope was so insightful of the abuse problem that he just told them to back to a priest. That must be reassuring.

    Catholicism has undoubtedly come face to face with an issue that has been alive and more than well for centuries. Curiously, clerical abuse has only become an issue after the insect and child abuse matter stuck it’s ugly head out as a real psychotheraputic consideration. Freud had insisted that most instances of abuse were matters of projected imaginings by the patient. Alice Miller a German shrink wrote a number of books claiming that the imaginations were of real events. Then everyone started claiming the events as real and by golly it was the American priests. Funny that in other countries everyone thinks it would be shameful to finger a priest (go to hell?).

    The idiocy behind Catholicism is very different than that behind the Petacostal and Baptist Brand of insanity. Thier beliefs don’t have anything to do with the Bible but rather with church “philosophy” that comes down from Artiostotle thru Thomas Aquinas it has to do with a bunch of pretentious crap about what the “natural” purpose of sex = to have babies and nothing else. No jerking off, no pills, abortion, or having sex with your buddys. This is a hundreds of year old pretense of being “philosophical” . Stupid as hell philosohy, but they’ve been teaching it as “fact” forever and it’s not going to change. They would have to admit that all of the Church fathers were full of Crap it they did.
    BTW, in relation to incest and child abuse Alice Millar wrote a whole book about why the Germans had such a high incidence and connected it with the barbarism and conformity of Nazism.

  • M Shane

    He won’t apologise since that means admiting that the church did something wrong, andthe Pope is “Infalible”=p.s. can’t make mistakes..Doesn’t he just look like the wicked old witch from the West!

  • Jack Jett

    Fuck her!

  • Dom

    Nice hat! But shouldn’t it be red to go with his donated Prada shoes.
    What do you expect from Ratzi. He once said he had to join the Nazi Party as a youth in order to be able to attend school. I’ll bet that made all of those Jewish college students who got gassed at the camps feel SO much better.

  • Bill Perdue

    They’ve already paid out roughly three billion dollars to settle lawsuits, but EMB is right, that figure would rise exponentially if they admitted guilt with an apology.

    In any case an apology for coddling and enabling boy rapists or for inciting violence against GLBT folks just won’t cut it. It would even give them an out they don’t deserve. During WWII the papacy supported Hitler’s ‘war on communism”, i.e. the murder of 22 million Soviet citizens. At the same time these dismal reactionaries refused to comment on the Holocaust although they knew all about it. Then, just a few years ago, the vatican ‘apologized’ and swept it all under the rug.

    Instead of asking for one of their rancid apologies a better response might be to demand that Congress redefine them as (a bad) part of the entertainment industry and tax them to death. It seems like a fitting way to treat a death cult.

  • kevin57

    The priests are being thrown under the bus by the bishops, and this bishop of Rome. I think it’s all a diversionary trick to keep attention off the enablers. Why are priests kicked out, but those in authority over them aren’t? Why do they themselves lack the balls to resign forthwith?

  • nikko

    And such is the Roman Catholic Church and it will always be: man-made bullshit that needs to be destroyed once and for all. Amen.

  • Ryan

    I got quite fed up of waiting for the church to “reform” and actually admit that it’s done wrong over and over and over again… and impliment changes to sure these things don’t happen again. Being from Greater Boston, I got to see this scandal up front and clear. Needless to say, between that and the fact they closed schools down in some cases right before kids were going to have their graduations… leaving the Church, as a confirmed catholic, was a much easier decision than I thought it would be. I’m quite glad the Pope isn’t being apologetic, though, because the Catholic Church has surely been it’s own worse enemy for a very, very long time.

  • Peter Pan

    Dear sheeple, please watch the free Zeitgeist movie on zeitgeistmovie.com and be amazed! xx

  • marcus

    Fuck that old queen and all the others that came before him. The Catholic church is nothing but an evil, money making, empire and he is the C.E.O. The bullshit he put out is just trying to keep the shareholders from leaving and taking their cash with them. The church is dying a slow death but it will fight till the end, just wait
    about 20 years and the only people praying with their rosaries will be in lunatic asylums.

  • q

    he won’t apologize for his harmful words against the gay community, we just have to hope for a more progressive pope next time


  • Charley

    The Catholic priests call the police on a homeless person ,sleeping outside on the steps, rather than helping him.
    Bottom line, they have no compassion for anyone, except to those who give money, or leave property to them in a will.
    Catholic dogma is, , based on superstition, instilling sexual guilt and control. Shows how dumb the media is for reporting his visit 24/7, and the gullible public eats it up, as if he really was second in line to their god.

  • Jack Jett

    If you look close at this photo you can see he is holding a bottle of RUSH in his hands.

  • M Shane

    I seriously doubt that the church will ever refiorm on the m atters related to sex, they are to hard set in everything that they’ve taught as “phl losophy”.
    In doung some tangential research, I discovered that they made several new mortal sins, which I can’t believe are takren that seriously: one against (1) “two much wealh” and one in opposition to ‘social injustice”.. both of which seem pretty hypocritical.

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