VATICAN - The rigor of the Church and the Pope on paedophilia [AN]

*Interview with the head of investigations into paedophile priests. The figures of the phenomenon (300 in 10 years), and “false and libellous” attempts against Pope Benedict XVI and the Church accused of covering up abuse. *

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - “A false and slanderous accusation,” this is how Mgr. Charles Scicluna, defines the rumours spreading in recent weeks, that claim Benedict XVI wanted to hide cases of paedophilia among the clergy. Mgr Scicluna, a promoter of justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is in charge of investigating cases of child abuse by priests. In an interview published yesterday by the newspaper “Avvenire”, he takes stock of the Catholic Church’s commitment to combating this scourge, the attention of the Christian community to aid victims and its inflexibility with those responsible (300 priests in 10 years, out of 400 thousand priests and religious). And above all he proves that the pope wanted the Church to courageously address this “filth”.

The interview is very timely because in recent days accusations have emerged in international press charging that paedophile priests have worked in Regensburg and Munich, articles which attempt to implicate, by any possible means, even by manipulating the truth, the pontiff’s brother (choirmaster of Regensburg) and the then Msgr. Joseph Ratzinger.

Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of Vatican Radio, said yesterday: "It is quite obvious that in recent days some have tried - with some ferocity, in Regensburg and Munich - elements to personally involve the Holy Father in issues of abuse. For any objective observer, it is clear that these efforts have failed ".

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