Newsy [Atlanta GA]
February 9, 2022
>> All right. For some more insight on the former pope’s remarks, let’s bring in Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of Bishopaccountability. org. Thank you so much for joining us as well. So what do you make of the retired pope’s comments?
>> I thought it was a a deep disappointment and a real missed opportunity. This could have been a legacy defining moment for Pope Benedict. This was a moment that called for candor and grace. There is abundant evidence that he willfully covered up for sexual abusers when he was archbishop of Munich,. He could have been completely honest and and said, yes, I did. He could have become the first pope pope to admit to deliberate cover-up, and by so doing, he would have set an example of radical truth-telling for other church leaders, including Pope Francis himself. Instead, he was self-serving. He talked about his own victimization, his being called a liar. He expressed a lot of thanks to all his supporters and legal team, and he talked about how he faces the imminent end of its life with serenity, confident in the Lord’s friendship. His apology to victims, his mea culpa, was weak. It was general. It wasn’t even clear that he was referring to the Munich cases, and that this is what we see over and over again from the hierarchy in especially all of the popes. None have really taken specific responsibility.
>> So what does that do to members of the church? What you just said? No pope has taken responsibility.And we’re not talking about a jaywalking scandal … we’re talking about thousands of kids molested by alleged men of God. Who does eventually step up here and show some kind of real leadership on this issue? That includes personal responsibility. …
>> Well, Pope Francis has this opportunity. It’s unlikely that he will do so. But he covered up in Argentina — we have evidence of this — when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, every bit as much as Pope Benedict did in Munich. He could become the the first pope to say, look, I did this. It is very unlikely. I don’t know which church leader is going to step up. I suspect that our hope lies with forces outside the church. With prosecutors, with legislators, with the United Nations, the International Criminal Court. And we’re just going to have to continue to bring external forces of disclosure on this church because they will not voluntarily admit to anything.
>> So moving forward. And I mean, what do you see as the solution in a situation like this? I mean, as we’ve been talking about the last couple of minutes, I mean, no one has done — it is very unlikely that anyone will own up to these this situation. So how is it at all going to be fixed in the future? Would you say?
>> So the church is global. And as you’ve said here today, it’s not just thousands, it’s hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of children have been sexually abused by clergy in the Catholic Church in the last 50, 70 years. How is it going to be resolved? One country at a time. Through prosecutors and through legislators. It’s going to be laws passed that demand disclosure of secret documents. We’re going to revoke treaties that the Holy See has with these various countries to protect the bishops in those countries from being prosecuted. It’s going to be country by country until finally, Rome itself realizes it is time to make a really clean disclosure of all the cover up, which of course, began at the Vatican.
>> That’s just an awful situation at its core. Just unbelievable. Anne Barrett Doyle, thank you.