Vatican: “We didn’t do it! And besides, everyone else was doing it too!”
Pope Benedict XVI insisted on Saturday that all of society’s institutions and not just the Catholic church must be held to “exacting” standards in their response to sex abuse of children, and defended the church’s efforts to confront the problem.
Benedict acknowledged in remarks to visiting U.S. bishops during an audience at the Vatican that pedophilia was a “scourge” for society, and that decades of scandals over clergy abusing children had left Catholics in the United States bewildered.
“It is my hope that the church’s conscientious efforts to confront this reality will help the broader community to recognize the causes, true extent and devastating consequences of sexual abuse, and to respond effectively to this scourge which affects every level of society,” he said.
“By the same token, just as the church is rightly held to exacting standards in this regard, all other institutions, without exception, should be held to the same standards,” the pope said.