(The following is a letter sent to The Philippine Times expressing the author’s opinion regarding the controversies currently hounding Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI.)
I commend Pope Benedict XVI for not being intimidated by the petty gossip of the media and other false critics seeking to smear the pope and bring down the Catholic Church.
The Pope is completely innocent and is doing everything in his power to weed out those priests guilty of sexual abuse and to justly compensate victims for their suffering. In fact he is the one above all else in society who has tackled these things head on.
Contrary to his critics the most comprehensive statistics to date indicate: 1) Priestly celibacy is not the issue—married men are more likely to abuse children than unmarried. 2) Child abuse is prevalent in all areas of society. Most child abuse takes place within the home. 3) All religious groups have paedophile scandals, and the Catholics (while the largest religious group) are at the bottom of the list statistically. 4) Catholic cases of paedophilia make more headlines because of anti-Catholic prejudice and because the Catholic Church is bigger and more lucrative to sue. When lawsuits are looming people smell money. We must be wary of false accusations 5) Most cases branded ‘paedophilia’ are actually homosexual in nature, however the politically correct do not want this problem to be associated with homosexuality. 6) What we now call ‘cover up’ was often done in a different cultural context, when the problem was not fully understood and when all establishment organisations hushed scandals. They did so for what seemed good reasons at the time: protection of the victims and their families, opportunity for rehabilitation of the offender, the avoidance of scandal to others. It is unfair to judge events thirty years ago by today’s standards.
I am in no way wishing to be soft of paedophiles and those who covered for them, however justice and truth demand an objective analysis of the facts.
PAUL KOKOSKI[ From old file: http://philippinetimes.com.au/clients/philippinetimes/opinion-supporting-vatican-p3738.htm ]