By Hilary White
VATICAN CITY, June 11, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Sin, satanic influence and the toleration of heresy lie at the root of the priestly sexual abuse scandals, Pope Benedict XVI said today. Precisely because it is an institution erected by God to make himself sacramentally “present to all men and women,” the devil is interested in destroying the priesthood, he said.
Referring to the line in Psalm 22 (“Your rod and your staff – they comfort me”), Benedict became explicit about the need for the “rod” of discipline to correct errors in the Church.
“The Church too must use the shepherd’s rod,” he said, “the rod with which he protects the faith against those who falsify it, against currents which lead the flock astray.”
“Today we can see that it has nothing to do with love when conduct unworthy of the priestly life is tolerated. Nor does it have to do with love if heresy is allowed to spread and the faith twisted and chipped away, as if it were something that we ourselves had invented.”
Pope Benedict spoke today to 15,000 priests at the closing Mass of the Vatican’s Year for Priests at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
The priesthood, Pope Benedict said, is not “pleasing to the ‘enemy,'” (the devil).
“He would have rather preferred to see it disappear, so that God would ultimately be driven out of the world. And so it happened that, in this very year of joy for the sacrament of the priesthood, the sins of priests came to light – particularly the abuse of the little ones, in which the priesthood, whose task is to manifest God’s concern for our good, turns into its very opposite.”
With evident personal sadness, the pope again extended his apology to the victims of sexual abuse, saying, “We too insistently beg forgiveness from God and from the persons involved.”
This was followed by a promise to “do everything possible to ensure that such abuse will never occur again” by more scrutiny and better formation of those who apply for the priesthood. More…
Thanks to Pewsitter.com for yet another post! AMDG, Sofia