The crisis of sexual abuse is “the Catholic Church’s September 11”. This was said by Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, Prefect of the Pontifical Household and special secretary to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who spoke at the presentation of the book “The Benedict option” by American journalist Rod Dreher in the Chamber of Deputies. The German prelate, who mentioned both the Pennsylvania sexual abuse report explicitly, and, implicitly, McCarrick’s case, pointed out thatBenedict XVI’s lament in 2008 to the American bishops on the “profound shame” caused by the sexual abuse of children was pronounced “evidently in vain”, as we see today”.
“Today is September 11 in America, from the fall of 2001 onwards, it is called simply nine/eleven, to remember the apocalyptic tragedy in which then members of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda, attacked the United States of America in New York and Washington before the eyes of the world” Gaenswein said. “In the whirlwind of news of the last few weeks, the more I read the book, the more – following the publication of the report of the Grand Jury of Pennsylvania – in this meeting of ours I could not fail to see a real act of Divine Providence: today, in fact, even the Catholic Church looks full of bewilderment at its own nine/eleven, even if this catastrophe cannot be associated with one single date, but with so many days and years, and with countless victims. Please do not misunderstand me,” the prelate said.
“I do not intend to compare either the victims or the numbers of abuses within the Catholic Church with the total of 2,996 innocent people who lost their lives on September 11 following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. No one has so far attacked the Church of Christ with hijacked planes full of passengers. St. Peter’s Basilica is standing and so are the cathedrals in France, Germany and Italy, which continue to represent the emblem of many cities in the Western world, from Florence to Chartres, passing through Cologne and Munich. And yet, the news from America that recently informed us of the many souls who have been irreparably and mortally wounded by priests of the Catholic Church, send us an even more terrible message than the news of the sudden collapse of all churches in Pennsylvania, along with the “Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception” in Washington.”
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