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Or was it a self-inflicted reprimand?

By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 16, 2010

First Cardinal Bertone made the observation that homosexuality is a major factor in the sex-abuse crisis. Then the Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, issued a clarification, emphasizing that Cardinal Bertone was speaking only about the clerical-abuse situation, not making any broader psychological claim.

On an Australian television program, the liberal ex-priest Paul Collins, anxious to assure viewers that homosexuality has nothing to do with sexual abuse, said:

In many ways I think Lombardi's statement is a quite public reprimand from an Italian or from a Latin cultural point of view. I think this is Pope Benedict telling Bertone to keep his mouth shut while he's in Chile.

Sounds plausible, on the face of it. But here's the problem: Father Lombardi has revealed that he has not even spoken to Pope Benedict about the sex-abuse crisis. The Vatican spokesman told reporters that he takes all his orders from the Secretary of State: Cardinal Bertone.

Since it's generally not good policy to issue a "quite public reprimand" of one's boss, the Collins hypothesis goes out the window. 

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