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Vatican cardinal emphasizes: extent of clerical abuse limited

January 14, 2010

In an interview with the Vatican newspaper, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, prefect for the Congregation of the Clergy, decried the clerical abuse of children and emphasized that its extent was limited.

“It is undeniable that painful episodes have happened but we are talking about a limited number of cases which, according to the numbers, are proportionately modest,” he said. “These are of course very serious, criminal happenings which the Church can in no way tolerate. But let me repeat it, the vast majority of priests worldwide are decent people, committed to their ministry, ready to give their entire lives, often lose their lives, for the Gospel.”


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  • Posted by: cibarnes8018 - Jan. 14, 2010 10:54 PM ET USA

    Why do our pastors repeatedly minimize the problem of child abuse - like this statement from Hummes or the statement, last year, to the UN in Geneva that, after all, we didn't have more pedofile priests and religious proportionately than other denominations or organizations? Is having 10 victims of abuse better than having 50? Isn't it about time that they started doing something, not only for the direct victims but for those who have had their faith seriously damaged by the scandal?

  • Posted by: Steve214 - Jan. 14, 2010 7:00 PM ET USA

    The problem was not a very small number of priests: the problem was a very large proportion of bishops who tolerated and covered up such behavior. In doing so, they acted in a way that was utterly heartless, inhuman, and betrayed no evidence of believing in God.

  • Posted by: Savonarola - Jan. 14, 2010 5:55 PM ET USA

    The Cardinal seems utterly to miss the point that the scandal has been about abuse AND EPISCOPAL COVERUP. The coverup aspect was not addressed by the Dallas Charter at all.

  • Posted by: raymondfrice9926 - Jan. 14, 2010 8:01 AM ET USA

    It is evident from the full interview that the Vatican is still part of the"problem"!!