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Italian PM lauds Pope’s response to abuse crisis

Catholic World News - March 23, 2010

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has issued a statement praising Pope Benedict’s pastoral letter on the Irish abuse crisis.

“Benedict XVI, like many of his predecessors, is often called on to confront very difficult situations,” said Berlusconi. “The way in which he responds is remarkably efficient, at least for all those who are not guided by totally hostile sentiments, and it is efficient both for its humility and sincerity and for the sound reasoning of the Pope.”

“The pastoral letter to the Irish is only the most recent example of his great charisma,” Berlusconi continued. “In the name of the government, I wish to express to Benedict XVI all the affection and solidarity of the Italian people. Our people know how to differentiate between human error, and history is full of this, and the huge fruits of goodness which have come and continue to come from our Christian roots.”

Relations between the prime minister and the Church in Italy have been tempestuous. Last year, after the daily newspaper owned by the Italian bishops' conference published a series of columns criticizing the prime minister for his pursuit of young women, a rival newspaper owned by Berlusconi's media empire retaliated with a report that the editor of the Church newspaper was an active homosexual.

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