Pope Benedict XVI issued his strongest condemnation yet Thursday about the Catholic Church’s role in the worldwide priest pedophilia scandal during a historic but controversial state visit to Britain.
During a flight to Edinburgh, Scotland, the Pope told journalists on board his plane that the church “has not been vigilant enough” on the cases of priests who had abused children, according to Agence France Presse.
The revelations of child abuse that have shaken the church “were a shock to me," he said shortly before landing in Edinburgh, adding that it is difficult to fathom how such actions could even be possible.
Newsmax’s Vatican correspondent, Edward Pentin, who is with the Pope during his visit to Great Britain, said that, despite the controversy about the church’s handling of the child sex abuse scandal, “so far at least there have been no signs or very few signs of protests or any serious antagonism about the visit.
“There have been a few minor protests. Some Americans came over to protest about the poor handling of the child sex abuse crisis, but there have been no serious threats made against the Pope.”
Asked how effective the Pope might be at mending fences with critics regarding the scandal, Pentin told Newsmax.TV: “He is very willing to listen to the dialogue, and he is very good at building bridges. It’s one of his priorities.”
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