A senior Vatican cardinal used yesterday’s Easter Mass to say the Catholic Church should not be distracted by “petty gossip” about child sex-abuse allegations.
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, broke with tradition to launch a staunch rebuttal of the Pope’s critics.
In the Easter Sunday Mass which preceded the Pope’s Urbi et Orbi message, Cardinal Sodano told the pontiff: “The people of God are with you and do not allow themselves to be impressed by the petty gossip of the moment.”
The heads of the Catholic churches in England, Wales and Ireland all used their addresses to acknowledge the failure to properly address the scandal.
And protestors briefly interrupted Easter Sunday Mass at Dublin’s Pro Cathedral, placing children’s shoes at the altar to represent the victims of clerical sex abuse.
However, the Pope himself avoided any reference to the scandals during his Easter address, instead taking the opportunity to call for mankind to undergo a “spiritual and moral conversion”...
...Cardinal Sodano’s rebuttal of the Pope's critics in the Easter Mass was highly unusual, and considered a measure of how seriously the Vatican is taking the paedophile priest scandals that have hit the Church in Ireland, the US, Germany and several other countries.
Afterwards Benedict XVI told thousands of faithful in St Peter’s Square that humanity needed to emerge from “a profound crisis”, as he called for an end to conflicts in Africa and the Middle East and expressed fears for Christians living in Pakistan and Iraq.
Earlier, the crowds cheered when the Cardinal, a former secretary of state at the Vatican, described the Pope as a “solid rock” on which the Church rests...