Pope Speaks of Failures of Catholic Clergy

By Damian Robin
Damian Robin
Damian Robin
September 17, 2010 Updated: September 17, 2010

[ Pope Visits Britain for Second Time Ever – NTDTV ]

Pope Benedict XVI has expressed "shock" and "great sadness" over failures of the Catholic clergy centering around the issue of child abuse. The Pope shared his thoughts during a media call on his plane on Sept. 16, prior to the start of his official four day visit to the UK.

“These revelations were a shock to me. A great sadness," he said. "It is difficult for me to understand how this perversion of the priestly ministry was possible."

"It is also a great sadness that the authorities of the church were not sufficiently vigilant, and insufficiently quick and decisive in taking the necessary measures," he added.

After arriving yesterday in Edinburgh, Scotland, Pope Benedict met the Queen, head of the Church of England, before giving a mass in front of 65,000 in Glasgow.

The Pope insisted that now is "a time of penance, a time of humility, to renew and relearn in absolute sincerity."

His announcement is unlikely to pacify victims of child abuse by Catholic clerics who have expressed their own sorrow over the years and also in several press conferences in London in the days approaching the pontiff’s visit.

"There are millions of people in this country who have suffered child abuse in the past and there are very few resources to support them," Peter Saunders, Chief Executive of The National Association for People Abused in Childhood told NTDTV.

"It's time that institutions like the church got their finger out and gave us the resources."

This is the first official state visit to England by a leader of the Roman Catholic Church since King Henry VIII divorced Catherine of Aragon in the 16th century. Pope John Paul II came to England in 1982 on a "pastoral" visit to his congregation.

Damian Robin
Damian Robin