Pope Benedict XVI kept quiet on paedophile priest scandals rocking the Roman Catholic Church during his Easter mass Sunday as Christians across the world marked the resurrection of Christ.
While condemning persecution and lamenting the “suffering” of Christian minorities in Iraq and Pakistan, Benedict failed to mention any abuse by the Church’s priests.
Rallying around the embattled head of the Roman Catholic Church in a rain-drenched St Peter’s Square, the dean of the College of Cardinals told the pope in an unusual greeting: “The people of God are with you and do not allow themselves to be impressed by the idle chatter of the moment.”
Cardinal Angelo Sodano was reprising the same phrase the pope used a week ago when he urged Christians “not be intimidated by the idle chatter of prevailing opinions”.
It was Benedict, then known as Cardinal Ratzinger, who “as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, encouraged bishops to take action against paedophilia by systematically informing Rome of such cases,” he told Le Parisien newspaper. However the top bishops in Belgium and Germany issued condemnations of the Church’s role in covering up for predator priests.