"These Efforts Have Failed"
The Vatican on Saturday denounced what it called aggressive attempts to drag Pope Benedict XVI into the spreading scandals of pedophile priests in his German homeland, and contended he has long confronted abuse cases with courage.For more, a full transcript of the Scicluna interview has been posted by Vatican Radio, and CNS carries the text of Lombardi's rebuttal, titled "A clear route through stormy waters."
In separate interviews, both the Holy See's spokesman and its prosecutor for sex abuse of minors by clergy sought to defend the pope....
"It's rather clear that in the last days, there have been those who have tried, with a certain aggressive persistence, in Regensburg and Munich, to look for elements to personally involve the Holy Father in the matter of abuses," Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi told Vatican Radio.
"For any objective observer, it's clear that these efforts have failed," Lombardi said, reiterating his statement a day earlier noting the Munich diocese has insisted that Benedict wasn't involved in the decision, while archbishop there, to transfer the suspected child abuser.
Lombardi cited an interview with the Italian bishops conference daily Avvenire Saturday, in which the Vatican's prosecutor for sex abuse cases, Monsignor Charles Scicluna, contended that the future pope dealt firmly with the abuse.
"To accuse the current pope of hiding (cases) is false and defamatory," Scicluna said.
As Vatican cardinal in charge of the policy on sex abuse, the future pope, "showed wisdom and firmness in handling these cases," said Scicluna, a Maltese prelate in an interview entitled "The Church is tough on pedophilia."