April 5, 2010
Pope Benedict: church is in 'times of difficulty'
By QMI Agency
After more than a week of intense pressure, Pope Benedict XVI has observed the obvious.
As part of an Easter Monday prayer, the Roman Catholic leader acknowledged the church is in “times of difficulty.” While making no direct reference to sex abuse questions that have weighed heavy on the church, Benedict reminded priests of their responsibility.
He insisted they must be “messengers of victory over evil and death.” But how well is his own message resonating?
His prayer on Monday was delivered to the faithful gathered at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome. And every word was analyzed against the backdrop of the ongoing crisis.
Supporters have been quick to argue that while transparency is needed, many say media reports on pedophile revelation have gone too far.
Glen Argan wrote in a Monday editorial in the Western Catholic Reporter, based out of Edmonton, that is has “more than a whiff of a witch-hunt.” He added the problem with tossing around mud is some sticks in the crevices of the public mind.
Church leaders have tried to counter that. On Sunday, during Easter Mass in St. Peter’s Square, a prominent cardinal went against tradition by introducing Benedict with a vow that bishops and 400,000 priests around the world stand with him.
They were welcome words for many Catholics, but some devout followers still wonder whether the Pope shouldn’t take a more direct communications approach.
For almost 14 years, Roger Khouri has hosted a weekly, London, Ont.-based radio program called Splendor of the Catholic Church.
“I think most people are being consumed by news of the sex scandal, but not hearing what the Pope is saying,” Khouri, 37, told QMI Agency.
“The Pope hasn’t been speaking directly (about the crisis).” Khouri believes it may be time for the Pope, or at least his office, to answer the concerns more directly, pointing out: “I would say, more people would listen, if it came directly from him.”