“But it’s not Christ’s fault if Judas betrayed” him, Sodano said. “It’s not a bishop’s fault if one of his priests is stained by grave wrongdoing. And certainly the pontiff is not responsible.”
“Behind the unjust attacks on the pope are visions of the family and of life that run contrary to the Gospel,” Sodano said. “Now the accusation of pedophile is being brandished against the church.”
Also rallying to Benedict’s side was Italian Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, who heads the Vatican City State’s governing apparatus.
The pope “has done all that he could have” against sex abuse by clergy of minors, Lajolo said on Vatican radio, decrying what he described as a campaign of “hatred against the Catholic church.”
“The pope defends life and the family, based on marriage between a man and a woman, in a world in which powerful lobbies would like to impose a completely different” agenda, Spanish Cardinal Julian Herranz, head of the disciplinary commission for Holy See officials, said on the radio.
Pope Benedict has a unique opportunity to explain the actions and inactions of Rome over the past thirty years. What happened in the case of the Fr. Hullermann? Why did the CDF take so long to respond to local bishops who sought to laicize abuser priests for the grave canonical crime of solicitation during confession? How has the internal culture of the church changed with respect to abusive priests and bishops? Those questions aren’t going away, no matter how many conspiracy theories bishops throw at them. And with every spasm of defensiveness shown by curial officials and other bishops, it becomes more difficult for the pope to answer.