Tuesday 20 February 2018

John Cooney: Unholy ghosts of clerical sex abuse stalk Pope's homeland

John Cooney

POPE Benedict has been calling on the Holy Spirit to guide the Irish bishops out of the nightmarish cycle of child clerical sexual abuse scandals -- the scandals that have shattered their moral authority and brought them to Rome in search of healing and renewal at the two-day special summit that ends this afternoon.

But lodged in the Bavarian Pope's mind is the even more horrendous prospect of his having to confront an unholy ghost, in the guise of clerical paedophilia, that for decades has blighted generations of school children in his native Germany.

Indeed, some commentators here are suggesting the time and energy being devoted by the 83-year-old Pope to resolve 'the Irish problem' is a trial-run for an ever bigger crisis: daily he hears more tragic revelations from the land of his birth of a spiralling series of child sexual abuse atrocities.

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