Arrest the Pope? I rather think we should
From The Times of London.
April 12, 2010
Pope faces growing hostility on visit to Malta
Josephine McKenna, Rome
Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI’s planned two-day trip to Malta this week is set to be overshadowed by the paedophile scandal enveloping the Catholic Church, with victims of abuse on the island demanding that he meet them and apologise.

A papal visit to the staunchly Catholic nation would normally be one of the easier official journeys for a pontiff, but revelations surrounding the scale of the abuse committed by the clergy have stunned and angered the nation. According to the diocesan authorities in Malta, 45 of its 850 priests have been accused of abuse and the Maltese Catholic Church is conducting investigations into several sex abuse claims.

Demands for a public apology by the Pope are being led by Lawrence Grech, who said that he was regularly abused by priests and who is holding a media conference today with nine other alleged victims. “He should recognise that these things happened in Malta, reflect about the victims’ suffering and issue a formal apology,” he said.

“We want to meet the Pope and we want an apology,” added Mr Grech, now 37 and a father of two. He said that he was abused by two priests and a lay Christian Brother at St Joseph’s, a Catholic orphanage in Santa Venera, between 1984 and 1987. He has begun legal action against the clergymen involved. He also claimed that a fourth man has since transferred to Rome without penalty.

“The priest used to come to my room at 6.30am and go to preach at the church at 7am,” Mr Grech said. He wrote to the Vatican a month ago demanding an apology, but has so far has received no response.

Another man Joseph Magro, 38, claimed yesterday that he too had been abused by a priest at the same home when he was between 16 and 18. “I can never forget,” he said. “I want justice.”

No one was available to comment from the Maltese Catholic Church on the claims on Sunday.

At the weekend large billboards promoting the papal visit to Malta on April 17-18 were defaced by vandals who added a Hitler moustache to the Pope’s photograph and scrawled the word paedophile next to his image.

The papal visit is the first foreign trip that the Pope has made since fresh sex allegations in the Catholic Church emerged across Europe and the US, raising questions about his personal response to abusers both as Archbishop of Munich, and later as the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Pope, who will have been pontiff for five years next Monday, is due to visit Britain in September. Leading atheists are considering taking legal action against him when he arrives, alleging that he conspired to cover-up paedophilia committed by some priets to protect the reputation of the church.

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Re: Arrest the Pope? I rather think we should - by ggreg - 04-12-2010, 11:27 AM

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