Full Text and Analysis of Benedict XVI’s ‘The Church and the Scandal of Sexual Abuse’

On Thursday, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI released an essay in which he shared his thoughts on the sex abuse crisis that the Church has faced in recent years and is still grappling with.

Relevant Radio® has offered extensive coverage of the abuse crisis, and with the release of this new document Patrick Madrid dedicated all three hours of The Patrick Madrid Show to this new essay by the Pope Emeritus.

Patrick told listeners, “If you listen to this program you’ve been kept up to date on the news about the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. It has enveloped the Catholic Church. Beginning in the early 2000s is when really the scope and magnitude of this crisis began to emerge into the public’s consciousness. And people began to be aware that there seems to be a pandemic of sexual abuse of minors, and young adults, and other people as well among priests and bishops.”

“As we later found out, this kind of thing didn’t just happen,” he continued. “It didn’t just come out of nowhere. There were things that led up to it. And I don’t think many people, even today, are fully aware of what the factors were, some of the historical context that goes into understanding the horror of the scandals in the Catholic Church. They didn’t just happen out of nowhere. But, you know, somebody who does understand this, because he was there seeing as a witness to what unraveled for all these many years, is the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.”

The Pope Emeritus’ essay is broken down into three parts. The first presents the wider historical context, the effects of the sexual revolution, and how they impacted various aspects of the Church. The second part points out the particular effects these social disruptions had on the formation of priests and the lives of priests. And the third part offers some perspectives on how the Church can properly respond.

Read the full text of the document, courtesy of Catholic News Agency, here.

And listen to Patrick Madrid’s in-depth analysis of the document from The Patrick Madrid Show:

Hour 1

Hour 2

Hour 3

Stay tuned to Relevant Radio for ongoing analysis and reactions to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s new essay.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us.

Stephanie Foley serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she studied journalism, and she has worked in Catholic radio for 12 years. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee. You can find more of Stephanie’s writing at relevantradio.com and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.