Former Pope blames church's sexual abuse on the sexual revolution of the '60s
Former Pope Benedict XVI has blamed the church's sexual abuse of minors and women on the sexual revolution of the 1960s.
The ex-Pope said that "all out sexual freedom" is responsible for both clerical abuse and homosexuality.
In a 5,500 word letter published today, the retired pontiff said that the '60s represented a time where "previously normative standards regarding sexuality collapsed entirely" and claimed that "the clothing of the time" as well as nudity and sexual films led to "violence" and "mental collapse."
The ex-Pope also said that the only solution was "obedience and love for our Lord Jesus Christ."
The letter has been met with much criticism from Catholic theologians who have called its contents "deeply flawed" and "profoundly troubling."
Julie Rubio tweeted the text of the letter today, saying:
"#Benedict XVI’s letter in #clergysexualabuse is deeply flawed. The analysis of postconciliar developments in moral theology, ecclesiology, sexual ethics is profoundly troubling."
Vatican expert Joshua McElwee also criticised the letter for avoiding issues integral to the volume of clerical abuse over the years, much of which occurred prior to the 1960s.
"It does not address structural issues that abetted abuse cover-up, or Benedict's own contested 24-year role as head of the Vatican's powerful doctrinal office," he wrote in the National Catholic Reporter.
The former Pope concluded his letter by saying that child abuse happened within the church because of a lack of faith.
"Why did paedophilia reach such proportions?" he wrote. "Ultimately, the reason is the absence of God."
You can read the letter in full here.