Former Pope Blames Sex Abuse Crisis On The ‘Sexual Revolution’

Pope Benedict XVI performing a blessing during the canonization mass in St. Peter's Square in Rome, Italy on Sunday October 12, 2008.Rvin88 / CC-BY-3.0 / Flickr

The 1960s sexual revolution, he wrote, led to "homosexual cliques" among priests and made pedophilia more acceptable.

In a letter released on Wednesday, former Pope Benedict XVI wrote that the "all-out sexual freedom" during the 1960s is responsible for ongoing sexual abuse scandals within the Catholic Church, The Hill reports.

The former pope, who resigned in 2013, argued that sexual liberation of the latter half of the 20th century has led to a wider acceptance of pedophilia in a column translated for the National Catholic Register.

“The question of pedophilia...did not become acute until the second half of the 1980s," Benedict wrote, and came as a result of "the absence of God.”

“Part of the physiognomy of the Revolution of ’68 was that pedophilia was then also diagnosed as allowed and appropriate," he continued.

Benedict, whose 92nd birthday is next week, went on to claim that during the sexual revolution, Catholic theology experienced a “collapse that rendered the Church defenseless against these changes in society.” He wrote that the Second Vatican Council was to blame because it reformed Catholic theology with a "far-reaching breakdown" of preisthood tradition that led to the creation of "homosexual cliques" in seminaries.

Several theologians lambasted Benedict, who led the Vatican from 1982 to 2005—the time in which The Boston Globe first reported major cases of sexual abuse within the clergy during the early 2000s—after his comments were published.

Virginia's Marymount University theology professor Brian Flanagan tweeted that the essay was "embarrassing."

“The idea that ecclesial abuse of children was a result of the 1960s, a supposed collapse of moral theology, and ‘conciliarity’ is an embarrassingly wrong explanation for the systemic abuse of children and its coverup,” he wrote.

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