German cardinal angers Twitter by blaming homosexuality for sexual abuse in Catholic Church
Sex abuse in the Catholic Church has recently become a burning issue, casting a shadow on the Church’s reputation in light of numerous scandals regarding harassment and rape. However, Cardinal Walter Brandmueller believes the public outrage over the issue is “quite hypocritical” as the abuse is not some institutional problem but a mere indication of a malady that has gripped modern society as a whole.
“What has happened in the Church in terms of abuse is nothing short of what has been happening to the society as a whole,” Brandmueller told German dpa news agency. He then designated growing sexualization as the root cause of the problem and said that the real scandal consists in the fact that the Church failed to distinguish itself from the rest of society.
Doubling down, the cleric said: “It would be no less divorced from reality to forget or even to conceal that 80 percent of abuse cases within the Church ranks affected male youths and not children.”
He also alleged that it is “statistically proven” that there is a “link” between homosexuality and abuse while providing no specific data on the issue.
His words, however, did not sit well with many people on social media, as his interview provoked a wave of angry comments on Twitter. Some, including regional MP Christian Flisek, said the prelate must be living “in his own world” or in a “bubble” to say something like that.
Der katholische #Kardinal Walter #Brandmüller kritisiert die Empörung über die #Missbrauchsskandale seiner #Kirche. Er sieht nicht die Institution Kirche, sondern #Homosexualität als Problem.— Leono Liber (@Leono_Liber) January 4, 2019
O! m! G! Der alte Mann lebt in seiner eigenen Welt.
https://t.co/cEXZJDRk9k via @welt
Wer glaubt, dass es „Blasen“ erst seit dem Internet gibt, der kann an diesem älteren Herren lernen , dass man sein ganzes Leben in der „Blase Kirche“ verbringen kann, ohne wahrscheinlich selbst auch nur einen Internetanschluss zu haben! #Armutszeugnishttps://t.co/nG3FQugyZL— Christian Flisek (@ChristianFlisek) January 4, 2019
Others fired back at Brandmueller, saying the “relativization” of sex abuse in the Catholic Church is “just completely wrong,” and blaming the problem on homosexuality is “tasteless.” Terms like “unappealing” and “misguided” were also used in the comments.
Ich bin entsetzt über solche Aussagen des Kardinal #Brandmüller.— Tim (@Tim_SPD) January 4, 2019
So eine Relativierung zu den #Missbrauchsfällen in der Katholischen #Kirche, geht gar nicht.
Das dann aber auch noch abwertend auf die #Homosexualität zu reflektieren ist geschmackslos.https://t.co/SSOI60ReEa
Walter Brandmüller: „Was in der #Kirche an #Missbrauch passiert ist, ist nichts anderes, als was in der Gesellschaft überhaupt geschieht.“ Wow! Wie uneinsichtig und fehlgeleitet führende #Katholiken sein können: https://t.co/1jVInDVLyn via @welt— Johannes Zenner (@JoZenner) January 4, 2019
Some also accused Brandmueller of attempting to downplay the issue of abuse and shift the focus away from the Catholic Church in general. “What a shameful way for the Catholic Church to relativize guilt and defame homosexuals. Very poor!” Ulf Poschardt, a journalist at Die Welt, tweeted.
Was für eine beschämende art der katholischen Kirche, Schuld zu relativieren und homosexuelle zu diffamieren. Ganz arm! 🏳️🌈🏳️🌈🏳️🌈 Kardinal sieht „Zusammenhang zwischen Missbrauch und Homosexualität“ via @welthttps://t.co/ithrL4OOlw— Ulf Poschardt (@ulfposh) January 4, 2019
The cardinal’s comments came as the Catholic Church still struggles to combat sex abuse in its ranks. Last December, Pope Francis directly called on abusive priests to turn themselves in, adding that they should prepare for “divine justice.”Also on rt.com Prepare for ‘divine justice’: Pope Francis calls on abusive priests to hand themselves in
In 2018, the Catholic Church was plagued by various scandals, from the US to Europe.
In Germany, a leaked study revealed that more than 3,600 people were abused by Catholic clergy over more than 50 years. The explosive report also blamed practices such as celibacy or the far-reaching clerical power of individual clergymen for exacerbating the problem.
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