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Ratzinger attributes sex abuse crisis to "weakness of faith"

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has said that clergy sex abuse is the result of a "weakness of faith" that can only be overcome by "clear moral teaching".

The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made the remarks during the recording of an interview for broadcast on the US-based Eternal Word Television Network on 5 September.

Asked what he identifies as the root cause of the sexual abuse crisis, he said: "The general element is a weakness of human beings, even of priests. Temptations are present also for the priests. I think the essential point is a weakness of faith."

"So, two things are essential: Conversion to a profound and deep faith, with a life of prayer and sacraments, and clear moral teaching and awareness of the teaching that the Church has the Holy Spirit and can give us the way," the cardinal said.

He also touched on gay marriage, expressing his hope for a "sincere and open dialogue" in order to impress upon people the Church's view and "man and woman are created one for the other".


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26 Aug 2003