"Dear friends, the priest is a gift from the heart of Christ, a gift for the church and the world," Benedict told faithful in St. Peter's Square."
"If we look at history, we can observe how many pages of authentic spiritual and social renewal have been written with the decisive contribution of Catholic priests, inspired only by passion for the Gospel and for man, for his true religious and civil freedom," he said. [AMEN!]
The pope's comments didn't mention the international scandal involving pedophile Catholic priests or the mishandling of that abuse by bishops and even Vatican officials. [ho-hum...]
Two days earlier, in a ceremony in the square capping three days of pro-priest rallies and prayers, Benedict acknowledged the scandal by begging forgiveness from victims of sexual abuse by priests and made a symbolic pledge to do everything possible to protect children.
In his remarks Sunday from his studio window overlooking the square, Benedict cited Polish priest Jerzy Popieluszko, who was beatified in Warsaw on June 6 as a martyr during the Communist crackdown on the Solidarity freedom movement in Poland the 1980s.
Popieluszko, who was tortured and killed in 1984 by Polish secret police for championing Solidarity, "carried out his generous and courageous ministry next to all those committed to freedom, to the defense of life and its dignity," Benedict said.
Much of the momentum to rid the church of pedophile priests and bring them and those covering up for them to justice has come from faithful in the U.S. and Irish churches.
On Sunday, Benedict asked the faithful to "remember all priests in our prayers" and pray that God "keep them in his grace as faithful friends and ministers."
He also urged Catholics to support their pastors with "wise advice." [Wow! Huge words! Priests and bishops should remember that they are not the only ones giving out advice nor the only ones who should do the talking. Most of the time, priests must learn to stop, look and listen. Too much of the outside world, leaves the inner world too devoid of meaning and purpose.]
You know how the secular media headlined this news?
Pope praises priests, despite scandal.
So? The pope cannot praise priests because of the scandal? So is the majority of priests are sexual abusers?If you go over to the Yahoo news page and read the comments on this particular news, you'll notice that thye anti-Catholic bashers are having a party.
If the Western media and anti-Catholics are really soooo into the protection of women, children and victims iof sexual abuse, tell me, where in the world are the news reports about sexual abusers in families, homes and even in other religious denominations?
Now there's journalistic objectivity for you folks!