Benedict defends abuse response in letter to mathematician

Benedict breaks silence

Emeritus Pope, Benedict XVI, has defended his own handling of allegations of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy in a letter to an atheist Italian mathematician, and politely criticised the logician's total reliance on scientific facts for meaning, reports CNS.



'I never sought to conceal these things,' Bendict XVI said of cases of clerical abuse, and lamented the scholar depicting the church as the only place where such 'deviation' and 'filth' occur.

The publication of the retired pope's comments yesterday to an atheist scholar came the same month a written letter by Pope Francis to an Italian journalist concerning dialogue with nonbelievers was published. Both letters were published, with the two popes' permission, by the Italian daily La Repubblica.

The paper released long excerpts of Pope Benedict's original 11-page response to Piergiorgio Odifreddi, a prolific science writer who authored the book, Dear Pope, I Write to You, in 2011. The book, presented as a letter to Pope Benedict, proposes the superiority of a worldview in which belief should stem only from things that can be understood and empirically known over worldviews that include belief in things that cannot be fully understood or known.

The Pope Emeritus' response, dated August 30, thanked Odifreddi for seeking to juxtapose his ideas against the Pope's own writings 'and, thus, with my faith.'

Benedict XVI, who has long engaged in dialogue with nonbelievers, most notably with his 'Courtyard of the Gentiles' initiative and his 2011 Assisi gathering, said he appreciated Odifreddi's efforts to engage in a frank and open dialogue with the Catholic faith.

FULL COVERAGE 

Benedict defends abuse response in letter to mathematician (CNS)

Pope Benedict breaks his silence (ABC)