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A prominent German cardinal has accused critics of Pope Francis of exploiting the clerical sex abuse crisis in order to oust him from the papacy.
“There are people who just do not like this pontificate, and they want it to end as soon as possible and to then have a new conclave,” said Cardinal Walter Kasper, a close ally of Pope Francis, in an interview on German television last week.
Kasper - President - Pontifical - Council - Unity
Kasper, the former president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, has been referred to as “the pope’s theologian” for the place of prominence accorded him during the Francis pontificate.
In February 2014, the pope invited Cardinal Kasper to deliver the opening address to his brother cardinals who were gathered in Rome for a special “consistory” to discuss Church practice regarding families. At that time, Kasper suggested the possibility of the divorced and remarried being readmitted to Holy Communion.
Remarks - Report - München - Program - Cardinal
In his remarks on the “Report München” program, the cardinal said that the pope’s adversaries are attempting to turn the discussion on the abuse issue “into a discussion about Pope Francis,” which he termed “an abuse of abuse.”
This strategy is “inappropriate,” he said, and “diverts attention from the real problem.”
Debate - Indictment - Francis - Pontificate - Matters
Turning the debate into an indictment of the Francis pontificate “is distracting us” from more important matters, such as developing better “means of prevention” for protecting minors from abuse, he said.
The pope’s popularity in Germany has plummeted by 20 percentage points in the last year and although some have attributed this decline to Francis’ political positions on questions such as immigration, his handling of the clerical sex abuse crisis has undoubtedly been a factor as well.
Francis - Fire - Year - Chilean - Bishop
Francis came under heavy fire a year ago for defending Chilean Bishop Juan Barros, who was accused of homosexual abuse as well as covering up for other abusers. After a...
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