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Pope Benedict Breaks 6-Year Silence To Comment On Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal

Two popes speaking simultaneously on the most divisive issue facing the church is remarkable. Benedict's letter may well raise concerns that the Vatican can no longer speak with a single voice.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI arrives at St Peter's basilica in 2015. Benedict has stayed largely silent on the church's sex abuse scandal for the past six years. Source: Vincenzo Pinto

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has broken six years of relative silence with the release of an outspoken letter on the clergy sex abuse scandal. Benedict's analysis differs significantly from that of his successor, Pope Francis, and thus leaves the world's Catholics with contrasting papal perspectives on the greatest crisis facing Roman Catholicism today.

In his 6,000-word essay, published Thursday in the, with by the Catholic News Agency, Benedict blames the epidemic of clergy sex abuse largely on a collapse of moral standards in the 1960s and the subsequent failure of Catholic leaders to uphold traditional church teaching.

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