In April 2010, in response to extensive negative publicity and criticism of the Pope, the Vatican entered what the Associated Press called “full damage control mode”.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
, the Vatican’s secretary of state, during a visit to Chile, linked the scandal to homosexuality.
In response to widespread criticism of that statement, Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi said Bertone’s statement went outside the remit of church authorities
while maintaining that “the statement was aimed at ‘clarifying’ Cardinal Bertone’s remarks and should not be seen as the Holy See ‘distancing’ itself from them.” He also noted that 10 per cent of the cases concerned paedophilia in the “strict sense” and the other 90 per cent concerned sex between priests and adolescents. Giovanni Maria Vian
, editor of L’Osservatore Romano
, the Vatican’s official newspaper, said the continuing criticism of Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican in handling the clerical sex abuse crisis is part of a media campaign to sell newspapers.
The Pope issued a statement that the “Church must do penance for abuse cases”.