BBC News:- Retired Pope Benedict XVI has published a letter which blames clerical sex abuse on the “all-out sexual freedom” of the 1960s.
He said that cultural and historical change had led to a “dissolution” of morality in Catholicism.
The sexual revolution in the 1960s had led to homosexuality and paedophilia in Catholic establishments, he claimed.
The letter sparked fierce criticism from theologians who claim it is “deeply flawed”.
Vatican expert Joshua McElwee said in the National Catholic Reporter: “It does not address structural issues that abetted abuse cover-up, or Benedict’s own contested 24-year role as head of the Vatican’s powerful doctrinal office.”
Some allegations of child sex abuse by priests that have emerged date back to decades before the 1960s, the decade that Pope Benedict claims sparked the abuse crisis.
Julie Rubio, a Catholic theologian, said in a tweet that the letter was “profoundly troubling”.
It is rare for Pope Benedict, who in 2013 was the first to resign in almost 600 years , to intervene in clerical matters. He had been accused of failing to protect children and suppressing investigations, allegations he denied.
The only solution to the problem, the former Pope said, was “obedience and love for our Lord Jesus Christ”.
His analysis of the sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church takes a more theological and historical approach than Pope Francis.