Vatican blasts media over reporting of scandals
In a weekend that saw the Pope talk of his need to immerse himself in prayer and meditation, the Vatican took the media to task for scandal mongering.
Pope Benedict XVI explained his decision to step down as he delivered his final public prayer ceremony Sunday, the day after the Vatican secretariat of state strongly denounced "unverified, unverifiable, or completely false news stories" linking the pontiff's resignation to scandals in the Roman Catholic Church.
"The Lord is calling me to go on top of the hill, to dedicate myself once more to prayer and meditation," the pope said, addressing thousands at St. Peter's Square in Vatican City on Sunday. "But this does not mean to abandon the church," he was quoted by media as saying.
Earlier this month, Benedict announced he was resigning, saying, "Strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me."
However, a rumor that went viral online claimed that Benedict resigned because of legal action being taken against him over his alleged involvement in the Church's priest sex abuse scandal. Italian news reports also sought to attribute the pope's stepping down to a conspiracy theory.
The Vatican secretariat of state responded Saturday to such reports in a strongly worded statement, saying sections of the media were trying to put pressure of public opinion on the election of a new pope.
"Through the course of the centuries, Cardinals have faced many forms of pressure," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said, reading out the statement to reporters. "If in the past, the so-called powers (i.e. states) exerted pressures on the election of the Pope, today there is an attempt to do this through public opinion that is often based on judgments that do not typically capture the spiritual aspect of the moment that the church is living," he said.
Source: Christian Post
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