Pope ignores German abuse cases  
The Pope Saturday issued a letter to the church in Ireland, acknowledging failures of Irish clerics in handling priest sex abuse cases.

But in Ratzinger's own fatherland there were expressions of disappointment that the letter made no reference to the German sex abuse issues, which have riveted media attention since January.

“Pope says nothing about German abuse cases,” the popular Bild daily headlined on its Web site. “Pope silent on abuse in Germany,” the weekly Der Spiegel's Web site headline read.

In an entry this morning on NCR Today Thomas C. Fox, on assignment in Munich during the crisis, reports that Germans are particularly discouraged and even insulted by the lack of leadership in this crisis coming from Rome.

“I found it outrageous that none of the events in Germany got any mention in the letter,” said Brigitte Beierlein, a 63-year-old teacher. “For me the time has come to take personal responsibility and quit the church. I am going to finish my membership, even though I will leave with regrets.”

The NCR report goes on to mention the infamous "secret letter" Ratzinger sent to bishops worldwide in 2001:

"For some German Catholic church observers, the papal letter (to Ireland) offered a test of whether the Vatican can stem a widening crisis that has shaken the authority of the church and has challenged the Vatican to end a secretive culture.

"While a cardinal at the Vatican, Ratzinger wrote a 2001 letter instructing bishops worldwide to report all cases of abuse to his office and keep church investigations secret under threat of excommunication."

Read the entire report on the NCR Today news blog.

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