Church was slow to react to child abuse… but look at those atheists, eh! Nazis.
Pope Benedict XVI has begun his state visit to the UK with an admission that the Catholic church was too slow to tackle paedophilia by priests, and an attack on “aggressive secularism” and “atheist extremism”.
Speaking to invited guests after his first meeting, with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, the pope wasted no time in appealing for a role for religion in society, while laying into what he termed “the more aggressive forms of secularism”. And in what appeared to be a swipe at some of his most vociferous critics, he linked “atheist extremism” to the Nazism that Britain had fought in the second world war.
On the flight from Rome, the pope used his strongest language to date on the church’s involvement in sex abuse, saying he deplored its failure to act swiftly and decisively in the past and that the Catholic church was “at a moment of penitence” over its record on clerical sex abuse.
The papal flight touched down at Edinburgh airport just after 10.15am, where the pope was met by Prince Philip.
The pope told reporters on board the plane that paedophilia was an “illness” whose sufferers had lost their free will.