Thousands In St. Peter's Square Rally For Pope
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
NPR's Sylvia Poggioli has more on this story from Rome.
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SYLVIA POGGIOLI: Thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square, Sunday, to express solidarity with the pope. Benedict was visibly moved by the show of support, but he reiterated his newly stated position - the sex abuse scandal was born from sins within the church, not from external attacks.
POGGIOLI: (Foreign language spoken)
POGGIOLI: The real enemy to fear and to fight is sin, he said, which sometimes unfortunately affects even members of the church. We live in the world but we are not of the world, Benedict added, even if we must guard against its temptations.
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POGGIOLI: Yet Carlo Santoro(ph), a member of a lay Catholic group, says the media exploited the sex scandals.
MONTAGNE: We want to support the pope because the church, in this moment, needs the solidarity, needs unity. The media, they played a bad role because they like to make noise, make rumors. They try to find every way to attack the pope and the church. These cases were used just to accuse the church. This is not right. It's not correct.
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POGGIOLI: But not all Italian Catholics approve the church's handling of the crisis. In this small church in a Tuscan fishing village, Irina Carwana(ph), mother of two, is furious about pedophile priests protected by their superiors.
MONTAGNE: (Through Translator) They certainly should have been punished, not moved from parish to parish. It's disgusting. They should all be rounded up and strung up.
POGGIOLI: Analysts see the pope's shift away from blaming the media as a turning point in the Vatican's perception of the crisis. Veteran Vatican watcher Marco Politi says it's now up to the Holy See to make public cases of pedophile priests that have long been kept secret.
MONTAGNE: And specially to open its archives of the year '80s and '90s, in order to show clearly what has been made, what has not been made, and how many files are still without an answer.
POGGIOLI: Sylvia Poggioli, NPR News, Rome.
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