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Pope speaks of human weakness in sinful church

The pontiff described the “destructive power of evil” affecting the Church as the Vatican battles a series of scandals.

Pope Benedict after celebrating mass in St Peter's Basilica in Rome earlier today
Pope Benedict after celebrating mass in St Peter's Basilica in Rome earlier today
Image: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

POPE BENEDICT XVI has spoken of human weakness in a Church of sinners confronted with “the destructive power of evil”, as the Vatican battles a succession of scandals.

The pontiff was honouring 44 new archbishops from across the world in a traditional ceremony on the feast of Saint Peter, the first head of the Roman Catholic Church, and Saint Paul, who turned from persecuting Christianity to promoting the faith.

Referring to the papacy, he said it “constitutes the foundation of the Church during its pilgrimage through history (but) on the other hand, across the centuries, human weakness is also evident, which can only be transformed through openness to God’s action”.

“The Church is not a community of the perfect, but a community of sinners, obliged to recognise their need for God’s love, their need to be purified through the Cross of Jesus Christ,” he added.

After being mired in a succession of cases of child abuse by clerics, the Vatican is now reportedly locked in an internal power struggle, with whistleblowers publishing secret documents in an alleged bid to oust top official Tarcisio Bertone.

- © AFP, 2012

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