Pope: Don’t Judge Church’s Past Coverups by Today’s Standards

Pope Francis addressed the ongoing sexual abuse scandals within the Catholic Church on Tuesday, defending the church’s multiple cover-ups of child abuse scandals as the way things were done in “old times.”

“In old times these things were covered up,” he said to a group of young people in Estonia. “They were covered up also in the homes when the uncle raped the little niece, or the father raped his children. They were covered up because the shame was very big.

“It is how people thought in the last century. There is a principal that helps me a lot to interpret history. An historic event must be interpreted with the hermeneutics of that time, not with the hermeneutics of today.”