Saying Pope Benedict XVI has been “unjustly attacked,” the head of the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need has called for this Sunday, the Feast of the Chair of Peter, to be a day of fervent prayer for the Holy Father.
“Pope Benedict XVI has been unjustly attacked. There has been a resurgence of the unsavoury and aggressive attitudes that many thought belonged to the past,” Fr. Joaquín Alliende, International President of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) said on Friday.
Referring to “serious errors” in “certain bodies within the Holy See,”Fr. Alliende’s statement claimed “these acknowledged mistakes have been seized upon to launch an astonishing avalanche of attacks.”
“The dignity of the papacy and the person of Benedict XVI himself have been crudely insulted. Many people have manipulated the facts, while others have frivolously abandoned the important fundamentals of our humanist tradition.
“This unworthy dealing with the truth does grave damage to the dialogue between civil society and the great religions. It is a sign of cultural degeneration.”
Fr. Alliende warned that “old sectarian emotions” are being revived and that there has been an attempt to undermine “an irreprochable moral figure, one of the great beacons of hope for coming generations.”
Despite these “strident attacks,” Fr. Alliende said Pope Benedict’s personality “emerges untouched” as a figure who “incarnates rationality, lucid wisdom and courteous kindness.”
Fr. Alliende invited “all those who believe in a God of truth and love to join us in a day of special prayer.”
“Let us pray that the Holy Spirit may enlighten and strengthen Pope Benedict XVI as a prophetic witness of the Gospel of Jesus and a guide for a humanity that longs for peace.”