Protesters outside the principal Catholic church in Britain today called for the Pope's resignation over the Church's sex abuse. They carried placards saying, Sex Abuse Cover Up - Pope Must Resign' , 'Pope Protects Paedophile Priests. Demonstrators confronted the congregation of Catholics, as they left Westminster Cathedral. They claim that Pope Benedict XVI was involved in hiding priests accused of child rape and sex abuse from prosecution.
Many object to the pontiff's planned state visit to Britain in September, while Catholics fear he will be shot or assassinated because of the depth of the anger. Human rights activist Peter Tatchell was among the demonstrators. He said that the Pope 'bears personal responsibility for the cover up'.
Catholics now fear many people will protest when the Pope arrives for a state visit in September. The Archbishop of Westminster, yesterday said in a defiant response: 'The Pope won't resign".
The Pontiff's Sunday address today was the beginning of Holy Week, the Roman Catholic's Church's special seven days which culminate with Easter Sunday. In preaching today, he spoke of how man can sometimes 'fall to the lowest, vulgar levels' and 'sink into the swamp of sin and dishonesty', which people say is a bit rich coming from someone involved in cover up of child rape.
In the last few days the Pope has himself been accused in the scandals, with claims that he knew about Father Lawrence Murphy, an American paedophile priest, along with a German, Father Peter Hullerman. Both cases the Vatican has denied cover ups, despite considerable evidence against the Pontiff. The Vatican's official newspaper L'Osservatore Romano says, the abuse allegations were part of an 'ignoble attempt to strike at Pope Benedict XVI and his closest collaborators at any cost'.