Pope: ‘The Greatest Persecution of the Church Doesn’t Come From Enemies on the Outside But Is Born From the Sins Within the Church’

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Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

After spending the past few weeks attacking the New York Times, comparing their current persecution to the ravages of anti-Semitism, and arguing that "conformity can really be a true dictatorship," the Vatican has finally turned the blame for their recent troubles inward. Speaking on the way to Portugal, Pope Benedict XVI called for a deep purification of the Church and repudiated the Vatican's original defiant responses to the current scrutiny. "The greatest persecution of the church doesn't come from enemies on the outside but is born from the sins within the church," Benedict said from his plane as he flew to Lisbon. "The church needs to profoundly relearn penitence, accept purification, learn forgiveness but also justice." The Pope has already accepted the resignations of a few bishops who either admitted to child abuse or covered for priests who practiced it, and more resignations are expected.

Pope blames church's own sins for sex scandal [AP]