The Pope Travels Home: Protest groups expect around 20,000 people to demonstrate

Abuse scandal, rows blight pope’s image

September 19 2011 at 12:05pm
By Richard Carter

Pope Benedict XVI’s election sparked joy in Germany, but the Church’s reaction to a sex abuse scandal and a series of controversies have dented his image ahead of his first state trip home.

“Wir Sind Papst” (“We are pope”) crowed Germany’s top-selling Bild daily in a famous front-page when Benedict was elected in 2005, encapsulating a nation’s pride in the first German-born pontiff for more than 500 years.

“It’s the sensation of the century,” the influential paper wrote, as the German Church noted the significance of a countryman elected to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics 60 years after the capitulation of Nazi Germany.

But that was six years ago.

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