Catholic cardinals Raymond Burke and Walter Brandmüller have said the “plague of the homosexual agenda” is to blame for the child sexual abuse scandals within the Catholic Church.

American cardinal Burke and German cardinal Brandmüller wrote an open letter saying the Church is wrong in blaming abuse of power for the Church’s problems, the BBC reported.

They say that the sexual abuse involved priests who have “gone away from the truth of the Gospel”, and that homosexuality has been “promoted by organized networks and protected by a climate of complicity and a conspiracy of silence.”

The two hyper-traditionalist, high-ranking cardinals are part of a contingent within the Church who believe softening the Church’s views on homosexuality is to blame for sexual abuse scandals.

“Sexual abuse is blamed on clericalism. But the first and primary fault of the clergy does not rest in the abuse of power but in having gone away from the truth of the Gospel.

“A decisive act now is urgent and necessary,” they said.

“The even public denial, by words and by acts, of the divine and natural law, is at the root of the evil that corrupts certain circles in the Church.”

The cardinals published their open letter as Rome prepares to play host to a summit of bishops called by Pope Francis to deal with the sexual abuse scandals in the Church.

The Vatican last week ‘defrocked’ former cardinal Theodore McCarrick after he was found guilty of a series of crimes including sexual abuse of children.

It’s not the first time Burke has made comments along these lines; in an interview in August 2018, the American cardinal said that the “very grave problem of a homosexual culture” is to blame for sexual abuse within the Church.

“Now it seems clear in light of these recent terrible scandals that indeed there is a homosexual culture, not only among the clergy but even within the hierarchy, which needs to be purified at the root.

“It is of course a tendency that is disordered,” Burke said.

Burke has also said that gays should be kept away from family gatherings where children are present.

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