"In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorised as something fully in conformity with man and even with children," the Pope said.
"It was maintained - even within the realm of Catholic theology - that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a 'better than' and a 'worse than'. Nothing is good or bad in itself."
But outraged Dublin victim Andrew Madden last night insisted that child abuse was not considered normal in the company he kept.
Mr Madden accused the Pope of not knowing that child pornography was the viewing of images of children being sexually abused, and should be named as such.
He said: "That is not normal. I don't know what company the Pope has been keeping for the past 50 years."
Angry abuse victims in America last night said that while some Church officials have blamed the liberalism of the 1960s for the Church's sex abuse scandals and cover-up catastrophes, Pope Benedict had come up with a new theory of blaming the 1970s.
"Catholics should be embarrassed to hear their Pope talk again and again about abuse while doing little or nothing to stop it and to mischaracterise this heinous crisis," said Barbara Blaine, the head of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,
"It is fundamentally disturbing to watch a brilliant man so conveniently misdiagnose a horrific scandal," she added.
"The Pope insists on talking about a vague 'broader context' he can't control, while ignoring the clear 'broader context' he can influence - the long-standing and unhealthy culture of a rigid, secretive, all-male Church hierarchy fixated on self-preservation at all costs. This is the 'context' that matters."