Did Vatican Letters Order Cover Up?
There is mounting evidence that the Vatican has been instructing Catholic Bishops throughout the world to cover up allegations of sexual abuse against priests.
Vatican Opposed Mandatory Reporting of Sexual Abuse
Recently a letter has surfaced from the Pope’s personal representative in Ireland. The letter from Father Luciano Storero, the Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland (essentially the Vatican’s ambassador to Ireland) was in response to a policy created by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Advisory Committee.
Irish Bishops had recommended that all charges of sexual abuse against a priest had to be reported to the civil authorities (the police). This recommendation was a concern to the Vatican:
In particular, the situation of ‘mandatory reporting’ gives rise to serious reservations of both a moral and a canonical nature.
The letter is dated January 31, 1997.
Hide Information from the Courts?
The second letter is perhaps even more disturbing since it implies that the Catholic church does not recognize the authority of the civilian courts in matters pertaining to sexual abuse by priests.
The letter dated January 31, 1994 said to be from Cardinal Silvio Angelo Pio, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy to Bishop Moreno of Tucson Arizona says in part:
To the second question (“Should we allow or disallow civil lawyers from obtaining Father’s personnel records from our Chancery files”) we reply that under no condition whatever ought the afore-mentioned files be surrendered to any lawyer or judge whatsoever.
The letter goes on to say:
Your Excellency should therefore make known immediately and with clarity that no priest’s files will be sent to any lawyer or judge whatever.
“Under no condition whatever”? Does that mean that the Vatican is ordering the Bishop to refuse to disclose the existence of evidence of priest sexual abuse as required by law. Is the Vatican denying the authority of the civilian courts to order disclosure of such records?
Did the Pope Know?
Before he became the current Pope, Bishop Joseph Ratzinger was Prefect of the Congregation of Doctrine of the Faith since November 1981. The role of the Congregation of Doctrine of the Faith is to “safeguard the doctrine on the faith and morals throughout the Catholic world” and deals with, among other things, the question of priests accused of paedophilia.
It is unlikely that there is anyone in the Catholic Church alive today who would know more about child abuse in the world wide Catholic Church than Pope Benedict XVI.
CNN has investigated this issue: What the Pope Knew.
I have posted about the issue many times. See for example:
What Do You Think?
Are the thousands of sexual abuse allegations against priests around the world a coincidence? Is it reasonable to assume the hierarchy of the Catholic Church wasn’t aware of the avalanche of allegations? Do you think they took reasonable steps to address the problem of priest sexual abuse?
Or do you think that the “powers that be” in the Roman Catholic Church intentionally covered up allegations of abuse so as not to besmirch the reputation of the Church?
Please let me know in the comments.