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01 October 2006

Sex crimes and the Vatican

In May 2006, an article about the Catholic church appeared in the London Guardian, written by Mark Honigsbaum, which covered the ongoing work of Patrick Wall, a former Benedictine monk turned international investigator who now leads an international crusade against paedophile priests.

Wall's job is to hunt down Roman Catholic priests retired by the Vatican in the wake of sexual abuse scandals. Wall's original plan had been to become a priest but within weeks of taking his vows for the priesthood, he was invited to join the church's "sexual abuse response team". That any organisation much less the church might require such a team should perhaps be sufficient cause for concern in itself.

Wall is quoted as saying, "My job was to firefight cases of sexual abuse - basically, take the place of the perp and calm the waters," he says. "Our definition of success was that no one ever found out about it."

Wall, along with two other former priests, has written a book called 'Sex, Priests and Secret Codes: the Catholic church's 2,000-year paper trail of sexual abuse'. The book references a previously secret document called Crimen Sollicationis - Latin for "the crime of solicitation" - issued in 1962 by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), an office attached to the Vatican. You can read the full document courtesy of the BBC.

The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith instructs bishops to investigate claims of abuse, "in the most secretive way" or face the "penalty of excommunication". In 2001 the CDF issued only its second ever directive on such matters. The new directive removed the burden from local bishops by ordering bishops to send their reports directly to the Vatican for processing.

At the time the second directive was issued, the head of the CDF was none other than Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, the former Hitler-youth and Nazi anti-aircraft unit operative who caused outrage among Jewish peoples when he was first appointed and, more recently, outrage among Muslim peoples when he joined Bush and Blair in the other favourite pass-time of the ruling classes, the endless crusade against Islam. Once a Nazi, always a Nazi.

The BBC's Panorama, to be broadcast on BBC1 at 22:15 on Sunday 1st October, has more information about Hitler-youth Pope Ratzinger's endeavours to cover-up child abuse within the Catholic Church in Sex crimes and the Vatican. The programme will also be available for on-demand viewing on the BBC web site.


Shahid said...

It's just staggering that their isn't a war on the Vatican.

The Antagonist said...

It's not just the Church's ruling classes, Washington's in on the act too.

Bridget Dunne said...

It must be there good Christian duty to protect the coffers of the church before allowing justice to take its course:

"San Diego Diocese Files for Bankruptcy

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection hours before it was scheduled to go to trial in the first of more than 140 lawsuits accusing priests of sexual abuse - a filing that automatically halted court proceedings scheduled for Wednesday."

Guardian 28/02/07

Tricia said...

Shocking. I was brought up as a catholic but have no interest in the faith now. Some say the majority of priests are good men. Why are they not marching on Rome and demanding the paedophiles be flushed out? Never a word of condemnation by the clergy. Complete denial by all concerned, pure evil.