Italy 'has dozens of paedophile priests'

Victim groups said the meeting had failed to mention any Vatican responsibility for looking the other way for decades.

Italy 'has dozens of paedophile priests'

Italy has had dozens of cases of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests over the past decade and the country is by no means immune from the problem, a cleric who runs an anti-paedophilia organisation said on Thursday.

Just two days after Pope Benedict held crisis talks with Irish bishops over a devastating abuse scandal, Father Fortunato Di Noto said Italy was not untainted by the problem but it had been dealt with better.

"Italy is not immune from this," Di Noto, who founded the anti-paedophilia group Association Meter, told Vatican Radio.

"In the last 10 years, around 80 priests have been involved: either denounced or put on trial and found guilty for this."

While sexual abuse scandals have rocked the Church in Ireland and the United States in recent years, so far the problem has drawn less scrutiny in Italy -- regarded by many as the cradle of Catholicism.

The issue was thrust back into the international spotlight in November with the release of the Murphy Commission Report, a damning indictment of priestly paedophilia in Ireland.

The report found the Irish Church concealed child abuse in the Dublin archdiocese from 1975 to 2004 and operated a policy of "don't ask, don't tell".

"It's a phenomenon which exists (in Italy) and no one can say it doesn't. Probably it has been better managed and controlled, even if some cases have been handled imprudently," Di Noto, a priest in the Sicilian town of Avola, said.

He called on Italian bishops to take action to ensure priests were properly instructed in seminars to avoid any risk of sexual abuse. He also urged careful monitoring of priests.

"Humbly, I appeal to the bishops, because a much more decisive pastoral action is necessary," he said. "The Church cannot allow itself any more to commit this action or to cover this action."

After this week's talks on Ireland, the Vatican released a statement calling sexual abuse of children by priests a "heinous crime" and said the 24 Irish bishops had promised the pope they would cooperate with investigations by civil authorities.

Victim groups said the meeting did not conclude who should pay for a policy of covering up abuse and had failed to mention any Vatican responsibility for looking the other way for decades.


Last Mod: 19 Şubat 2010, 14:49
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Jeannie Coleson
Jeannie Coleson - 9 yıl Before

In our good Catholic family of eight children, three generations have been victims of Paedophilia. As a result, only one relative in the second and third generation is still Catholic. In addition, most our classmates from Catholic grade=school are no longer Catholic. In fifty years, the Catholic Church has lost about 30 families, just in our family's two generations, My parents are still faithful Catholics, and the last time that any of us will darken the door of a Catholic Church will be for their funerals. Good job, Catholic Church! You have driven most of us into Bible-believing Christian Churches where we live under the continued blessings of God's Word, rather than worthless traditions, taught by Pedophiles and those who cover-up for them!