Vatican criticized about clerical sexual abuse

This video from 2010 is called Ireland – The Vatican Colluded With Paedophile Priests To Cover Up Child Abuse – Aljazeera.

From The Times of Malta:

Thursday, January 16, 2014, 13:57 by PA

UN hits at Vatican over child abuse – Scicluna represents Holy See before high level committee

The Vatican has come under blistering criticism from a UN committee for its handling of the global priest sex abuse scandal, facing its most intense public grilling ever over allegations that it protected paedophile priests at the expense of victims.

Bishop Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s former sex crimes prosecutor, acknowledged that the Holy See had been slow to face the crisis but said that it was now committed to doing so. He encouraged prosecutors to take action against anyone who obstructs justice – a suggestion that bishops who moved priests from diocese to diocese should be held accountable.

“The Holy See gets it,” Mgr Scicluna told the committee. “Let’s not say too late or not. But there are certain things that need to be done differently.”

He was responding to a grilling by the UN committee over the Holy See’s failure to abide by terms of a treaty that calls for signatories to take all appropriate measures to keep children from harm. Critics allege the church enabled the rape of thousands of children by protecting paedophile priests to defend its reputation.

The committee’s main human rights investigator, Sara Oviedo, was particularly tough, pressing the Vatican on the frequent ways abusive priests were transferred rather than turned in to police. Given the church’s “zero tolerance” policy, she asked, why were there “efforts to cover up and obscure these types of cases”.

Another committee member, Maria Rita Parsi, an Italian psychologist and psychotherapist, pressed further: “If these events continue to be hidden and covered up, to what extent will children be affected?”

The Holy See ratified the convention in 1990 and submitted a first implementation report in 1994. But it didn’t provide progress reports for nearly two decades. It only submitted one in 2012 after coming under criticism following the 2010 explosion of child sex abuse cases in Europe and beyond.

Victims groups and human rights organisations teamed up to press the UN committee to challenge the Holy See on its abuse record, providing written testimony from victims and evidence outlining the global scale of the problem.

Their reports cite case studies in Mexico and Britain, grand jury investigations in the US, and government fact-finding inquiries from Canada to Ireland to Australia that detail how the Vatican’s policies, its culture of secrecy and fear of scandal contributed to the problem.

The Holy See has long insisted that it wasn’t responsible for the crimes of priests committed around the world, saying priests aren’t employees of the Vatican but are rather citizens of countries where they live and subject to local law enforcement. It has maintained that bishops were responsible for the priests in their care, not the pope.

But victims groups and human rights organisations provided the committee with the Vatican’s own documentation showing how it discouraged bishops from reporting abusers to police.

Committee member Jorge Cardona Llorens, a Spanish international law professor, demanded to know how the Vatican would create “specific criteria” for putting children’s interests first, because there weren’t any yet in place.

Mgr Scicluna said the Holy See wanted to be a model for how to protect children and care for victims.

“I think the international community looks up to the Holy See for such guidance. But it’s not only words, it has to be commitment on the ground.”

He added: “The states who are cognizant of obstruction of justice need to take action against citizens of their countries who obstruct justice.” Mgr Scicluna, a Maltese bishop, has previously said bishops who failed to do the right thing with paedophile priests must be held accountable.

“I think it’s time for the church to stop this secrecy,” Teodoro Pulvirenti, who said he was abused by a priest, told The Associated Press in New York. “I believe the church puts too much its reputation before the victims and you know the pain of this abuse that we carry. That’s why I was so excited when I heard about this final meeting between the Vatican representatives and the UN.”

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The Vatican and Chilean, Spanish and Argentine dictators

This video is called The Crimes of Pinochet – Chile.

By Marc Wells:

WikiLeaks cables confirm collusion between Vatican and dictators

15 April 2013

Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks released a new archive of 1.3 million diplomatic cables and intelligence records last Monday encompassing the years 1973 through 1976, dubbed “The Kissinger Cables.”

The database includes documents revealing the ruthless operations led by the US worldwide, at a time when the international working class was on the offensive and the bourgeoisie was waging a ruthless counterattack.

Among the cables, a series of diplomatic communications exposes the relationships between the Vatican and a number of dictatorial regimes, from Chile’s Augusto Pinochet to Argentina’s Jorge Rafael Videla to Spain’s Francisco Franco.

On September 11, 1973, a CIA-backed coup led by general Pinochet overthrew the elected government of Socialist Party President Salvador Allende. In Pinochet’s 17-year dictatorship, thousands of left-wing activists, students, trade unionists and anyone suspected of opposing Chilean and international capital were killed or disappeared by the regime. Hundreds of thousands were jailed and tortured, or sent into exile.

The names of these criminal state operations, such as “Operation Condor” or “The Caravan of Death” are forever embedded in the consciousness of Chilean workers. Pinochet’s “struggle against Marxism” remains one of the most violent developments in the history of the 20th century.

The main goal of such struggle was to destroy the working class and its organizations, both physically and through the imposition of aggressive economic policies of privatization and deregulation. These created a model of enrichment by a small oligarchy for the following decades.

Many governments joined this “struggle,” with the US leading the pack. President Richard Nixon and his National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger allocated $8 million for the campaign to destabilize Allende. While maintaining an appearance of liberal reforms and a more relaxed policy toward the USSR initiated by John XXIII, the Vatican, led by Pope Paul VI, lent support to the Chilean dictator.

In a cable dated October 18, 1973, Archbishop Giovanni Benelli, Vatican Deputy Secretary of State, denied the crimes committed by Pinochet’s junta, expressing “his and Pope’s grave concern over successful international leftist campaign to misconstrue completely realities of Chilean situation.”

More precisely, the cable documents Benelli’s view on the “exaggerated coverage of events as possibly greatest success of communist propaganda, and highlighted fact that even moderate and conservative circles seem quite disposed to believe grossest lies about Chilean junta’s excesses.”

His source of information was Cardinal Raúl Silva, a staunch opponent of communism. According to the cable, “Cardinal Silva and Chilean Episcopate in general have assured Pope Paul that junta making every effort to return to normal and that stories alleging brutal reprisals in international media secret are unfounded.”

The role played by figures like Silva or Paul VI himself—promoted as “progressives” at the time—emerges quite clearly in these documents. Benelli states that “validity and sincerity of Cardinal Silva cannot be challenged since Silva is known internationally as one of Church’s leading progressives who, moreover, gave tacit support to President Allende.”

In fact, the Archbishop states that, “leftist forces have greatly cut losses by convincing world that Allende’s fall due exclusively to fascist and external forces rather than to shortcomings of Allende’s own policies as is rightly case.”

In November 1973, in the immediate aftermath of Pinochet’s coup, another cable documents negotiations for the renewal and revision of the Concordat, originally signed in 1953, between the Vatican and the fascist regime of Francisco Franco in Spain, which effectively rejected the principle of separation between state and Church.

Archbishop Agostino Casaroli—the Vatican’s Secretary of Public Affairs at the time and another “Ostpolitik reformist” figure who developed new relations with Eastern European countries in an attempt to boost the Church’s influence in Stalinist-ruled countries—met with Spanish officials. It was agreed that a low profile be maintained.

There were several reasons for this: first, events in Chile had created immense opposition among workers and students, and the Church risked being publicly exposed as an ally of dictatorial regimes. Secondly, there were disagreements inside the Vatican itself on how to best manage the Vatican’s image and distance it from fascist dictators.

A cable dated November 7, 1973 states that a “difference of views between the Vatican and the Spanish Episcopate is on the fundamental question of whether there should be a new Concordat negotiated.” The record shows that the Episcopate was “amenable to partial accords or revisions of the 1953 one, since they believe a new Concordat might once again associate the Church with the regime” while they are “trying to disassociate the Church from the GoS [Government of Spain] in the eyes of the Spanish public.”

While layers of the ecclesiastic hierarchy were concerned that after Franco’s death negotiating terms would be less favorable and were pushing for a new deal, the “liberal,” “progressive” section of the Vatican sought to “maintain its liberal image if only partial accords on the most vital points of friction” were renegotiated.

Contrary to Casaroli’s request to keep the visit under the radar, Franco’s regime “promoted extensive press and television coverage of the visit,” provoking a reaction from the Vatican. According to the Italian publication l’Espresso, Casaroli protested to a Spanish minister for “the offensive violation of the reassurances received from the Spanish government to maintain a low profile.”

A few years later, on March 24, 1976, Argentine Commander Jorge Rafael Videla headed the coup that overthrew President Isabel Perón, wife of former President Juan Perón. Videla ran a brutal police state, adopting free-market economic policies similar to Pinochet’s. His regime, infamously associated with the “Dirty War” and “Operation Condor,” became synonymous with disappearances, murder and torture.

Videla’s close accomplice in the coup and the military dictatorship that followed was Navy Admiral Emilio Massera. New cables show the close ties between Massera and Pio Laghi, Apostolic nuncio (Holy See diplomat) in Argentina.

A cable dated November 7, 1975 reveals that Laghi “talked with Admiral Massera early November 5 on same subject [President Perón], and recently with many other participants. Nuncio [Laghi]’s analysis was that Mrs. Perón must leave as soon as possible by leave of absence, resignation, or golpe ”—that is, a coup.

Besides being a close friend of Massera, Laghi was well respected in military and diplomatic circles. As the same cable confirms, “Nuncio is well connected and is astute observer. His overall conclusion was that she is finished. Only form of departure remains in question. However, he commented, it could take longer than expected and be an agonizing process.”

Ultimately, the real agony was experienced by tens of thousands of workers, students and political activists, labeled “terrorists,” who actually fought in opposition to the state terrorism which characterized the Videla regime, but were either killed or tortured, jailed and disappeared.

Pio Laghi was more than a known entity for the US government. In a cable dated May 14, 1974, Laghi is depicted as “highly educated, personable, speaks excellent English, and is well disposed toward the United States.”

These revelations shed light on the recent installation of the new Pope Francis, the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The new Pontiff is deeply implicated in the “Dirty War” waged by the Argentine military junta (see “The ‘Dirty War’ Pope”).

Black smoke in the Vatican, music video

This video, recorded today in Rome, is called No New Pope Elected yet – Black Smoke from Sistine Chapel.

So, time for this music video again: Bafflin’ Smoke Signals – Lee “Scratch” Perry.

Sir Jimmy Savile abused little children

Jimmy Savile shakes hands with Pope John Paul II

From Reuters:

Jimmy Savile Police Report: He Abused Hundreds Of People Over Six Decades; Youngest Victim Was 8

01/11/2013 1:47 pm EST

* Late BBC star suspected of 214 crimes including rape

* Savile given knighthood by Queen Elizabeth and Pope

* Abuse started in 1955 and continued until 2009

* Police looking into “informal network” of abusers (Recasts, adds details, quotes throughout)

By Michael Holden

LONDON, Jan 11 – The late British TV presenter Jimmy Savile, honoured by both the queen and the pope, sexually assaulted hundreds of people, mainly children, at BBC premises and hospitals over six decades of unparalleled abuse, a police-led report said on Friday.

Savile, one of Britain’s biggest TV stars in the 1970s and 1980s, abused youngsters at 13 hospitals where he did voluntary work as a porter and fundraiser, and even at a hospice treating terminally ill patients.

The youngest victim was an 8-year-old boy, and the last of the 214 offences of which he is suspected took place just two years before his death in 2011 at the age of 84.

“He groomed a nation,” said Commander Peter Spindler, who led the police investigation and said the scale of his crimes were without precedence.

A one-time professional wrestler, Savile became famous as a pioneering DJ in the 1960s before becoming a regular fixture on TV hosting prime-time pop and children’s shows until the 1990s.

He also ran about 200 marathons for charity, raising tens of millions of pounds (dollars) for hospitals, leading some to give him keys to rooms where victims now allege they were abused.

While many colleagues and viewers thought the cigar-chomping Savile was weird, with his long blonde hair, penchant for garish outfits and flashy jewellery, he was considered a “national treasure”, honoured not just by the queen but also by the late Pope John Paul II who made him a papal knight in 1990.

However, Friday’s report said he took advantage of his fame to commit predatory offences across Britain, including 34 rapes or serious sexual assaults. Of his alledged victims, 73 percent were under 18 and 82 percent were female. The oldest was 47.

In all, 450 people have given information about him and detectives said more victims were likely to come forward. However, the report, issued jointly by London police and the NSPCC children’s charity, said some would never feel able to break their silence.

“He hid in plain sight, behind a veil of eccentricity double-bluffing those who challenged him, from vulnerable children right up to and including a prime minister of the time,” said Peter Watt from the NSPCC.

He said Savile had “cunningly” built his life’s work around getting access to children to abuse.