Bishops allowed to cover up child abuse by Vatican

This video from the USA says about itself:

Catholic bishop indicted for unreported child abuse

14 October 2011

American Catholic bishop Robert Finn, of the Kansas City, Mo., diocese, has been indicted for failing to report suspected child abuse. Michelle Miller reports on the significant charge – unprecedented in the history of the Catholic Church in the United States.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Bishops do not have to report child abuse, Vatican says

The document emphasises that bishops’ only duty is to address such allegations internally

Samuel Osborne

Wednesday 10 February 2016 21:01 BST

The Catholic Church is telling newly appointed bishops it is “not necessarily” their duty to report accusations of clerical child abuse to authorities.

A document explaining how senior clergy members ought to deal with allegations of abuse suggests only victims or their families should make the decision to report abuse to police.

The victims are often too young or too scared to go to the police. And their families may be scared of reporting ‘a man of God’, and of maybe the church accusing them of being anti-God.

The document, recently released by the Vatican, emphasises that bishops’ only duty is to address such allegations internally

Address them in what way? With a slap on the wrist for the priestly perpetrator? By transferring him to another parish where the child abuse may start all over again; like has happened often so far?

though it says they must be aware of local laws.

Details were reported by John Allen, associate editor of the Catholic News Site

“According to the state of civil laws of each country where reporting is obligatory, it is not necessarily the duty of the bishop to report suspects to authorities, the police or state prosecutors in the moment when they are made aware of crimes or sinful deeds,” the document states.

The guidelines were written by the controversial monsignor and psychotherapist Tony Anatrella, who is serving as consultant to the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Monsignor Anatrella has been accused of sexual abuse himself.

Although the guide acknowledges “the church has been particularly affected by sexual crimes committed against children,” it emphasises statistics showing the vast majority of sexual assaults against children are committed within the family and by friends and neighbours, The Guardian reports.

It is true that the overwhelming majority of child abuse is not by the stereotypical men supposedly in ambush waiting for children unknown to them to pass. However, much of the abuse is by men (less often: women) in positions of authority whom the children do know and, wrongly, trust, like teachers, bosses and Roman Catholic, or other, religious authorities.

That people who are not priests commit child abuse as well can never be any excuse for covering it up in cases where perpetrators are priests.

Bishops and sexual abuse, cartoon

Pope Francis previously declared a “zero tolerance” policy for members of the clergy who abuse children.

Pope Says To Remove Bishops If Found Negligent In Abuse Cases: here.

17 thoughts on “Bishops allowed to cover up child abuse by Vatican

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  2. Saturday 13th February 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    The Paddy McGuffin column

    IT’S that time again folks. The Lenten period is once more upon us.

    Ah, Lent.

    The period in the Christian calendar when traditionally penitents give up luxuries for a 40-day period to commemorate the suffering of Jesus for our sins.

    At this most holy time of the year many give up chocolate or sugar, others alcohol or some other form of self-indulgence.

    But not the Catholic Church, oh no. This week, once again showing their, ahem, flexible approach to the teachings of the good book, the Vatican has announced that it is giving up any form of responsibility for cleaning out its own house.

    It has been revealed that the Church in its infinite wisdom and beneficence is advising newly appointed bishops that they do “not necessarily” have a duty to report accusations of clerical abuse to the authorities.

    I love that “not necessarily.” When it comes to distortion and ambiguous interpretation you have to go a long way to beat the Vatican.

    A newly released document emphasises that “according to the state of civil laws of each country where reporting is obligatory, it is not necessarily the duty of the bishop to report suspicions to the authorities, the police or state prosecutors in the moment when they are made aware of crimes or sinful deeds.”

    The advice forms part of a new “training document” for new bishops drafted by the Church.

    Who knew they had training?

    I always assumed they just took the local village idiot and stuffed them into a purple dress and a pointy hat.
    The Vatican has apparently requested feedback on the document.

    OK — you asked for it.

    The document continues by saying that “the Church has been particularly affected by sexual crimes committed against children.”

    Again, such wonderfully elliptical language…

    “Affected by.” Not, you will notice, “responsible for” or “guilty of.”

    It could almost be interpreted as the Church claiming they were the victims in all this … but of course the Vatican would never be crass enough to suggest that would they?

    It then goes on to produce statistics showing that most cases of abuse occur within the family and by friends and neighbours, not at the hands of other authority figures.

    This is undoubtedly true but cynically and deliberately fails to take into account one crucial point.

    Of course this is going to be the case because there are far more people who aren’t priests than those who opt to don the frock.

    But, and it is a very big but, this column would hazard a guess that if one were to take priests as a proportion of the overall population, the incidences of abuse and paedophilia would be exponentially higher than for other professions.

    Second, that is like saying far more crimes are committed by non-police officers than by the boys in blue.

    Again this is undoubtedly true but when a paedophile priest or a bent cop commits an offence, they are also breaking a covenant of trust and the position of authority that their job grants them.

    In fact it is tempting to say that the “new” advice is remarkably similar to the Church’s centuries-old policy of covering their own arses at any cost.

    Perverted priests and their innocent victims are merely an inconvenience in their warped and twisted mindset.
    So much for the much vaunted new broom approach of Pope Francis.

    It would take an army of cleaners with power hoses to tackle the Augean stables of filth, corruption and depravity within the Catholic Church.

    And, speaking of a new broom approach, this was very much the boast of the government and the Met police when the current Chief Constable Bernard Hogan-Howe took over the reins at Scotland Yard.

    He was portrayed as, in the finest Western tradition, the new sheriff in town who would clean up the streets and the Met’s seriously tainted reputation in one fell swoop.

    Hogan-Howe’s time in the top job has been turbulent to say the least and he probably had mixed feelings this week when it was announced that his contract was being extended by another year.

    The confirmation of his extended tenure coincided with an announcement by Hogan-Howe that, in the wake of the Westminster VIP abuse scandal, there would be a “shift in attitude” in the Met to one where victims of rape and abuse were “not automatically believed.”


    When exactly did this policy of believing victims come in? They certainly kept that one quiet.

    The British police have a long and inglorious history of blaming rape victims for their horrific ordeals and dismissing complaints out of hand as unimportant.

    This is the reason many victims do not come forward in the first place.

    Once again it begs the question: exactly how does this “new” policy differ from the old one?

    Sadly there will always be wrongful allegations of rape — either mistaken or malicious — but these are a tiny minority of the overall number of cases.

    More often legitimate allegations do not result in conviction due to lack of evidence, prejudice against the victim or sloppy investigations.

    Or, as we have seen all too frequently recently, because of who the alleged perpetrator happens to be.

    A number of cases implicating high-profile members of the Establishment have collapsed recently, leading to criticism of the police and prosecutors.

    But historic allegations are notoriously difficult to prove and just because a few senior figures have had the charges against them dropped does not mean that other allegations are not valid.

    Being wrongfully accused of any crime, especially one as serious as rape, is of course highly traumatic for the individual in question.

    But not, I would suggest, as traumatic as reporting a genuine assault only to be disbelieved from the outset and then see the perpetrator walk free.

    Yet again it appears that when it comes to the Church and the Establishment the priority is very much looking after their own.


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