Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vatican warned bishops not to report child abuse

There have been whiffs of this before, but it seems the smoking gun has surfaced:
A newly disclosed document reveals that Vatican officials instructed the bishops of Ireland in 1997 that they must not adopt a policy of reporting priests suspected of child abuse to the police or civil authorities.

The document appears to contradict Vatican claims that the hierarchy in Rome never determined the actions of local bishops in abuse cases, and that the church did not impede criminal investigations of accused child abusers.

Abuse victims in Ireland and the United States quickly proclaimed the document to be a “smoking gun” that would serve as important evidence in lawsuits against the Vatican.
From the New York Times (h/t PZ Myers). So will the bishops who obeyed this order be charged with obstruction of justice? Somehow I doubt it; don't forget that we're talking about a country that is so beholden to the Church that abortion is still illegal even in cases of rape (though to be fair, they did finally legalize homosexuality, in 1993 to be exact).

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