Sex Crimes Cover-Up By Vatican?
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of CBS News
Posted: December 6th, 2006
For decades, priests in this country abused children in parish after parish while their superiors covered it all up. Now it turns out the orders for this cover up were written in Rome at the highest levels of the Vatican. [A] confidential Vatican document, obtained by CBS News, lays out a church policy that calls for absolute secrecy when it comes to sexual abuse by priests anyone who speaks out could be thrown out of the church. The policy was written in 1962 by Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani. The document, once "stored in the secret archives" of the Vatican, focuses on crimes initiated as part of the confessional relationship. Bishops are instructed to pursue these cases "in the most secretive way ... restrained by a perpetual silence ... and everyone (including the alleged victim) ... is to observe the strictest secret, which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office ... under the penalty of excommunication." Larry Drivon, a lawyer who represents alleged victims, said, This document is significant because it's a blueprint for deception. It's an instruction manual on how to deceive and how to protect pedophiles ... and exactly how to avoid the truth coming out." Richard Sipe, a former priest who has written about sex abuse and secrecy in the church, said the document sends a chilling message. You keep it secret at all costs, Sipe said. It's happened in every diocese in this country. According to church records, the document was a bedrock of Catholic sex abuse policy until America's bishops met last summer and drafted new policies to address the crisis in the church.