Sex Abuse Scandals News ArticlesExcerpts of Key Sex Abuse Scandals News Articles in Media
The Catholic church is telling newly appointed bishops that it is “not necessarily” their duty to report accusations of clerical child abuse and that only victims or their families should make the decision to report abuse to police. A document that spells out how senior clergy members ought to deal with allegations of abuse, which was recently released by the Vatican, emphasised that, though they must be aware of local laws, bishops’ only duty was to address such allegations internally. “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 training document states. Details of the Catholic church’s policy were first reported in a column by a veteran Vatican journalist, John Allen. Allen noted that a special commission created by Pope Francis, the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, had appeared to play no role in the training programme, even though it is supposed to be developing “best practices” to prevent and deal with clerical abuse. The news comes just days after the abuse commission forced one of two abuse survivors who had personally been appointed by Pope Francis to leave the committee following a vote of no confidence. Peter Saunders, a British abuse survivor and vocal critic of the church’s alleged lack of action on abuse, said he was blind-sided by the vote.
Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team titled "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this sad subject. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Tim Ballard's career with the CIA and Homeland Security may not be what you'd expect. With years of leading rescue efforts to free victims of human trafficking, especially those used as prostitutes, he founded Operation Underground Railroad to liberate captive slaves. Ballard explains the need for his work. "The scope of the problem is vast; there are an estimated 27 million enslaved human beings in the world: more slaves than ever existed during the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Many are sex slaves, as sex trafficking represents the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. Very few [organizations] dedicate themselves to the pro-active rescue and direct extraction of the victims, and to the capture and prosecution of their captors. Operation Underground Railroad fills this void. "To gain access to trafficking victims, O.U.R. uses a simple rouse of a group of men traveling for sex. Ballard notes, "In a sad commentary on our society, the reason that our cover story has worked so well and has been easily bought by perpetrators is due to the fact that this type of sex party and sex tourism happens for real every day and in almost every part of our globe! Despite our organization’s successes, we realize that nearly two million children are still out there being abused and trafficked in the worst form of slavery imaginable. It is our hope and prayer that they all will be freed someday, and it is our commitment and promise to dedicate all we have to rescuing them."
Note: Another article on this courageous man is available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Child sex abuse is so rife in Britain that there is not enough land in the country to build the number of prisons needed to house the perpetrators, the Deputy Childrenfs Commissioner for England has warned. Sue Berelowitz, who is currently chairing the governmentfs inquiry into the problem said the public would be shocked by the sheer scale of the problem when she reports in November. "I want us to keep in mind that people who sexually abuse children ... are here and in our midst. If the CPS were to prosecute everyone we would need a rolling prison programme. I would say there probably isn't the land to build enough prisons." Mrs Berelowitzfs report comes in the wake of abuse scandals in areas including Rotherham, where it was reported that 1,400 children were abused between 1997 and 2013. A previous inquiry into sex abuse by gangs revealed that from August 2010 to October 2011 at least 2,409 children were sexually exploited by gangs and groups across England. Scotland Yard is also being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) over claims that it covered up child sex abuse because of the involvement of influential MPs and police officers between the 1970 and 2000s. Mrs Berelowitz claimed that there were still cover ups happening in local authorities and police stations.
Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
The Ministry of Defence has paid out more than Ł2 million in out-of-court settlements in the last three years as a result of claims that young cadets were sexually abused. The cases includes allegations that teenage boys performed ritual sex acts on younger cadets, and a cadet who was raped by an instructor and gave birth to her abuser’s child. Some of the settlements are understood to relate to historic abuse, perpetrated against adults when they were children. Others relate to abuse carried out in recent years. [One] settlement involved a teenage girl who was sexually abused by her adult cadet instructor while she was a cadet under his charge. Eventually she gave birth to her abuser’s child, leading to her suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic depression. The MoD admitted liability at an early stage and settled the claim for Ł210,000. Among the settlements made in 2012, four people made a successful claim for Ł900,000 after alleging they were abused when they were young members of the Army Cadets in Harborne, Birmingham. An MoD spokesperson said: “We take any allegation of abuse extremely seriously. All adult volunteers undergo enhanced criminal record checks and are made fully aware of their responsibility to protect children from harm.”
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sex abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Police are investigating claims that up to five paedophile rings operated at the heart of Westminster with the involvement of “highly influential” politicians. A Labour MP who has handed a dossier of evidence to Scotland Yard said he now believed the complexity of child abuse networks at the heart of government in the Seventies and Eighties had been seriously underestimated. John Mann, MP for Bassetlaw, said it was “inconceivable” that police would not now arrest and interview some of the politicians he has named in a list handed to detectives. Mr Mann, who has spent months sifting evidence from members of the public, met Scotland Yard and handed over evidence on 22 politicians, including three serving MPs and three members of the House of Lords. “There are at least five paedophile rings which involved MPs,” he said. “Each of them involved at least one MP, some involved more, and these were groups of people who knew about the activities of one another. “In some cases I believe they committed abuse together.” Thirteen former ministers were among the list. Mr Mann handed his dossier to detectives from Operation Trinity, the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into alleged abuse in children’s homes in Lambeth, south London. A range of other inquiries have also been launched including Operation Midland, looking at allegations of child sex abuse focusing on Westminster.
Note: A further article states that a member of Parliament is calling for an investigation into the suspicious deaths of two people who were revealing information on the pedophile rings which go to the highest levels of government. Watch powerful evidence in a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government.
The security services are facing questions over the cover-up of a Westminster paedophile ring as it emerged that files relating to official requests for media blackouts in the early 1980s were destroyed. Two newspaper executives have told the Observer that their publications were issued with D-notices – warnings not to publish intelligence that might damage national security – when they sought to report on allegations of a powerful group of men engaging in child sex abuse in 1984. One executive said he had been accosted in his office by 15 uniformed and two non-uniformed police over a dossier on Westminster paedophiles passed to him by the former Labour cabinet minister Barbara Castle. The other said that his newspaper had received a D-notice when a reporter sought to write about a police investigation into Elm Guest House, in southwest London, where a group of high-profile paedophiles was said to have operated. Theresa May, home secretary, this month told the Commons that an official review into whether there had been a cover-up of the Home Office’s handling of child-abuse allegations in the 1980s ... was prompted by the discovery that 114 Home Office files related to child abuse in the 1980s had gone missing. The two journalists, Don Hale, the former editor of the Bury Messenger, and Hilton Tims, news editor of the Surrey Comet between 1980 and 1988, both recall their publications being issued with D-notices around 1984.
Note: Explore powerful evidence from a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals also reach to the highest levels of government in the US. For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption and sex abuse scandal news articles from reliable sources.
A former Metropolitan Police detective was removed from his post in an investigation into alleged child sex abuse after revealing politicians were suspects, he has claimed. Clive Driscoll, a Detective Chief Inspector who has since retired, [said] he was conducting an inquiry in 1998 into reported paedophile activity at children’s homes in Lambeth, south London, in the 1980s. Mr Driscoll said he had a list of suspects he wanted to look at, including local and national politicians in power during the period. Mr Driscoll said he had disclosed suspects’ names and was afterwards informed it was “inappropriate” and taken off the case. He added: "Whenever people spoke to you and shared their fears and their story about what they had seen, it was almost on the proviso that they wouldn't make a statement and that they would be scared if you released who those people were that were talking for fear of reprisals to both themselves and their families." Investigations are believed to have continued into more than 20 children's homes after Mr Driscoll was moved. Mr Driscoll ... claimed there were discussions within the Met about withholding documents from an independent inquiry into the original investigation. Some of the allegations could be considered in the Government’s inquiry into allegations of an establishment “cover-up” of child abuse allegations. A spokesman at Scotland Yard said the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards was looking into Mr Driscoll’s claims and they would be fully investigated.
Note: If you are ready to see how investigations into a massive child sex abuse ring have led to the highest levels of government, watch the suppressed Discovery Channel documentary "Conspiracy of Silence," available here. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse news articles from reliable major media sources.
Pope Francis has been quoted as saying that reliable data indicates that "about 2%" of clergy in the Catholic Church are paedophiles. The Pope said that abuse of children was like "leprosy" infecting the Church, according to the Italian La Repubblica newspaper. He vowed to "confront it with the severity it demands". Until now, the Vatican has declined to quantify the extent of clerical sexual abuse scandals in the worldwide Church. Statistics are usually available only for countries in the developed world. In the developing world, information is usually only sketchy. In the interview, Pope Francis was quoted as saying that the 2% estimate came from advisers. It would represent around 8,000 priests out of a global number of about 414,000. While the incidence of paedophilia as a psychiatric disorder in the general population is not accurately known, some estimates have put it at less than five percent. "Among the 2% who are paedophiles are priests, bishops and cardinals. Others, more numerous, know but keep quiet. They punish without giving the reason," Pope Francis was quoted as saying. "I find this state of affairs intolerable," he went on. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi denied that Pope Francis had said that there were cardinals who were paedophiles. Asked in the same La Repubblica interview about the celibacy rule for priests, Pope Francis recalled that it was adopted 900 years after the death of Jesus Christ and pointed out that the Eastern Catholic Church allows its priests to marry.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse news articles from reliable major media sources.
[The] horrors of the Jimmy Savile child abuse scandal that saw the BBC accused of cover up and culture of secrecy to protect itself, ... opened the door on a potentially even more explosive scandal – the claims of a VIP Westminster paedophile ring operating from the heart of the British Establishment from the 1960s onwards. It has led to allegations of a massive cover up across Whitehall spanning decades, pressure on the police and prosecutors not to pursue cases and the apparent disappearance of key dossiers and files detailing claims of child abuse and alleged attackers. The story begins with Cyril Smith, the late Liberal Democrat MP, who was exposed as an alleged paedophile in 2012, two years after his death, aged 82. As early as the 1960s, he allegedly routinely assaulted young boys, especially in children’s homes and special schools in his home town, where he was MP from 1972 to 1992. He was also said to have been a visitor to the notorious Elm Guest house in South-west London, now the focus of a Scotland Yard investigation into an alleged VIP paedophile ring. Smith was only one of a number of alleged high profile child abusers within Westminster said to have been named in a 40-page dossier submitted to the Home Office by the late campaigning Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens in 1983. Mr Dickens told his family at the time that it named leading public figures, including senior politicians, and was going to “blow it all apart”. But the time bomb never exploded.
Note: The truth is slowly coming out. To learn how child sex abuse rings lead to the highest levels of government, watch this highly revealing Discovery Channel documentary. If you want to know more about cults involved in sexual abuse, read a professor's speech and a survivor's account.
Papers documenting allegation of sexual abuse by priests in the Chicago Archdiocese were released to the public today by victims' attorneys. The documents cover only 30 of at least 65 priests for whom the Chicago church says it has substantiated claims of child abuse. The papers, put online, were made available through settlements between Church and victims' lawyers. Church officials said most of the abuse occurred before 1988, none after 1996. The documents tell one heartbreaking story after another - 6,000 pages detailing not just how children and adult victims were abused by trusted priests, but also how church officials often bungled their responses, failing to turn sexual predators over to criminal authorities and often shuttling the offending priests from parish to parish, where they abused again. That deception ... came from the cardinal on down. Not only were the victims and their families deceived, but so too were parishioners where offending priests were transferred, as well as the police and the public at large. In one case in 1979, a priest raped a 13-year old boy and later warned him at gunpoint not to tell anyone. The documents show the boy's parents were assured that the priest would get treatment and would be kept away from minors, but he wasn't. Within a year, that priest was returned to ministry in another parish where he abused again. In another case, the late Cardinal John Cody tells a priest accused of sexually abusing a girl that the allegations, quote, "should just be forgotten." That priest later abused again.
Note: For more on sexual abuse of children, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
In Rome, where 115 cardinals are gathering to elect a new pope, the conclave will include these luminaries: Cardinal Roger Mahony, former archbishop of Los Angeles, who in the 1980s plotted with an adviser to conceal child molesting priests from law enforcement. Cardinal Sean Brady, the leader of Ireland's church, who failed in the 1970s to follow up on incriminating evidence against a priest, who went on to become a notorious serial molester. Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the former head of the Belgian church, who once advised an adult victim of 13 years of childhood abuse against making "a lot of noise" about it because his molester, a bishop, was about to retire.The full list of cardinals who abetted the child abuse scandal that has dogged the church for more than a decade is longer. Under church law, no one can force these cardinals to forgo voting, but they should. It is impossible to overstate the breadth and depth of the child molestation scandal, or the damage done to both the children and the credibility of the church. In the U.S. alone, more than 16,000 victims have reported abuse. Similar scandals have roiled Australia, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium and Benedict XVI's own Germany, each revealing thousands more victims. The details in each country are as horrifying as they are familiar. Hundreds of priests abused and raped children. Reports of abuse were ignored. Victims were sometimes muzzled. Predator priests were shuffled off to other parishes to molest again. And the highest church leaders often fought to keep the details secret.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on sexual abuse scandals, including involvement of several Catholic Cardinals directly implicated in the sex abuse scandals, click here. To learn how child sex-abuse rings lead to top levels of leadership around the world, watch the powerful Discovery Channel documentary "Conspiracy of Silence" at this link.
A potentially explosive report has linked the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI to the discovery of a network of gay prelates in the Vatican, some of whom – the report said – were being blackmailed by outsiders. The pope's spokesman declined to confirm or deny the report, which was carried by the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica. The paper said the pope had taken the decision on 17 December that he was going to resign – the day he received a dossier compiled by three cardinals delegated to look into the so-called "Vatileaks" affair. The newspaper said the cardinals described a number of factions, including one whose members were "united by sexual orientation". In an apparent quotation from the report, La Repubblica said some Vatican officials had been subject to "external influence" from laymen with whom they had links of a "worldly nature". The paper said this was a clear reference to blackmail. It quoted a source "very close to those who wrote [the cardinal's report]" as saying: "Everything revolves around the non-observance of the sixth and seventh commandments." The seventh enjoins against theft. The sixth forbids adultery, but is linked in Catholic doctrine to the proscribing of homosexual acts.The cardinals' report identified a series of meeting places in and around Rome. They included a villa outside the Italian capital, a sauna in a Rome suburb, a beauty parlour in the centre, and a former university residence that was in use by a provincial Italian archbishop.
Note: For more revelations on this astounding information from a reliable source, click here.
Police have confirmed that the number of alleged sex abuse victims of the late Jimmy Savile has reached 450. 589 alleged victims have come forward during their investigation of offences committed by Savile and others. Of the alleged victims, 82% were female and 80% were children or young people. The level of allegations against Savile - 450 in total - is unprecedented - never before have police received that number of allegations against a single person. Meanwhile, police have set up Operation Fairbank to investigate allegations by Labour MP Tom Watson of a paedophile ring in high places. Mr Watson said in October that police should investigate claims of a "powerful paedophile ring" linked to a previous prime minister's "senior adviser" and Parliament. Police have a total of 20 suspects whom they wish to interview. They have interviewed seven people in total - six of whom were arrested. Police are looking at three strands within their inquiry - claims against Savile, those against Savile and others, and those against others only. High-profile names arrested in connection with the investigation are PR consultant Max Clifford, comedian Freddie Starr, DJ Dave Lee Travis and former TV producer Wilfred De'Ath, who all deny any wrongdoing. Gary Glitter, who was also arrested, has not yet made a statement.
Note: WantToKnow.info has presented evidence of "a paedophile ring in high places" for years. If you want to know how pervasive this is, you must watch the banned Discovery Channel documentary "Conspiracy of Silence" at this link. Thankfully the word is slowly getting out. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on sexual abuse scandals, click here.
Internal documents from the Boy Scouts of America reveal more than 125 cases in which men suspected of molestation allegedly continued to abuse Scouts, despite a blacklist meant to protect boys from sexual predators. A Los Angeles Times review of more than 1,200 files from 1970 to 1991 found suspected abusers regularly remained in the organization after officials were first presented with sexual misconduct allegations. Predators moved from troop to troop because of clerical errors, computer glitches or the Scouts' failure to check the blacklist, known as the "perversion files." In at least 50 cases, the Scouts expelled suspected abusers, only to discover they had re-entered the organization and were accused of molesting again. In other cases, officials failed to document reports of abuse in the first place, letting offenders stay in the program until new allegations came to light. One scoutmaster was expelled in 1970 for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy in Indiana. After being convicted of the crime, he went on to join two troops in Illinois between 1971 and 1988. He later admitted to molesting more than 100 boys. The "perversion files" naming suspected child molesters include admissions of guilt as well as unproven allegations. The confidential documents have come to light in recent years in lawsuits by former Scouts, accusing the group of failing to detect abuses, exclude known pedophiles or turn in offenders to authorities. The Boy Scouts have fought in court to keep the records from public view, saying confidentiality was needed to protect victims, witnesses and anyone falsely accused.
Note: Sexual offender lists are widely available to the public without endangering victims. Why would the scouts refuse to release the names of sexual abusers?
In 1998, officials at Penn State, including its president and its legendary football coach, were aware Jerry Sandusky was being investigated by the university’s police department for possibly molesting two young boys in the football building’s showers. They followed the investigation closely, updating one another along the way. The officials did nothing. No one so much as spoke to Mr. Sandusky. Last month, Mr. Sandusky, for three decades one of Joe Paterno’s top coaching lieutenants, was convicted of sexually attacking 10 young boys, nine of them after the 1998 investigation, and several of them in the same football building showers. Louis J. Freeh, the former federal judge and director of the F.B.I. who spent the last seven months examining the Sandusky scandal at Penn State, issued a damning conclusion [on July 12]: The most senior officials at Penn State had shown a “total and consistent disregard” for the welfare of children, had worked together to actively conceal Mr. Sandusky’s assaults, and had done so for one central reason: fear of bad publicity. That publicity, Mr. Freeh said, would have hurt the nationally ranked football program, Mr. Paterno’s reputation as a coach of high principles, the Penn State “brand” and the university’s ability to raise money as one of the most respected public institutions in the country.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on institutional sexual abuse, click here. For powerful evidence from a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government, click here.
Rape in the American armed forces is an issue that has quietly been gathering attention over the past decade. The documentary "The Invisible War" [is] a devastating indictment of the government's inaction on the issue. Director Kirby Dick brought a powerful weapon to his film: victim after eloquent victim, Navy, Marine, Coast Guard, Army and Air Force veterans who were assaulted by fellow officers, supervisors or recruits. They tell their stories in courageous detail, and it quickly becomes clear that these are not isolated incidents but a pattern reflective of a widespread rot within America's military institution, one that betrays its essential values. One Marine, Ariana Klay, was raped by a fellow officer in the elite Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C. A Navy officer, Trina McDonald, was drugged and raped repeatedly by fellow officers on a remote base in Alaska. Coast Guard recruit Kori Cioca was raped and then assaulted -- smacked so hard in the face that it dislocated her jaw, causing her permanent damage and pain for which the Veterans Administration declines to provide medical coverage. Every woman in the film has had her life shattered by this event -- not necessarily because of the rape, but because of the response by the military establishment. After lodging complaints, the women were met with indifference or targeted retaliation. They have had to leave the military. Some were threatened with violence. Almost none of the alleged perpetrators were brought up on charges or punished in any way.
Note: As this article appears to have disappeared from the Tribune website, you can also find it on the Reuters website at this link. To learn about documented sexual abuse in secret CIA mind control programs, click here. For lots more on sexual abuse scandals from major media sources, click here.
Corey Feldman has no idea what it's like not to be famous. After all, he starred in a McDonald's ad when he was just 3 years old. But being famous and underage, he said, caused serious damage to him and his friends, including loss of innocence and a lost childhood. Feldman blamed the adults around him, not just those looking to profit from charming children, but also some with far more sinister motives. "I can tell you that the No. 1 problem in Hollywood was and is and always will be pedophilia. That's the biggest problem for children in this industry. ... It's the big secret," Feldman said. The "casting couch," which is the old Hollywood reference to actors being expected to offer sex for roles, applied to children, Feldman said. "I was surrounded by [pedophiles] when I was 14 years old. … Didn't even know it. It wasn't until I was old enough to realize what they were and what they wanted … till I went, Oh, my God. They were everywhere," Feldman, 40, said. The trauma of pedophilia contributed to the 2010 death of his closest friend and "The Lost Boys" co-star, Corey Haim, Feldman said. "There's one person to blame in the death of Corey Haim. And that person happens to be a Hollywood mogul," Feldman said, adding that he, too, had been sexually abused by men in show business. Feldman said his realization followed the discovery of what some adults around him had allegedly done to other children. "There was a circle of older men … around this group of kids. And they all had either their own power or connections to great power in the entertainment industry," he said.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on pedophilia and sexual abuse by the powerful, click here.
Undercover police officers routinely adopted a tactic of "promiscuity" with the blessing of senior commanders, according to a former agent who worked in a secretive unit of the Metropolitan police for four years. The former undercover policeman claims that sexual relationships with activists were sanctioned for both men and women officers infiltrating anarchist, leftwing and environmental groups. Sex was a tool to help officers blend in, the officer claimed, and was widely used as a technique to glean intelligence. He said undercover officers, particularly those infiltrating environmental and leftwing groups, viewed having sex with a large number of partners "as part of the job". His comments contradict claims last week from the Association of Chief Police Officers that operatives were absolutely forbidden to sleep with activists. The claims follow the unmasking of undercover PC Mark Kennedy, who had sexual relationships with several women during the seven years he spent infiltrating a ring of environmental activists. Another two covert officers have been named in the past fortnight who also had sex with the protesters they were sent to spy on, fuelling allegations that senior officers had authorised sleeping around as a legitimate means of gathering intelligence.
Note: For a comprehensive overview of the still-ongoing revelations about police provocateur Mark Kennedy and his cohorts in the UK police infiltration of environmental and related activist groups, click here.
Top Vatican officials — including the future Pope Benedict XVI — did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys, even though several American bishops repeatedly warned them that failure to act on the matter could embarrass the church, according to church files newly unearthed as part of a lawsuit. The internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, shows that while church officials tussled over whether the priest should be dismissed, their highest priority was protecting the church from scandal. The documents emerge as Pope Benedict is facing other accusations that he and direct subordinates often did not alert civilian authorities or discipline priests involved in sexual abuse when he served as an archbishop in Germany and as the Vatican’s chief doctrinal enforcer. The Wisconsin case involved an American priest, the Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy, who worked at a renowned school for deaf children from 1950 to 1974. But it is only one of thousands of cases forwarded over decades by bishops to the Vatican office called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, led from 1981 to 2005 by Cardinal Ratzinger.
Note: If you want to know just how deep this goes, watch the powerfully revealing documentary "Conspiracy of Silence," available at this link.
Confidential letter reveals Ratzinger ordered bishops to keep allegations secret. Pope Benedict XVI faced claims last night he had 'obstructed justice' after it emerged he issued an order ensuring the church's investigations into child sex abuse claims be carried out in secret. The order was made in a confidential letter, obtained by The Observer, which was sent to every Catholic bishop in May 2001. It asserted the church's right to hold its inquiries behind closed doors and keep the evidence confidential for up to 10 years after the victims reached adulthood. The letter was signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who was elected as John Paul II's successor last week. Lawyers acting for abuse victims claim it was designed to prevent the allegations from becoming public knowledge or being investigated by the police. They accuse Ratzinger of committing a 'clear obstruction of justice'. 'Cases of this kind are subject to the pontifical secret,' Ratzinger's letter concludes. Breaching the pontifical secret at any time while the 10-year jurisdiction order is operating carries penalties, including the threat of excommunication. The letter is referred to in documents relating to a lawsuit filed earlier this year against a church in Texas and Ratzinger on behalf of two alleged abuse victims. By sending the letter, lawyers acting for the alleged victims claim the cardinal conspired to obstruct justice. Daniel Shea, the lawyer for the two alleged victims who discovered the letter, said: 'If you can manage to keep it secret for 18 years plus 10 the priest will get away with it.'
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