View Full Version : Bishops told to cover up sex abuse by Vatican or be excommunicated

Aug 16, 2003, 09:56 PM
link (http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1020400,00.html)

The Vatican instructed Catholic bishops around the world to cover up cases of sexual abuse or risk being thrown out of the Church.

The Observer has obtained a 40-year-old confidential document from the secret Vatican archive which lawyers are calling a 'blueprint for deception and concealment'. One British lawyer acting for Church child abuse victims has described it as 'explosive'.

The 69-page Latin document bearing the seal of Pope John XXIII was sent to every bishop in the world. The instructions outline a policy of 'strictest' secrecy in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse and threatens those who speak out with excommunication.

They also call for the victim to take an oath of secrecy at the time of making a complaint to Church officials. It states that the instructions are to 'be diligently stored in the secret archives of the Curia [Vatican] as strictly confidential. Nor is it to be published nor added to with any commentaries.'

Lawyers point to a letter the Vatican sent to bishops in May 2001 clearly stating the 1962 instruction was in force until then. The letter is signed by Cardinal Ratzinger, the most powerful man in Rome beside the Pope and who heads the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - the office which ran the Inquisition in the Middle Ages.

So, there has been a lot of debate lately about the Catholic Church's influence in politics and religion in general and now there seems to be clearcut proof that the CC has condoned sexual misconduct amongst its clergy, as well as cover up of the same.

I think the question is, To what extent should a religious sect be able to influence government when the sect itself is horribly corrupt? Isn't it about time for religion to be relegated to the church and charity? Islam, Judaism and Christianity have all been horribly corrupted by their attempts to influence politics. When is the last time we've heard of a Buddhist sect trying to coerce its practitioners into following a certain "moral" path? Food for thought....