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Catholic abuse in England/Wales more fully revealed as Pope Benedict’s visit nears

Just in time for Pope Benedict’s visit the Guardian tells us:

More than half of the Catholic clergy jailed for paedophile activity in England and Wales remain in the priesthood – with several receiving financial support from church authorities, raising serious questions about depth of church commitment to child protection and overshadowing the start of the papal visit.

There are also claims the church has breached guidelines it agreed to in 2001 by not punishing offenders appropriately and that it has even relaxed some of the rules on how to treat them.

The allegations, shown on Channel 4 News, will fuel hostility towards a trip that is proving controversial on many levels and in many quarters.

Channel 4 News “trawled through the public records and double checked with court documents to put together a map of Catholic clerical abuse” — what they explain is necessarily a partial, but nonetheless illustrative interactive map. It is hair-raising.

Thirty-eight priests committed 331 offenses. But:

…even this is likely to fall short of the real numbers. In some cases claims have never come to court because the priest has died, is believed to have been too old to come to court or has simply absconded.

. . .

Unless the Church authorities open their files to full independent scrutiny we will never know the full extent of the scandal.

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September 14, 2010 - Posted by | Catholic, children, Crime, Pope Benedict XVI |

1 Comment

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