Confusion of Church policy on sex crimes
Italian Bishops attack plan to air "Sex Crimes and the Vatican"
Italian Bishops attack plan to air "Sex Crimes and the Vatican"

Plans by Italy's RAI television network to air a BBC program on sexual abuse have been condemned by Italian Church leaders. However, the program is not certain to air because Mario Landolfi, who heads RAI's parliamentary oversight committee, has requested a ban on its broadcast. According to Landolfi, the program unfairly attacks the Church.

An editorial in the daily Avvenire, published by the Italian bishops' conference, accused the bloggers who posted the video of "calumny against the Church and the Pope.” The Italian version of Google has also posted the documentary which has become the most viewed video on the site, according to the Guardian.

The BBC program, "Sex Crimes and the Vatican," aired in England last October, drawing bitter protests from Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the Archbishop of Westminster.

The firestorm of criticism began when RAI made plans to purchase the program from the BBC and broadcast it on its "Year Zero," popular current affairs show hosted by Michele Santoro.

The focus of the BBC presentation is Crimen Sollicitationis, a Vatican document that was promulgated in 1962. The program described that document as "secret," and claims credit for exposing it, although the full text of Crimen Sollicitationis was published in 2001 and covered extensively by Catholic publications in 2002.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops responded to these allegations back in 2003 stating, “the document is being taken out of context, that it's a church law that deals only with religious crimes and sins. And that the secrecy is meant to protect the faithful from scandal.”

Crimen Sollicitationis covers canonical discipline for priests accused of the sexual misconduct-- including, but not limited to, the sexual abuse of minors. Because the document emphasizes the confidentiality of canonical trials, the BBC report suggested that the Vatican policy, and its enforcement by then-Cardinal Ratzinger, was an effort to conceal evidence of abuse. According to Avvenire, the BBC report missed the crucial distinction between canonical and civil trials, and noted that the Vatican document did not require victims of abuse to remain silent. On the contrary, paragraph 15 of the document "obliged anyone knowledgeable of sexual abuse committed in the confessional to tell authorities or they would be excommunicated."

The BBC program distorts the facts of the case, Avvenire said, in order to raise “accusations against Joseph Ratzinger of being the individual responsible for covering up the crime of pedophilia by priests."

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
First meeting of Commission for Protection of Minors

Liturgical Calendar

July 22, 2014

Saint Mary Magdalene

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:24-43


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Mic 7: 14-15, 18-20

Saint of the Day

St. Mary Magdalene »


Homily of the Day

Mt 12:38-42


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: