Why does the Roman Catholic Church hide child abuse by pedophile priests? Because canon law demands it, said a Church official in a 1997 letter.
Archbishop Luciano Storero, told the bishops a senior church panel in Rome, the Congregation for the Clergy, had decided the Irish church’s year-old policy of “mandatory” reporting of abuse claims conflicted with canon law.
Storero emphasized in the letter that the Irish church’s policy was not recognized by the Vatican and was “merely a study document.” He said canon law, which required abuse allegations to be handled within the church, “must be meticulously followed.”
Storero, who died in 2000, wrote, without elaborating, that mandatory reporting of child-abuse claims to police “gives rise to serious reservations of both a moral and a canonical nature.”
This letter is admittedly 14 years old. But it flatly contradicts Vatican statements up to now:
The letter’s message undermines persistent Vatican claims that the church never instructed bishops to withhold evidence or suspicion of crimes from police. Instead, the letter emphasizes the church’s right to handle all child-abuse allegations and determine punishments in house rather than hand that power to civil authorities.
Has anything really changed since then?
To this day, the Vatican has yet to endorse any of the Irish church’s three major policy documents since 1996 on reporting suspected child abuse to civil authorities. In his 2010 pastoral letter to the Irish people condemning pedophiles in the ranks, Pope Benedict XVI faulted Ireland’s bishops for failing to follow canon law and offered no explicit endorsement of child-protection efforts by the Irish church or state.
Can we not at least tax this deformed institution, which continues to this day to turn out pedophiles in industrial quantities? At present we are forced into a passive complicity by, in effect, being forced to subsidize it. Tax-withholding campaign, anyone?