Sex Crimes and the Vatican

2006 Religion 1.69K Views 10 Comments
A secret document which sets out a procedure for dealing with child sex abuse scandals within the Catholic Church is examined by Panorama. Crimen Sollicitationis was enforced for 20 years by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he became the Pope. It instructs bishops on how to deal with allegations of child abuse against priests and has been seen by few outsiders. Critics say the document has been used to evade prosecution for sex crimes.

It instructs them how to deal with priests who solicit sex from the confessional. It also deals with "any obscene external act ... with youths of either sex." It imposes an oath of secrecy on the child victim, the priest dealing with the allegation and any witnesses. Breaking that oath means excommunication from the Catholic Church. Reporting for Panorama, Colm O'Gorman finds seven priests with child abuse allegations made against them living in and around the Vatican City. One of the priests, Father Joseph Henn, has been indicted on 13 molestation charges brought by a grand jury in the United States.

During filming for Sex Crimes and the Vatican, Colm finds Father Henn is fighting extradition orders from inside the headquarters of this religious order in the Vatican. The Vatican has not compelled him to return to America to face the charges against him. After filming, Father Henn lost his fight against extradition but fled the headquarters and is believed to be hiding in Italy while there is an international warrant for his arrest. Colm O'Gorman was raped by a Catholic priest in the diocese of Ferns in County Wexford in Ireland when he was 14 years old.

Father Fortune was charged with 66 counts of sexual, indecent assault and another serious sexual offence relating to eight boys but he committed suicide on the eve of his trial. Colm started an investigation with the BBC in March 2002 which led to the resignation of Dr Brendan Comiskey, the bishop leading the Ferns Diocese. Colm then pushed for a government inquiry which led to the Ferns Report. It was published in October 2005 and found: "A culture of secrecy and fear of scandal that led bishops to place the interests of the Catholic Church ahead of the safety of children."

10 Comments

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  • Warehamp8 5 years ago

     It won't let me play it? Anything one help?

    1
  • Warehamp8 5 years ago

     It won't let me play it? Anything one help?

    1
  • Warehamp8 5 years ago

     It won't let me play it? Anything one help?

    1
  • Adrienne 6 years ago

    The whole organization IS sick, evil and corrupt. The very head of it took action to silence raped children and protect the reputation of abusive priests.

    The role of celibacy itself is twisted. It interfere's with the sex centre of an individual's brain. Considering that the entire vatican are sexually deprived and make up a moral code for a sexually active public shows that they are morally conflicted and disturbed.

    People have the freedom to discuss this matter whenever, however and wherever they like.

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  • ka sepjo 6 years ago

    let us not confuse religion and psychotic individuals. religion is a social practice brought about by psychological, social, political, etc necessity. maybe some are good and some are bad.

    psychotics are sick, deviants, among them sexual offenders. they maybe in our homes, offices, religious organizations, government, or schools.

    if a sexual deviant happens to be in a religious organization, it does not mean the whole organization is sick or evil. like if this individual is in a government of any country, it does not mean the whole government is sick.

    lets deal with this sickness with available know how.

    if we have anything against any religion, bring our case to the appropriate venue: courts, write a book, make speeches etc.

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  • Gordon 6 years ago

    absolutely shocking. anyone who robs a child of there innocence should receive the death penalty. pope benedict clearly wont do anything about this, and you have to wonder why. any right thinking human being would blow the whistle on these sicko,s and hand them over to the authorities. is it possible the pope himself has been engaging in child abuse.

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  • Brandon M 6 years ago

    Religion allows things like this to happen, Gudrun its ignorant of you to think this has only started 45 years ago, the Catholic church has been corrupt from the start and its foolish to deny that. The bible is not a book of truth but simply a book. Religion doesnt belong on earth. No God claimed by any religion can possibly exist. There is a small possibility of a God but if there is nobody knows what this God is or what it wants. The chance of there being a God is lower then that of Aliens having visited earth.

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  • lower back pain medicine 7 years ago

    I am stricken by the way you embraced this topic. It is not often I come across a website with interesting articles like yours. I will bookmark your feed to keep up to date with your upcoming updates.Just striking and do continue up the good work.

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  • Gudrun J. 7 years ago

    There is no suprise here as this has become the heretical, masonic, marxist, newchurch, NOT the Catholic church. The Catholic faith was thrown out over 45 years ago and now the fish stinks from the head. Rome will become the seat of the Antichrist as was biblicly prophesized.

    Years ago, these criminals would have been justifiably hung in the public square for their crimes, including Ratzinger and his abettors. They should all be thrown out and the place fumigated. They all deserve the millstone necklace as was written about in the bible for those who commit crimes against children.

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  • crackerz 7 years ago

    Interesting documentary. Nice job, Documentary Wire! continue adding these great documentaries to your collection!

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