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Clerical abuse

Ongoing exposures of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests show there is a lot of corruption behind the ‘holy doors’.

In Chile, the police recently raided the headquarters of the Catholic Church’s Episcopal Conference, thus ending “the impunity of the Chilean hierarchy”, as Anne Barrett Doyle, of BishopAccountability.org, said.

In the United States, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, DC has been asked by the Vatican to cease public ministry after he was accused of molesting minors and seminarians. He is among the highest-ranking of the more than 6,700 Roman Catholic clerics in the US to be accused of sexually abusing children since the Church’s sex abuse scandal broke out in 2002 (BishopAccountability.org.).

In Australia, Cardinal George Pell, another high-ranking official of the Vatican hierarchy, “has been charged with multiple offences involving multiple complainants” (Times of Malta, October 7, 2017). Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide has been convicted of concealing child sex abuse.

Last June, a Vatican court sentenced Mgr Carlo Alberto Capella to five years in jail for possessing and distributing child pornography while based in Washington, DC as a diplomat. He was the author of a 2003 paper for the Pontifical Lateran University on priestly celibacy.

If Archbishop Charles Scicluna had to reveal all that he knows about sexual abuse by Catholic priests worldwide, Maltese Catholics would be left reeling from the shock and the scandal.

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