As Benedict XVI and Opus Dei hurry to beatify John Paul II this year in October, John Paul II's hidden crime with his JP2 Pedophile Priests Army keeps erupting around the world at an alarming rate and the Vatican tries to defend Benedict XVI who was its 5-Star General see http://www.pope-ratz.blogspot.com/ and the John Paul II Millstone http://www.jp2m.blogspot.com/.
Italy sees 130 priests investigated over abuse
Italian authorities have arrested, investigated or convicted 130 Catholic priests for sexually abusing children over the last decade, it has been claimed.
By Nick Squires in Rome
Published: 5:28PM BST 06 Apr 2010
A report by prosecutors said that not one of the cases was referred to the police by the local bishop.
Sergio Cavaliere, a lawyer who has compiled evidence on the cases, said: "It's an alarming figure if you consider that it's only the tip of the iceberg, if you think about all the cases that haven't shown up in the media or that haven't gone to court."
A prosecutor in Milan, Pietro Forno, who has won 10 convictions for paedophile priests, claimed that police suspected the existence of a "network of clergy who have a passion for minors".
He said abusive priests had been shuffled between dioceses, where they were free to molest more children.
"It seems that some chose the priesthood with the aim of being close to children," said Mr Forno, the head of a unit which investigates sex crimes.
While hundreds of alleged victims of paedophile clergy have come forward since the start of the year in Austria, Holland, Switzerland and Pope Benedict's native Germany, Italy has remained relatively untouched by the crisis.
But signs are emerging that Italian priests sexually abused children in their care and were protected from investigation by bishops who were desperate not to harm the reputation of the Church.
Allegations of abuse have been reported in Rome, Bologna and Bolzano, in the German-speaking Sud Tyrol region.
In Verona, in the north, almost 70 deaf men and women have claimed they were raped and molested over a period of about 30 years at a Church-run institute for deaf children.
Another paedophile priest is protected by the Catholic Church – this time in India
Should Pope Benedict’s Vatican advisors sincerely believe he is the victim of a smear campaign, or wonder why his call for priests to live “as angels” has been greeted with derision, they could take a look at the case of Rev. Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul.
Fr. Jeyapaul was charged with sexually assaulting a 14 year old girl in Minnesota in 2005, shortly after he was discovered having an inappropriate relationship with a 16 year old girl. He was in India visiting his mother when the “relationship” was discovered by members of his church in Greenbush, Minnesota and was contacted by his bishop, Victor Balke, who decided to keep the matter within the church.
He contacted Fr. Jeyapaul in India and told him to stay there and that he would contact the police if he returned. Soon after the call, he was charged in absentia, for the sexual assault of a 14 year old girl. Instead of putting child protection and justice for the victim firs, Bishop Balke referred the case to the Vatican, which recommended but did not insist upon his dismissal. It was left to the discretion of his new bishop in India, the Most Reverend A Almiraj of Ootacamund.
He held a canonical trial, and sentenced the priest to a year in a monastery, and now works in the bishop’s own office overseeing the appointment of teachers to local schools. It’s a powerful position which comes with influence in a society where status is everything.
When contacted by Associated Press yesterday, the bishop said: “We cannot simply throw out the priest, so he is just staying in the bishop’s house, and he is helping me with the appointment of teachers. He says he is innocent, and these are only allegations. … I don’t know what else to do.”
Well, if his first concern was for the reputation of the church, and all the many thousands who do good work in its name, he could have suspended the priest and persuaded him to return to the United States to face the charges. But, as in so many other tragic cases, the thoughts and concerns of the victims and their families, their need for justice, was ranked some way below protecting the standing of the Roman Catholic church.
What besmirches the name of the church more: the public reporting of sexual abuse commited by clergymen or the creation of a safe haven for paedophile priests by its bishops?