February 22, 2011
“A 1997 letter from the Vatican warned Ireland’s Catholic bishops not to report all suspected child-abuse cases to police — a disclosure that victims’ groups described as ‘the smoking gun’ needed to show that the church enforced a worldwide culture of covering up crimes by pedophile priests.”
The letter shows how the Vatican stopped Irish church leaders from helping police during Ireland’s first wave of pedophile lawsuits, and undermines Vatican claims “that Rome never instructed local bishops to withhold evidence or suspicion of crimes from police.”
The letter “emphasizes the church’s right to handle all child-abuse allegations and determine punishments in house rather than give that power to civil authorities.”
Amazingly, the Vatican tried to suggest that its letter was designed to ensure that the guilty priests were punished.
Under cannon law, if some crime is committed during confession, such as soliciting sex, it is addressed under strict secrecy with “its own particular norms.” The problem however is that what normally happened was that the priest was not punished according to civil penalties, and rarely was there any significant penalty under canon law.
The 1997 letter, signed by Pope John Paul II’s diplomat to Ireland, required abuse allegations and punishments to be handled within the church “meticulously,” and threatened that the actions of officials working outside canon law would be overturned by the Vatican.
“The letter is of huge international significance, because it shows that the Vatican’s intention is to prevent reporting of abuse to criminal authorities. And if that instruction applied here, it applied everywhere,” said Colm O’Gorman, director of the Irish chapter of human rights watchdog Amnesty International.
Its the “smoking gun we’ve been looking for,” said Joelle Casteix, a director of an abuse survivor’s network in the U.S. Lawyers who want to pin responsibility directly on the Vatican will certainly use the letter as evidence that the cover-up went all the way to the Vatican and that it intervened to prevent pedophile priests from facing civil justice.
The Irish government has compensated more than 14,000 victims rather than the church, to the tune of euro1.5 billion ($2 billion) to more than 14,000 abuse claimants dating back to the 1940s…
Even though Irish church leaders started a policy of mandatory reporting of suspected pedophile priests, the 1997 letter told bishops that mandatory reporting of abuse cases conflicted with canon law.
“The Vatican does advise bishops worldwide to report crimes to police — in a legally nonbinding guide on its website.” This recourse is omitted from the official legal advice provided by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and updated last summer. That powerful policymaking body continues to stress the secrecy of canon law.
Revelation 17:4, 5 says; “And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.