May 29, 2005

Pope faked child abuse investigation

Press Esc

Contributed by Ugo Lancione, Vatican Correspondent
Sunday, 29 May 2005

The pope is facing new accusations that he 'faked' an investigation into child abuse by a leader of an influential Roman Catholic order to show the world that he was taking tough stance against offenders in order to get himself elected the leader of the Catholic Church.

The disgraced pontiff Bendedict XVI is accused of opening an investigation into the conduct of the alleged serial molester and leader of the Legionnaires of Christ Marcial Maciel in December last year but promptly dropping the investigation after being elected as the pope last month.

The pope last week claimed immunity from prosecution against charges of obstructing the course of justice stemming from secret letter, obtained by the respected British newspaper Observer, that the then Cardinal Ratzinger sent to every Catholic bishop asserting the church's right to hold its inquiries behind closed doors and keep the evidence confidential for up to ten years after the victims reached adulthood.

It is believed that the immunity claim is also an attempt to ward of any criminal investigation in the Vatican itself after the Police in Rome busted a pedophile ring run by Roman Catholic priests last week.

"When Ratzinger stepped up the investigation of Maciel, dispensing a priest around the world to take the alleged victims' statements, it seemed that he was positioning himself to be the next pope, shoring up his anti-molester credentials." Mark Oppenheimer wrote in the New Haven Advocate. "And now, no sooner does he become pope than he decides to close down a fruitful investigation into a man accused of being a serial molester of young seminarians."

Posted by kshaw at May 29, 2005 09:14 AM