November 28, 2005

Priest sex scandal shocks Brazil

Sydney Morning Herald

By Tom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro and John Hooper in Rome
November 29, 2005
A GROWING sex abuse scandal is rocking the world's largest national Catholic congregation.

A Brazilian priest has been given a long jail sentence after a court heard extracts from a diary that read like a pedophile priest's how-to manual. A magazine earlier published evidence that, according to estimates by Vatican investigators, one in 10 of Brazil's priests was involved in some form of sexual misdemeanour.

The signs of abuse in a country that is home to about 125 million Catholics will be of particular concern to the church hierarchy. Until now Catholic leaders comforted themselves with the belief that, no matter how battered its reputation in rich nations such as the US, the church continued to be held in high esteem in the developing world.

Regina Soares Jurkwicz, author of Unveiling the Politics of Silence: Sexual Abuse of Women by Priests in Brazil, said the nation could now be facing a problem of even greater dimensions than that uncovered in the US in 2002.

Posted by kshaw at November 28, 2005 11:27 AM