Sex Crimes and the Vatican

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Day 20 of the Ban

Did anyone see Sex Crimes and the Vatican on CBC TV last evening?

If not, not to worry. Thanks to the wonders of the internet it is available for viewing online.

I watched portions of the documentary about a week or so ago.  Last night I watched it in it’s entirety.  It is well done.  Yes, I could point to problems, but on the whole it conveys the abysmal and continuing failure of Church officials to deal with clerical sexual abuse scandals appropriately, more often than not recycling offenders from parish to parish or diocese to diocese under a shroud of secrecy.

The “H” word is mentioned nowhere, but that aside I believe the documentary accurately reflects the fact that the vast majority of Roman Catholic clerical predators molest boys of varying ages. Some, as you will see with the former Father O’Grady, molest girls as well, but most  ‘prefer’ boys.

There is of course one remarkable difference between Cornwall and other dioceses rocked by allegations of clerical sexual abuse: to my knowledge no other diocese world-wide has been rocked by a scandal in which many of those tasked with protecting children, enforcing the law and rendering justice were/are party to the endless clerical scandals.

Perhaps that makes the documentary more timely. With Cornwall in mind therefore one can only wonder while watching Sex Crimes and the Vatican what role “the Church” may have played in securing a mandate which ensures that

(i) not one solitary “alleged” clerical paedophile will become classifed as a bona fide clerical paedophile, and

(ii) no effort will be taken to determine if indeed various Roman Catholic bishops, clergy, police, probation officers, teachers and lawyers operated in conjunction with each other to cover-up their own crimes and sins and those of their friends.

Likewise, as we move into what has become the Blame it on Perry phase of the inquiry one can only wonder what role “the Church” may have played and may continue to play in

(i) classifying documents “confidential” under the guise of protecting real/”alleged” victims who may or may not desire or may never have expressed an opinion regarding confidentiality;

(ii) ensuring real and alleged padophiles – bishop and priests included –  will take the stand to testify only if they feel so inclined;

(iii) the names of bishops and priests who have been accused but not charged will remain confidential;

(iv) assigning judges to the sexual abuse trials of Roman Catholic clergy and lawyers;

(v) assigning Justice Glaude as commissioner to the inquiry;

(vi) assigning Crown attorneys to the above; and

(vii) ensuring that by whatever means all eyes at the inquiry stay on Perry Dunlop and away from “the Church” and her real and “alleged” paedophiles.

Food for thought. 

The documentary references a 1962 Vatican document Crimen Sollicitationis (Crimes of the Confessional) and infers the document is responsible for the secrecy which has seen clerical molesters shipped from parish to parish.  That may or may not be true.  I don’t particularly agree with the BBC’s interpretation of the intent of the document, however, it may well be true.  I will leave it to you to read, along with an explanatory column from the National Catholic Reporter which tends to be very liberal in its reporting (it also quotes Father Frank Morrissey).  Your feedback and thoughts would be appreciated.

And, a final note, Church officials in England, the Vatican and the USA are not happy with the documentary.  Some insist the BBC deliberately misrepresented it in an effort to link Pope Benedict XVI with the scandals.

Whatever.  Crimen Sollicitationis or no Crimen Sollicitationis when it comes to priests who sexually abuse our children and youth “the Church” has failed.  And Crimen Sollicitationis or no Crimen Sollicitationis when to comes to demanding holiness of her clergy “the Church” has failed.

And, we are still waiting for the Holy Father to act decisively and get these men out of the priesthood. No more recyling.  We’ve had enough of recyled preying priests in our sanctuaries.

Watch the documentary. And watch the inquiry.


Hearings resume at 2 pm.  Today we will hear  “Reply submissions by parties to the CBC/Radio-Canada’s submissions on publication bans.”  This was supposed to be dealt with last week and was rescheduled. This is important.  The lawyers in the Shed will be responding to the CBC’s attempts to make this public inquiry public in every way shape and form.

And, also today Justice Glaude will render his long awaited and over-due ruling on temporary exhibits which are classified as “Confidential.” Perhaps I can finally have the freedom to get Andre Lavoie’s non-confidential Victim Impact Statment back up and take the Ban banner off the blog 🙂

Enough for now,


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