Monday, April 19, 2010

Late Pope 'covered up' sexual abuse scandal

From: Press TV
The plight of the Vatican continues to draw worldwide attention as revelations surface that the late pope John Paul II had allegedly blocked an investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct by Catholic priests.

The late Polish pontiff, who is close to being beatified and named as a saint of the Catholic Church, was eventually dragged into the child abuse scandal surrounding the Vatican on Sunday when serious allegations were made against him for allegedly blocking an inquiry into a pedophile cardinal, promoting senior church figures despite accusations that they had molested boys and covering up innumerable cases of abuse during his 26-year papacy.

Cardinal Christoph Schonborn made the comments after a special service titled “Admitting our guilt” in Vienna's St. Stephen's cathedral, in which he flatly condemned the “sinful structures” within the church and the patterns of “silencing” victims and "looking away."

According to Schonborn, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who went on to become Pope Benedict XVI, had tried to investigate the allegations of sexual abuse by clergies as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. His efforts, Schonborn claimed, had nevertheless been blocked by “the Vatican”, an apparent reference to John Paul.

“I have known Pope Benedict personally during 37 years of amiable acquaintance and I can say with certainty that ... he made entirely clear efforts not to cover things up but to tackle and investigate them. This was not always met with approval in the Vatican,” Schonborn told The Sunday Times.

This comes as John Paul also faced criticism last week from his home country of Poland for protecting Archbishop Juliusz Paetz, who was accused of abusing trainee priests.