Skip to comments.Lawyers eye former pope's blueprint to shield clergy
Posted on 07/31/2003 8:21:16 PM PDT by Land of the Irish
A Latin document bearing the seal of Pope John XXIII outlined a 1962 Vatican procedure for shielding sexually abusive priests, two lawyers for plaintiffs in cases against the church maintain.
The ``Crimine Solicitationis,'' translated as ``Instructions on proceeding in cases of solicitation,'' states abuse cases are subject to the ``papal secret'' and threatens excommunication against victims who do not come forward within 30 days, according to the document given to authorities by Carmen Durso of Boston and Daniel J. Shea of Houston.
On Monday, Durso presented an English translation to U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan.
``We gave it to the U.S. Attorney because we wanted him to understand what we mean when we say this has been an ongoing conspiracy,'' he said.
Added Shea, ``It's an instruction manual for a rigged trial for a priest accused of sexual crimes, including crimes against children.''
The document, which Shea said he had been trying to uncover for more than a year and recently received from canon lawyer the Rev. Thomas Doyle, allows victims one month to make their claim known to the supervising bishop.
``The penitent must denounce the accused priest . . . within a month to the (bishop) . . . and the confessor must, burdened seriously in conscience, warn the penitent of this duty,'' the document states.
``The confessor is the accused priest,'' Shea said.
``They're giving the priest the responsibility to tell his victim that the victim has to turn the priest in to the bishop within 30 days. If not, the victim is automatically excommunicated,'' he said, citing another passage.
A Boston Archdiocese spokesman could not be reached for comment and the Herald could not verify yesterday if the document was indeed genuine.
But both lawyers said they believed the Latin original to be authentic.
``They're giving the priest the responsibility to tell his victim that the victim has to turn the priest in to the bishop within 30 days. If not, the victim is automatically excommunicated,''
Further evidence that the cover-up of sexual abuse goes back before Vatican II. It's a shame that this is John XXIII devising this kind of hideous practice.
Can you imagine, excommunicating a victim because they don't come forward with a claim of sexual abuse by a priest within 30 days?
If this is true, popes and bishops have much to answer for.
How many precious souls have been condemned to suffering in this life because of the callousness of popes and bishops?
One turns one's eyes away from such coldness.
Nope. It's the One, True Church. It has it's enemies both within and without.
No. Satan is not the foundation. But selfishness and the need to preserve appearances overwhelmed papal and episcopal hearts, to the detriment of little people, the abused children, who were ignored, condemned, and thrown away.
Christ was not in these people, in these actions.
The Church deserves the condemnations it is receiving.
Vatican II was not the cause of abuse, but merely a catalyst for more of the same.
Outside the boundaries of sacramental confession, I don't know if canon law specifically addresses the situation or not.
Somewhere else canon law specifies that if you have been involved in a sexual indiscretion with a priest, that priest cannot absolve you; you must seek out another confessor.
The situation in the article doesn't seem to fall within the purview of either of these canons, so it is not impossible that appropriate directives be issued from on high. If subject directive is genuine, the wrong person is subject to excommunication imo, although it would serve as a protection against false denunciation which would be very serious.
Excuse me, but John XXIII, who devised "this kind of hideous practice" is the one who convened VC II.
By their fruits, you shall know them.
You're 0 for 2 tonight.
If you think this "practice" is a novelty with John XXIII, you're truly dense.
Sexual abuse was rampant under Pius XII, and, likely under prior popes, but victims were treated just as shabbily.
Clerical abuse of children is the sin in the Church that dare not speak its name.
Popes are human beings, and products of their culture.
Is it possible that men like Pius X, now a saint, knew of clerical abuse and did nothing? Absolutely, but he was simply ignorant of the hideousness of the act and its effect on the victims.
But, that was a different time, when the Church crushed common people under the burden of anathemas that, today, make no sense and have no applicability.
It also exalted clerics to positions of pre-eminence that they did not deserve, and should not have had, given that they were to be followers of Him who had nowhere to lay His Head.
Understand, my Church has much to answer for. But, men are fallible, which is why we fix our eyes on the Christ who pulls every man to grow outside of himself, to get out of his comfort zone, to become Christ himself.
The Church is being put through fire because it deserves it.
Christ, however, is constant, and His Word that He will be with His Church is reassuring.
Just because abuses occurred during reigns of prior popes, doesn't mean those popes gave "hideoous (your word, not mine) " instructions such as "Blessed" John XXIII did.
It's not a claim, it's a fact. Get over it.
So, a 15 year old kid, scared to death and really not comprehending of what's happening to him because "Father" is someone he trusts and likes, is going to be put out of the Church because he doesn't come forward with an accusation that, in the pre-Vatican II Church, nobody would have believed anyway? Not even his parents?
I don't think you've really thought this through. Rape victims sometimes take YEARS to come forward, because of the shame and the FACT that they feel they will not be believed.
If the Church's radar on moral issues is as clouded as it was on this issue, no wonder most Catholics have gone their own way in deciding sexual morality for themselves.
This kind of callousness is inexcusable.
We all believe as we will.
They were too smart to codify it.
But, if you doubt they were less condemnatory, you're delusional.
After all, who would have believed that "Father" would abuse a child?
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