Vatican blocked bishops’ actions against abusive priests before 2000, Australian bishop says
An Australian bishop has testified that until 2000, the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy discouraged bishops from taking action against priests accused of sexual abuse.
Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide told a government commission that when bishops sought to discipline abusive priests, “the Congregation for the Clergy consistently made things difficult for them in trying to do that.” He said that the Vatican dicastery regularly supported accused priests who wanted to remain in active ministry.
Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, who was prefect of the Congregation for Clergy from 1996 to 2006, acknowledged in a 2010 interview that he encouraged bishops to protect priests from prosecution for sexual abuse.
The Vatican’s response to bishops’ disciplinary actions changed markedly in 2001, when then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (the future Pope Benedict XVI) succeeded in wresting control of sex-abuse cases away from the Congregation for Clergy. Since that time, accusations of abuse have been handled by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which has approved disciplinary action in several hundred cases. (this from The Catholic World News)
To quote from, ‘Doctors from Hell”, written by Vivien Spitz, a book about Nazi experiments on humans in concentration camps. Ms. Spitz was a court reporter at the Nuremburg war crime trials for the doctors that worked in the camps and were arrested after World War II. ” …there are four categories of human beings: the perpetrator, the victim, the silent bystander, and the rescuer. WHAT IS THE GUILT OF THE SILENT BYSTANDER? (Emphasis mine)
In the cases across the world of priest sexual abuse there are very few rescuers and a plethora of silent bystanders. Cardinal Dario Castrillion Hoyos was a perpetrator by his actions, discouraging bishops to deal with the perpetrators, when he could have been and should have been a rescuer. Cardinal Hoyos should be in jail.
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