1 Dec 2010

As one bishop blames Jews for current criticisms of Catholic church, another blames homosexuality for pedophile priests

The Guardian - UK April 11, 2010

Bishop 'blames Jews' for criticism of Catholic church record on abuse

Tom Kington, Rome

A furious transatlantic row has erupted over quotes that were attributed to a retired Italian bishop, which suggested that Jews were behind the current criticism of the Catholic church's record on tackling clerical sex abuse.

A website quoted Giacomo Babini, the emeritus bishop of Grosseto, as saying he believed a "Zionist attack" was behind the criticism, considering how "powerful and refined" the criticism is.

The comments, which have been denied by the bishop, follow a series of statements from Catholic churchmen alleging the existence of plots to weaken the church and Pope Benedict XVI.

Allegedly speaking to the Catholic website Pontifex, Babini, 81, was quoted as saying: "They do not want the church, they are its natural enemies. Deep down, historically speaking, the Jews are God killers."

The interview was spotted on Friday by the American Jewish Committee, which said Babini was using "slanderous stereotypes, which sadly evoke the worst Christian and Nazi propaganda prior to world war two".

On its website, the American Jewish Group Committee quoted bishop Vincenzo Paglia, an official at the Italian Bishops' Conference, as saying Babini's remarks were "entirely contrary to the official line and mainstream thought of the Catholic church".

As the interview appeared on Italy's main newspaper sites today, complete with the American reaction, the Bishops' Conference rushed out a statement quoting Babini denying he had ever given the interview in the first place. "Statements I have never made about our Jewish brothers have been attributed to me," he said.

Babini has previously been quoted on the Pontifex website accusing Jews of exploiting the Holocaust, as well as criticising homosexuality.

As cases of alleged priestly abuse emerge in the US and Europe, Benedict's handling of proven molesters before he became pope in 2005 has now been questioned in cases in Munich, Wisconsin and, most recently, in California, where his signature appears on an 1985 letter resisting calls to defrock a paedophile priest.

This article was found at:



The Guardian - UK April 12, 2010

Vatican tells bishops to report abuse cases to police

Tom Kington in Rome

In an attempt to prove that the Vatican is heeding criticism of its handling of paedophile priests, the Holy See today issued detailed instructions to its bishops on how to report abuse to the police.

The short set of rules, published online in English, is an attempt to satisfy critics who have accused the Catholic church of covering up some of the dozens of abuse cases coming to light in the US and Europe. "Civil law concerning reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities should always be followed," it states.

Francis X Rocca, Vatican correspondent for Religion News Service, said: "This is a new and notable public emphasis on the need to follow local laws."

The Vatican daily L'Osservatore Romano described the rules as part of a "transparency drive" adopted by the Vatican. The document, it added, was based on the Motu Proprio, the 2001 Vatican ruling which ordered bishops to forward abuse cases to Rome.

But one Vatican expert said the 2001 document gave no specific instructions on reporting to the police. "There is no similar sentence in the Motu Proprio," said John Allen, senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter. "The Vatican may say these guidelines make explicit what was always understood but the truth is that for years abuse was not reported to the police."

In Ireland, bishops reportedly understood the 2001 rules to mean they should not tell police about abuse.

Since the start of the latest wave of abuse and cover-up allegations, some of which have questioned the role of Benedict XVI in tackling abuse before he became pope, officials have begun to admit the need for better co-operation with local police.

Benedict, in a letter to Irish Catholics in March, instructed Irish bishops to apply canon law and "continue to co-operate with the civil authorities in their area of competence". But the guidelines mark the Vatican's first public declaration that all its bishops should contact the police when they learn of allegations of abuse.

The newly published guidelines also outline the different ways that abusive priests can be disciplined by the church's internal courts. In "very grave cases", the pope may issue a decree dismissing a priest from the clerical state.

The guidelines were posted on the Vatican's new blog, which has been set up together with a Twitter feed and a YouTube page to improve communications.

As the guidelines were being issued, the pope's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone risked new controversy by claiming that paedophilia was linked to homosexuality.

"Many psychologists and psychiatrists have shown that there is no link between celibacy and pedophilia but many others have shown, I have recently been told, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and paedophilia," he told a news conference in Santiago.

This article was found at:


No comments:

Post a Comment