The Current

The Vatican arrests an alleged child abuser, but abuse victims say they are only protecting their own

For the first time, the Vatican will prosecute a priest for child abuse. He faces Papal justice and Papal punishment. Critics wonder if the Vatican's decision to prosecute a former archbishop is a means to protect him from harsher civilian courts....
For the first time, the Vatican will prosecute a priest for child abuse. He faces Papal justice and Papal punishment. Critics wonder if the Vatican's decision to prosecute a former archbishop is a means to protect him from harsher civilian courts.

It is Pope Francis' express will that grave cases regarding the abuse of minors by clergy be dealt with rigorously and without delay. Moreover with 'the full assumption of responsibility by the institutions of the Holy See'.Vatican Radio

Many of us may have become accustomed to hearing disturbing cases of child abuse by Catholic clergy, but anger at both the stories and the Vatican's response, has not subsided. There have been criminal cases, lawsuits, imprisonments and it's tested the faith of many Catholics. But the Church's attitude to many has seemed muted.

However, with the announcement on Tuesday that the Vatican had criminally charged -- for the first time -- a former Archbishop with charges of pedophilia, there is hope that the Roman Catholic Church is finally taking these crimes more seriously.

Many of our listeners may be surprised to learn the Vatican has a justice system, with means of handing out punishments and even a kind of prison. Many of those who do know something of Papal justice wonder if this is a way of avoiding harsher punishment outside the Vatican's walls.

John Allen is an Associate Editor of Crux, a website of the Boston Globe covering the Catholic Church. He was in Charleston, West Virginia today.

News of the criminal charges against the former papal ambassador makes some survivors doubt the Church's motives.

Barbara Blaine is the president and founder of SNAP, The Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests.

Father Raymond De Souza is a Roman Catholic priest in Kingston, Ontario, and a chaplain at Queen's University.


This segment was produced by The Current's Marc Apollonio and Pacinthe Mattar.

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