Thursday, March 18, 2010

Also Re: Claims Of The Pope's Lax Treatment Of Abusers

I thought this was a good article from Zenit.

Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna is the "promoter of justice" of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He is effectively the prosecutor of the tribunal of the former Holy Office, whose job it is to investigate what are known as delicta graviora; i.e., the crimes which the Catholic Church considers as being the most serious of all: crimes against the Eucharist and against the sanctity of the Sacrament of Penance, and crimes against the sixth Commandment ("thou shall not commit impure acts") committed by a cleric against a person under the age of eighteen. These crimes, in a motu proprio of 2001, Sacramentum sanctitatis tutela, come under the competency of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In effect, it is the "promoter of justice" who deals with, among other things, the terrible question of priests accused of paedophilia, which are periodically highlighted in the mass media. Msgr. Scicluna, an affable and polite Maltese, has the reputation of scrupulously carrying out the tasks entrusted to him without deferring to anyone.

On the Pope's personal treatment of the subject:

Q: Nonetheless, that document is periodically cited to accuse the current Pontiff of having been -- when he was prefect of the former Holy Office -- objectively responsible for a Holy See policy of covering up the facts...

Monsignor Scicluna: That accusation is false and calumnious. On this subject I would like to highlight a number of facts. Between 1975 and 1985 I do not believe that any cases of paedophilia committed by priests were brought to the attention of our Congregation. Moreover, following the promulgation of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, there was a period of uncertainty as to which of the delicta graviora were reserved to the competency of this dicastery. Only with the 2001 motu proprio did the crime of paedophilia again become our exclusive remit. From that moment Cardinal Ratzinger displayed great wisdom and firmness in handling those cases, also demonstrating great courage in facing some of the most difficult and thorny cases, sine acceptione personarum. Therefore, to accuse the current Pontiff of a cover-up is, I repeat, false and calumnious.

The rest of the interview gives a good account on how abuse cases are handled at the highest levels. Lots of stuff in there that I didn't know. Check it out.

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