Voiceless Victim

A survivor of clergy child sexual abuse speaks out for those who can't speak for themselves

Let The Pope Try and Claim This Letter Was Misunderstood.

Since the recent emergence of a secret letter from the Papal Nuncio to Ireland written to the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference, which squashes any attempt by Irish Bishops to report child sexual abuse to the local police, the Vatican has predictably whined about the letter being  “misunderstood”.

The Vatican denies that the Irish letter instructed Bishops not to report such abuse to the police. Indeed it does not. Well, it doesn’t say, “Don’t report abuse to the police”. Its meaning however, is very clear. The last thing the Vatican wants is for Irish Bishops to start reporting abuse to the police. It just doesn’t say so directly.

The Vatican thinks we are stupid enough to believe it could have meant something else.

In fact a Catholic apologist stated that, since the Vatican claims the letter was misunderstood, it means “there was no cover-up” of systemic child rape and abuse.

A concept those of us on the receiving end of the supposedly non-existent cover-up find a little hard to swallow.

Vatican insiders such as Papal Nuncios are well-trained never to be so honest as to write a straightforward letter explaining in simple and easily quotable language their instructions and the reason for those instructions.  Knowing how morally questionable the Vatican’s instructions usually are, Papal Nuncios are adept at building in automatic deniability to any correspondence.

But the instructions are there in the letter, and they are crystal clear to anyone with a functioning brain who is not trying to spin excuses for an obscenely wealthy criminal organisation.

Complete with threats against non compliance.

Translated from Vatican obfuscation, the letter instructs Irish Bishops to:

By all means distribute your document that reads as if you are doing the right thing. And if people happen to think you are actually doing any of this stuff, that’s their problem, not yours.

But do not under any circumstances implement the document’s recommendations, just stick with the same old evasive procedures.

And here’s a useful list of excuses in case you face any hard questions on this topic.

The bottom line?

Obey canon law and canon law only.

What does canon law stringently require in cases of child sexual abuse?

Absolute secrecy and total denial.

That was not spelled out in the letter.

But it didn’t need to be.

Actually, I agree with the Vatican that the media reported the contents of the letter incorrectly.

It’s worse than was reported.

But hard on the heels of the Irish letter is an American letter that simply cannot be explained away. Probably because it wasn’t written by a slippery Papal Nuncio. You can gauge how worried they must have been by the fact it was written in shockingly clear language.

I really don’t need to do anything with this disgraceful communication except to say that it is entirely consistent with my personal experience.

I’ll let the criminals of the Vatican speak for themselves.

The Tucson letter was written by Silvio Angelo Pio Cardinal Oddi, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy from 1979 to 1986 – that is, the Curia, which is, together with the Pope, the governing body of the Catholic Church — and is addressed to Bishop Manuel D. Moreno of Tucson.

Cardinal Oddi tells Moreno that there was not “any need for engaging in the so-called ‘due process’ procedures.”

“…under no condition whatever ought … files be surrendered to any lawyer or judge whatsoever.” Oddi said “The files of a Bishop concerning his priests are altogether private; their forced acquisition by civil authority would be an intolerable attack upon the free exercise of religion in the United States.”

The Curial cardinal goes on to say that Moreno should “make known immediately and with clarity that no priest’s files will be sent to any lawyer or judge whatever.” He wanted this communicated to other Bishops as a statement of policy.

“We should be clear and resolute, for failure in this regard might initiate a movement toward a most unfavorable precedent in law and – no less importantly – frighten and upset not a few priests whose files are perhaps less than flattering,” Cardinal Oddi concluded.

This latest letter is further evidence, not only about the cover-up of serious crimes against children, but also that in the rush to defend the all important reputations of criminal priests against secular justice, the needs of innocent children to be protected from intolerable attacks involving molestation, rape and torture are not even considered.

As I’ve said before, how very medieval.

Don’t take my word for it, read the letters for yourselves.

Letter to Irish Bishops not to report abuse to police.

American letter insisting documents be withheld from police and courts.

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