Delo examines fight against sexual abuse by clergy

Ljubljana – Delo writes about the battle against sexual abuse by the clergy in Friday’s commentary headlined Even in Italy Things Moved. The newspaper finds “cover-up, the hiding of the perpetrators went on for so long all the wrongs can never be righted”.

The paper describes how crimes scandals were being exposed throughout the world, while in Italy they have so far “pretended to be as clean as a tear” and every scandal has been swept under the carpet.

Now that Pope Francis made Matteo Zuppi president of the Episcopal Conference of Italy things have moved on “just a little bit”, but he limited investigations to crimes committed this century, which the paper finds was probably the price for his colleagues to consent to the pope’s clean Church policy.

Chronicling the reluctance with which Catholic Church authorities worldwide allowed investigations of abuse, the paper says the pope still faces many high walls preventing for cleansing to start in parts of the world where it has not happened yet.

“In his Latin America there was at least as much paedophile filth as in North America, Europe and Australia. In Europe, he has hard time fighting with the Spanish Church, once the biggest stronghold of Catholicism […]. There is a lot of nice talk, but no tough confrontation with paedophiles. It is the same in many other places, perhaps even here.”

The paper says that the fight against paedophilia could only begin timidly when Pope Ratzinger replaced the late Cardinal Angelo Sodano as his right-hand man. Now that the former Cardinal Secretary of State has died “many will say out loud that for a very long time the cardinal was the fortress that kept out critics of the paedophilia cover-up. Until the last, he defended Marcial Maciel, the convicted most notorious paedophile among the prelates, the Mexican founder of the religious order of the Legionaries of Christ.”