Tag Archives: Clerical Child Abuse

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 09.06.20Jozef Wesolowski

You may recall an interview Pope Francis gave last month in which he pledged that bishops who covered up the abuse of minors would be held accountable.

It has now emerged that the former Papal Nuncio to the Dominican Republic, Jozef Wesolowski has been defrocked after being accused of sexually abusing boys.

But far from settling the matter, the Vatican has stirred an outcry because it helped Mr. Wesolowski avoid criminal prosecution and a possible jail sentence in the Dominican Republic. Acting against its own guidelines for handling abuse cases, the church failed to inform the local authorities of the evidence against him, secretly recalled him to Rome last year before he could be investigated, and then invoked diplomatic immunity for Mr. Wesolowski so that he could not face trial in the Dominican Republic.

The Vatican’s handling of the case shows both the changes the church has made in dealing with sexual abuse, and what many critics call its failures. When it comes to removing pedophiles from the priesthood, the Vatican is moving more assertively and swiftly than before. But as Mr. Wesolowski’s case suggests, the church continues to be reluctant to report people suspected of abuse to the local authorities and allow them to face justice in secular courts.

The Vatican says that because Mr. Wesolowski was a member of its diplomatic corps and a citizen of the Holy See, the case would be handled in Rome.

For Nuncio Accused of Abuse, Dominicans Want Justice at Home, Not Abroad (Laurie Goodstein, New York Times)


TV3 is showing Alex Gibney’s award winning documentary ‘Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God’ tonight at 9pm.

It tells the story of four deaf boys who were abused by a priest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a subsequent cover-up which lead to the Vatican.

It summarises the Vatican’s response in three words: deny, minimise and blame.

cruel-crimes-imageThe HBO documentary also explores the church’s role in protecting and hiding known abusers around the world, including Fr Tony Walsh (above centre, playing Elvis in Fr Michael Cleary’s All-Priests Show).

Previously: “An Old, Old Problem


Retired bishop of Clogher Joseph Duffy [above] consistently missed opportunities to prevent clergy from sexually abusing children, according to the Catholic Church’s watchdog. The National Board for Safeguarding Children has published audits of several dioceses. It states that in one particular case in Clogher, there was an unacceptable delay in taking action against a priest and removing him from all ministry following receipt of a credible allegation.
Another priest suspected of multiple abuse was transferred to another parish and eventually was sent overseas for therapeutic help.


Report highly critical of retired Clogher bishop (RTE)

Catholic hierarchy ‘failed to stop’ child sex abuse by priests in Clogher (Henry McDonald, Guardian)

Pic: Vatican Crimes