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Catholic Church continues to have predatory priest problems

Timothy Kincaid

March 17th, 2010

pope eyesSurely, surely, there are Catholic priests who haven’t molested children. And there simply must be a Cardinal or Archbishop somewhere who didn’t cover up abuse. However, now the Catholic Church is beginning to appear as though abuse and cover ups were the norm rather than the exception.

With newly reported cases in the growing scandal in Germany, along with bizarre developments in Brazil, the ten people dedicated to inspecting cases and paying settlements are beginning to feel overwhelmed. (NY Times)

In a rare interview, by telephone on Tuesday, Monsignor Scicluna acknowledged the concern. Asked if he wanted reinforcements, he said with a laugh: “I would hope we have less work. That’s my hope. Not more people, less work.”

He added that if the number of cases averaged 300 a year, “We can continue doing our job well with 10 people. The problem is: Are these numbers going to settle?”

Despite the small number of people in the Vatican working on such cases, he stressed that his office was the last step in a long process for the cases, after they have been investigated by “hundreds of canon lawyers” in dioceses worldwide.

“It’s not that these people are doing every case from A to Z, otherwise we’d really be bonkers,” he said.

The investigative arm is bonkers, but the PR division must be going crazy. Because the Brazilian scandal was televised (AP).

The case came to light after the SBT network aired a video purportedly showing an 82-year-old priest having sex with a 19-year-old altar boy who worked for him for four years. Other young men appeared on the report saying that they, too, had been abused by Monsignor Luiz Marques Barbosa.

ick

Comments

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paul j stein
March 17th, 2010 | LINK

I guess I came out/was vocal about my sexuality too early (12yo) for my local priests. Never was hit on by any clergy members.All they could do was tell me to wait on it till I was married, YA RIGHT! There was a legitimate standing offer of $125 for a weekend camping trip with the high school Principle in my older brother’s day (1967).

darkmoonman
March 18th, 2010 | LINK

Were this anything but the Church, people would be examining the connection between priestly requirements (e.g. celibacy) and the trend for priest to molest young girls and boys.

Chris McCoy
March 18th, 2010 | LINK

The case came to light after the SBT network aired a video purportedly showing an 82-year-old priest having sex with a 19-year-old altar boy who worked for him for four years.

While some people disapprove of relationships where the difference in age is more than 5-10 years, the video footage still shows an act that is between two consenting adults.

So far, the only thing Monsignor Barbosa is guilty of, is breaking his celibacy vow.

The AP article cited does not indicate if the 19-year old has said that he engaged in sex acts with the priest earlier; however, in Brazil, the authorities are not obliged to press charges if the victim is over the age of 14. A 4-year tenure would mean this young man was a legally consenting adult of 15 years at the time he started “working” for the Monsignor.

werdna
March 18th, 2010 | LINK

@Chris-You must’ve missed this in the AP story:

In its report last week, SBT showed footage of a man who looks like Barbosa having sex with the 19-year-old. It said the footage was secretly filmed in January 2009 by a 21-year-old man who charges Barbosa had abused him since age 12.

Chris McCoy
March 18th, 2010 | LINK

@werdna:

Nope, I read that. A 21-year old secretly shot footage of a priest having sex with a 3rd party who was 19 at the time.

To me, this does not mean that the 21-year old had shot footage of himself, at the age of 19, having sex with the priest.

This does not enhance the claim that the priest abused minors, as the 19-year old is not a minor. Even if the same 19-year old was having sex with the priest 4 years previously, he still would have been 15, and still legally still able to give consent.

I am not attempting to de-legitimize the claims of the 21-year old. I am pointing out that the video footage does not show any illegal acts being committed. Both the priest and the 19-year old are consensual adults under Brazilian law.

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