More sex scandals dog Church

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More sex scandals dog Church
08/02/2008 19:15  – (SA)

Geneva – Switzerland’s Catholic Church is embroiled in a series of sex scandals, with some priests denouncing media intrusion while others say past sins and abuse must be confronted.

One 45-year-old priest committed suicide last Sunday after what his family denounced as a “media hunt”, when it was revealed he had been accused in 2001 of indecent behaviour with a minor back in the 1980s, before he had been ordained.

Some 600 people attended his funeral in the western city of Neuchatel, and heard a message from the local bishop Bernard Genoud denouncing the “intolerable” media pressure on the dead man.

“Rumours can kill,” Genoud subsequently told a television programme, adding that the dead man had admitted his guilt at the time, and had been cleared for work in the priesthood by psychiatric authorities.

The case came hot on the heels of another scandal involving a 67-year-old monk now living in Switzerland and accused of abusing a 12-year old boy in France in the early 1990s.

Prosecutors in the French city of Grenoble opened a case against him last month, and it has transpired that he was sent to France by his superiors in the church after being accused of child sex abuse in Switzerland as far back as the 1960s.

The church never informed the authorities of this when he was sent to France.

Liberal Catholic weekly Golias broke the scandal last November, claiming that the church had paid 90 000 Swiss francs to a man who claimed he had been abused by the monk.

The case drew much condemnation including from within the Church itself.

“It pains me to use the word ‘complicity’ when talking about the Church I love, but this is true,” said Father Nicolas Betticher, spokesperson for the Bishop of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg.

“It is clear that procedures were not properly followed at the time,” he told Swiss Sunday newspaper Le Matin Dimanche.

“If they had been, he would not have been able to re-offend. We did wrong by sending this priest to France,” Betticher said.

Since the case came to light, the Church has reported two further priests accused of sexual abuse in Fribourg and Geneva, legal sources told AFP without giving any further details.

The Church said it has now put in place a telephone hotline for people wishing to report cases of abuse, and set up a body called “SOS Prevention” to allow victims of abuse to come forward.

The Catholic Church, which enjoins celibacy for its clergy, has been buffeted by a wave of sex scandals and revelations of abuse across the world, from Ireland to the US.

Last year, the Catholic Church in San Diego, California, said it would pay $198m to more than 100 people who were sexually abused by members of the clergy.

The settlement followed a record payout by the Los Angeles diocese of $660m to more than 500 victims of abuse by clergy in July, the biggest in US history.

– AFP

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4 thoughts on “More sex scandals dog Church

  1. I agree. But sue the bastards till they are out of business. Prosecute them as if they were regular citizens. Start at the top of their organization, and work your way down to the bottom. Everyone who had a hand in this should be brought to justice. That is if they aren’t above the law, as they believe they are. Bastards!

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  2. Every one who suffered because of religion should sue the catholic church for creating the bloody bible in the first place!

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  3. Yes, I agree sue them all ! Bring their organization down and give it back to the people ! It’s just too easy to be blindfolded and send the priests elsewhere to make more damage.
    But when it comes to children; priests or not, pedophiles and other fuckers; castration & slow death is still in my book. Give them back the horror, the abuse, the fear, the hurtings and the death, they did to the innocent child !
    Those holy books make one thinks backwards, I have no problem thinking like them backwards when the topic is about abusing and molesting children.
    Jail sentence with tv and all comfort is too sweet. I guess … it depends which part of the world we live in.

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