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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

World

Abuse victims list 'dirty dozen' papal candidates
AFP
Chicago, March 07, 2013
First Published: 08:45 IST(7/3/2013)
Last Updated: 12:14 IST(7/3/2013)

Clergy sex abuse victims listed a "dirty dozen" potential papal candidates and urged the Roman Catholic Church to "get serious" about protecting children, helping victims and exposing corruption.

"We want to urge Catholic prelates to stop pretending that the worst is over regarding the clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis," said David Clohessy, director of the US-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.

"Tragically, the worst is almost certainly ahead," he said, adding that the truth of "widespread, longstanding and deeply-rooted" abuse and coverups has "yet to surface in most nations."

The organisation cited a dozen cardinals from the United States, Mexico, Honduras, Italy, Australia, Czech Republic, Canada, Argentina and Ghana accused of protecting pedophile priests and making offencive public statements.

They are all considered to be contenders to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, who was criticised for his handling of the sex abuse scandals that have rocked the church in the United States and Europe.

SNAP also opposes electing any member of the Roman Curia, the administrative branch of the Holy See.

"We feel no current Vatican 'insider' has the will to truly 'clean house' in the Vatican and elsewhere,'" Clohessy said in a statement.

"Promoting a Curia member would discourage victims, witnesses, whistleblowers and advocates from reporting wrongdoing."

Public denunciations of the media for attacking the church and assertions that claims of widespread abuse were overstated were often cited among reasons to blacklist a papal candidate.

Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana made the list for claiming there were few child molesting clerics in Africa because they didn't tolerate gay people there.

Cardinal Dominik Duka of Czech Republic was cited for claiming that only 10% of accusations against priests are proven.

Efforts to maintain secrecy rather than report abuse to law enforcement also led to condemnation.

Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico made the list for claiming there are no "documented" cases of abuse against minors in Mexico and allegedly concealing multiple child sex abuse allegations.


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