News / Europe

Vatican Prosecutor Denounces 'Deadly Culture of Silence'

Irish abuse victim Marie Collins (R) talks during a news conference with British Professor Sheila Hollins in downtown Rome, February 7, 2012.
Irish abuse victim Marie Collins (R) talks during a news conference with British Professor Sheila Hollins in downtown Rome, February 7, 2012.

A top Vatican official is blasting bishops for what he calls their "deadly culture of silence" in dealing with the church's child sex abuse scandal.

It is a scandal that has shaken the faith of Catholics around the world.  And on Wednesday, the Vatican’s top sex crimes prosecutor warned bishops they will be held accountable.

"We have the duty to cooperate with civil authorities in a common fight against crime," Scicluna said.

Monsignor Charles Scicluna told a closed-door, church sponsored symposium in Vatican City that bishops can and should be removed from office if they fail to follow church guidelines.

"So there is already provision in canon law, it is a crime in canon law to show malicious or fraudulent negligence in the exercise of one's duty," Scicluna said.

Many victims' groups have long been critical of the Catholic Church and its bishops for shielding priests accused of sexually abusing children and have dismissed the symposium as a public relations ploy.

But Marie Collins, the only abuse victim taking part in the symposium, says she is pleased by what she heard.

"The bottom line for me is that children have to be protected. We can't do anything about those like myself, who were abused in the past, but by putting in proper protection for the future, we can save children in the future from being abused," Collins said.

Pope Benedict has expressed shame and sorrow over THE abuse and has called on bishops to come up with guidelines against pedophiles by May of this year.

Earlier this week, the church said it has received more than 4,000 child sex abuse allegations over the past decade.


Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid