||09 tháng 11, 2008
Một tài liệu mật của Vatican, phác họa phương thức để
đối phó với những luận cứ về các việc lạm dụng tình dục của các linh mục,
đã được xuất bản ở Hoa kỳ và Anh Quốc. Luật sư đại diện cho những người được cho là nạn nhân của sự lạm dụng tình dục, nói rằng tài liệu này chứng minh rằng Vatican đã cản trở thủ tục pháp lý để bảo vệ các tu sĩ Công giáo trong mấy thập niên qua....
A secret Vatican document, outlining procedures
for handling allegations of sex abuse by priests,
has been published in the US and UK. Lawyers acting
for alleged victims of abuse say the document proves
that for decades the Vatican has systematically
obstructed the course of justice in order to protect
Church lawyers, on the other hand, argue that the
document referred only to church law and did not
order bishops to engage in criminal cover-ups.
But the US lawyer who uncovered the document told
a British newspaper the archive material is a
The lawyer, Daniel Shea, told The Observer
newspaper the 1962 Vatican instruction was "a
devious attempt to conceal criminal conduct".
It "is a blueprint for deception and
concealment", the Sunday newspaper quotes him as
The document was sent to every bishop in the world, with orders to keep it
under lock and key, the BBC's David Willey in Rome reports.
Mr Shea, who represents alleged victims of abuse by Catholic priests,
obtained the document from an American priest and handed it over to US
It bears the seal of Pope John XXIII, and calls for "strictest" secrecy in
dealing with abuse allegations within the Church.
It threatens to expel from the Church anyone who breaks their silence.
It deals primarily with priests accused of propositioning congregants during
confession, the Catholic rite in which the faithful tell priests of their sins.
Mr Shea says he was given the document by a clergyman in Germany who has close
dealings with the Vatican.
He handed a copy of the document to US authorities late last month.
Early in August, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops said that the
document, "Instruction on the manner of proceeding in cases of solicitation",
had not been in force for years.
The conference said it was superseded by later guidelines introduced in the
1960s, 1970s and in 1983, the Associated Press reported.
The Vatican's 1983 Code of Canon Law says a priest found to have abused a
minor can be defrocked.
The conference also said the 1962 document "had no bearing on civil law" and
had been misrepresented.
The US Catholic Church has been rocked by revelations of sexual abuse by
Bishops there have been accused of protecting priests suspected of sexual
abuse, moving them to new parishes rather than confronting the problem.
The leader of England and Wales's Catholics, Archbishop Cormac
Murphy-O'Connor, has apologised for relocating priest Michael Hill when
accusations against him arose.
Vatican critics say the 1962 document suggests bishops who moved priests may
have been acting in line with instructions from Rome.
They also say its age refutes Church claims that the problem of sex abuse by
priests is a new one.
The Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Bernard Law, was forced to resign late
last year after he admitted he had covered up sexual abuse by priests for many
The Church faces hundreds of civil lawsuits by people who say they were