That recent BBC documentary alleging that Pope Benedict has been instrumental in a Vatican conspiracy to cover up clergy sex-abuse continues to generate attention, including this analysis by disgruntled Fr. Tom Doyle at the Voice of the Faithful web site. Part of the supposed “smoking gun” is a 1962 document issued by the Vatican called “Crimen Sollicitationis,” that supposedly details a secret protocol for hiding sex abusers.
It does no such thing, and besides, as with the rest of the documentary’s supposed report, this is old news. In fact, I blogged about this very document back in 2003. My bottom line from that blog post remains true:
[W]hat we have is, I think, a canon lawyer/priest with an axe to grind who has presented some overeager trial lawyers with something with which to attack the Church. The priest should have known better and I think he has done real damage to the Church and borne false witness by this.
Here are other blog entries from the time:
More on the Vatican “smoking gun” (Catholic World News debunking the CBS News story)
Good coverage from a newspaper (Former Boston Herald reporter Eric Convey giving mainstream coverage to the debunking of the document)
Fr. Tom Doyle responds to the “smoking gun” document (Doyle’s statement at the time distancing himself from the document’s release and debunking the conspiracy theory)
In Ireland, the beat goes on (the flogging of the story in Ireland in 2003)
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