Skip to main content

but what about those who knew and did nothing?  Pedophile Priest Enablers from the former Pope Benedict (previously Cardinal Ratzinger) to Cardinal Mahoney and now, Cardinal Domenico Calcagno - three men in some of the highest positions of authority within the Catholic Church who KNEW children were being abused by fellow priests - and


Pope Benedict XVI has been accused of inaction over allegations of child sex abuse against an Italian priest.

Former priest Nello Giraudo, allegedly committed numerous sexual abuses on minors in the diocese of Savona, near Genoa, from 1980 to 2005, of which then-cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was made aware of in 2003 but failed to take action.

One of Nello Giraudo's victims told Cardinal (then Bishop) Calcagno as soon as Calcagno was appointed to the dioscese.  That was in 2002.  Calcagno didn't write Ratzinger until 2003.  
"Nothing has yet emerged on newspapers and no legal proceedings have been started," wrote Cardinal Calcagno in a letter to then Cardinal Ratzinger, who was then cardinal-prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's office tasked with overseeing the church's goodness and therefore to investigate sex abuses committed by clergymen.

"I ask your advice on how to deal [with Giraudo], as the priest intends to continue in his pastoral duties...I intend to keep him [Giraudo] away from responsibilities that will put him in contact with children or youngsters."

Instead of launching an investigation or reporting the allegations to police, the pedophile priest was simply punted to another diocese just 12km away.

Cover-up at the Highest Level

As I wrote in a previous diary, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, this culture of coverup starts at the very top of the Catholic Church.

Prior to his election to Pope, Cardinal Razinger served as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) from November 1981 through April 2005.

In 2001, Ratzinger put out a teaching approved by then pope John Paull II stating every sex abuse case that involves a minor comes to Ratzinger's desk.

The year before the Globe story, then-German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was designated to oversee complaints against priests from all over the world. In that job, he ordered that every sex abuse case in the church be brought to his attention, which means that the man who is now the head of the Roman Catholic Church was once in a position to know more than any other single individual in the church about the extent of the issue of pedophilic priests.
The CDF has documents from 4th century councils in Spain, that talks about sex abuse and children.

Due to the chuch's inaction, other children were put at risk.  In 2005, this pedophile priest became "spiritual advisor" to a Boy Scout Troop, where and ended up abusing a 17-year-old boy.  This time it was reported to police and Giraudo was sentenced.  Was justice served?  Depends on your definition of justice...


In 2012 Giraudo agreed a plea bargain with prosecutors and was handed down a one-year suspended sentence in relation to the last offence. Under Italian law, the limitation period for the previous offences had already expired.

Domenico Calcagno is now a cardinal and is now taking part to the conclave that will elect a new Pope, following Benedict XVI resignations in February.

The victims expressed their anger at the fact Cardinal Ratzinger - who was elected Pope less than two years later in 2005 - did nothing despite his attention being drawn to the priest's behaviour.

In my opinion, unless and until the Vatican releases all files on suspected pedophile priests, there is no justice.  There are files today in the Vatican detailing the suspected abuse of children.  Open the files.  Children today are at risk.  Stop protecting pedophile priests and start protecting the most innocent souls among us.  

Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 3:32 PM PT: CNN ran a special on this last night - they said that Fr. Giraudo "was reported in 1980 for abuse of minors."  But rather than inform the police, Giraudo was simple moved from parish to parish - even allowed to set up and run a care home for troubled children in the church rectory.

Father Giraudo self-reported his pedophile tendencies in a letter dated 2002, but was still allowed to remain a priest.  

CNN had an interview with one of the victims who said the church was only concerned with getting caught than with the impact to the victims.  

Giraudo resigned in 2010.  Vatican gave this response to charges of cover-up - "the accusations regarding Cardinal Domenico Calcagno ... and the accusations were without foundation."

Originally posted to TreeClimbers on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:40 AM PST.

Also republished by House of LIGHTS.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (22+ / 0-)

    "...I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul" Invictus - William Ernest Henley Please donate to TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3).

    by Roxine on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:40:46 AM PST

  •  More to come - I'm working on another piece about (16+ / 0-)

    Pope Benedict as well as Pope John Paul II and their purported cover-up of child sexual abuse -

    The worse case was that of Father Maciel, a bigamist, pederast, and drug-taker who raped his own children but had become a close friend of John Paul II and in 2004 was invited to Rome for a papal blessing.  Ratzinger was in possession of all the evidence about Maciel’s regular debauchery with his young novitiates, but refused to act. Even after he became pope, Ratzinger refused to defrock this monster priest or provide the evidence against him to the police. Instead, he merely “invited” Maciel to retire and lead a quiet life in the U.S., away from media attention.
    In 1995 the Hartford Courant reported that nine of his former students had lodged intra-church complaints that he had molested them over three decades, in one case starting when the accuser was 12 years old.

    In 1997 Pope John Paul II appeared to ignore the scandal by appointing Maciel as as special delegate to an important synod... And around the same time John Paul praised him for his "paternal affection and his experience." Benedict, then still Cardinal Ratzinger, closed an investigation into the Maciel allegations in 1999

    "...I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul" Invictus - William Ernest Henley Please donate to TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3).

    by Roxine on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:48:54 AM PST

    •  Much more to the Maciel case (11+ / 0-)

      He wasn't just Father Maciel - he was the founder and continuing head of a new order of priests, the Legionnaires of Christ and their lay supporters Regnum Christi. He embezzled funds to cover up his "other life" and many senior priests in his order knew about it.  An investigation was done, and the Legionnaires of Christ still have to report to the Vatican for anything they do, although no public punishment or actions have been taken against the other members.

      As far as then Cardinal Ratzinger goes, his defenders claim two things (1)  that he did try to get Pope John Paul II to take public action against Maciel in 1999, but JPII would have none of it, and (2) by the time he became Pope, Maciel was terminally ill and so was stripped of all duties and sent away - it was an act of compassion for a dying man, with nothing to be gained from a trial.

      Since the Legionnaires were a growing, conservative body of priests, and Regnum Christi were big fundraisers it appears the Popes were willing to look the other way.

      Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

      by absdoggy on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:10:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which begs the ? - what's a child's life worth... (8+ / 0-)

        Thank you for the additional information.  I am just reading about the Legionnaires of Christ and remember in my previous readings that Maciel was one of the top fundraisers for the Vatican.

        I saw a brief documentary - I'll have to find that again, but it was very disturbing level of depravity Maciel engaged in.

        "...I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul" Invictus - William Ernest Henley Please donate to TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3).

        by Roxine on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:21:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yep. What burns my ass too as a Catholic is (5+ / 0-)

          Regnum Christi and the L of C are "top fundraisers" because some of the tactics they use are as bad as Jimmy Swaggert and the rest of that bunch.

          Now, I don't know that anything has been 100% substantiated, but there's stories of them sending out seminarians to elderly people's houses to hound them into contributing more with guilt trips such as "I won't be able to become a priest if you don't help me" and other pressure tactics like this.

          Records were recently unsealed in a Rhode Island case alleging an elderly woman was pressured to give $60M through donations and willing the order her estate upon death.

          Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

          by absdoggy on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:42:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not much apparently to these men (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cassandra Waites

          especially when they were more worried about what the "simple laity" (as they call Catholics who aren't priests or nun)  would think and how it would ruin the church's good name if it ever got out.

          Got news for them.  A lot of American Catholics knew and were disgusted--and when it became national news, many, like old friends of mine, started giving to their parish but refusing to give. one dime to the diocese, knowing it would pay for the cover-up.

          I left 40+ years ago, but if I hadn't, this would ahve done it for me.

          FYI, it isn't just the Catholic church t hat has this problem.  According to an article I read years ago in the Portland paper, Protestant churches, espcially fundy ones, had  similar issues int he 70s and early 90s.  Insurance companies refused to insure them unless they did in-depth background checks on clergy--especially Youth Minsiters and Music Moinisters.  DIdn't go national, because many fundy denominations, like the SBC, are independent churchs who belong toa grouop but are essentially independent contractors--therefpre the sums invovled are a lot smallerwhen you sue a small fundy church than sauing a dicoese with deep pockets.  As alte as 2005 or after, one of the news programs looked at the SBC listing for minsiters looking for new positions and found THREE ocnvicted sex offenders ont he lsit....

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 05:50:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I spent two years and a bit (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            warming a Catholic pew.

            I gave twice - once to a food missions drive, once to the retired priests retirement fund. I knew the only priest living off it at the moment, he was a decent-seeming fellow who was kind to me, and it was maybe enough for a small plain coffee.

            I was raised to always give at least a little something if you were a long-time attendee someplace. That went away when I started getting bad vibes off the SBC church-of-my-childhood in high school. If I don't like what a church is organizationally doing, I'll possibly give enough to cover my additional fraction of the church costs generated solely because I am there, but I won't give more.

            And part of why I gave there the way I did? No way any of it was going to go anywhere but exactly where I meant it to.

            Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

            by Cassandra Waites on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:25:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I left at age 20 over birth control, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cassandra Waites

              abortion, sexuality (gay or straight) in general, and the role of women. I couldn't buy into it--hadn't since I was a  young teen. I've only been in a church for my first wedding at 27 (made parents happy, and I liked the priest who presided and let  choose everything--the Mass was practically WIccan) , and the funderals of family members. If I went with parents, I brought a paperback and hid it behind the missal.  I just couldn't do it, even to make them happy.

              The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

              by irishwitch on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 12:24:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Question is what age do they consider a child a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    child????  I read a diary here about in Mexico that a child is considered a child at under 12 yo. Perhaps they will use their political clout to lower the legal age of childhood. Thereby steam cleaning their self righteousness.

    Fear is the Mind Killer...

    by boophus on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 03:32:35 PM PST

  •  FYI, the link on Giraudo states (0+ / 0-)
    Several of Mr. Giraudo's victims also described the abuse they suffered at the hands of the priest, who was jailed for 12 months last year after plea bargaining to a charge of sexually abusing a 17-year-old boy.
    I wouldn't call that justice either. He did spend a year behind bars.

    "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

    by Ginny in CO on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 09:16:08 PM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site