In France, a new wave of scandal around Catholic priests accused of pedophilia, and their patrons from the Vatican. On Tuesday, the court of Lyon summoned two high-ranking hierarchs of the Catholic Church: Archbishop of Lyon, cardinal Philip Barbaren and prefect of the Congregation of the doctrine of faith Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer.
Ferrer’s challenge is particularly noteworthy. He formally occupies the third place in the Vatican hierarchy after the Pope and the Secretary of state, and in fact, in terms of influence – the second. Up to the beginning of the XX century the congregation headed by it was called Inquisition, and it in the XVI century would be called as the Great Inquisitor.
In addition to them, five more people were summoned to court — three French priests and two citizens who were not in the Church service, but related to the diocese of Lyon. The judges will consider last year’s case, previously closed by the Prosecutor of Lyon. Now ten persons calling themselves “victims of pedophilia”, has filed a lawsuit against a 66-year-old “Barbarella”, whom they accused of concealing crimes committed against them by the local priest Bernard Pranom more than a quarter century ago.
THE SINS OF THE VATICAN
Boys grew up
At the end of 1980-ies of father Bernard Prano was just over thirty, and the graduate school scouts Saint-Luc Alexander — eight years. The priest called him his favorite, and every Saturday he was alone with him.
“We were very scared. Imagine an adult person who takes you in his arms and starts kissing you in different places, makes you stroke him… Imagine how scary it can be for a child!”- Alexander told French journalists.
Many years later, Alexander saw a picture of Prein in the newspaper surrounded by children and realized that he could no longer remain silent. He appealed to the diocese, he organized a meeting with the former mentor, and he apologized to him, but justified by the fact that “the higher were aware.”
Such as Alexander, gathered a dozen, and they joined the Association La Parole libérée (“Liberated word”), to work together to seek punishment for those who harassed them as a child. They wrote to the Pope, asked for an audience, which they never received. Meanwhile, a 42-year-old man complained that priest Jerome Biyu of another Lyon parish had twice attempted to rape him, another 16-year-old, during a pilgrimage to Holy places.
As in the case of Bernard Praine, it all came down to what “upstairs knew.” Again, the high patron was cardinal Barbarin.
The Prosecutor’s office opened an investigation. At a preliminary hearing in court, father Bernard admitted that he had committed sexual acts against 13 boys. Barbaren reported that, as head in 2002, the diocese learned about these facts, but to dismiss Prana did not, because he repented and swore corrected.
SCANDAL IN THE VATICAN
On August 1, 2017, the Prosecutor closed the case after the Statute of limitations. However, the participants of La Parole libérée filed a lawsuit against Barbarena, which implies a so-called direct challenge to the court. They accuse the cardinal of concealing sexual abuse of minors and refusing to provide assistance.
The “Grand Inquisitor” Ferrer received a summons because in one of his letters he advised the Archbishop to take adequate disciplinary measures to avoid a public scandal. Thus, he demonstrated that he was also aware.
Cardinal barbaren May face up to three years in prison and up to 45 thousand euros fine, but the plaintiffs require only a symbolic compensation of one Euro — it is more important for them to create a legal precedent and “start a legal debate” about the concealment of the facts of pedophilia by the Church.
The first meeting was a formal one, nor barbaren or Ferrer in the court were not, they were represented by lawyers. As reported by the International French radio (RFI), the hearing is essentially scheduled for early April 2018.
Resonant revelations of Catholic priests-pedophiles shake Vatican since 1990-ies. Waves of high — profile trials swept across different countries and continents- only in Australia from 1993 to 2010 about a hundred clerics were convicted for lewd acts against minors. Scandals broke out in Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Malta, Portugal, the United States, the Netherlands and other countries.
In 2014, the Vatican state Tribunal arrested the former papal Nuncio Josef Veselovski, who for many years represented the Holy see in the Dominican Republic. Where, as shown by the victims he would organize orgies with underage boys he killed at least seven children. A lot of child pornography was found on Veselovski’s computer.
After exposing the former Nuncio Vatican representatives in Geneva had to answer to the UN Commission, Pope Francis personally expelled him from the ranks of the clergy. A year later, the former Archbishop was found dead in his apartment. He reportedly died of a heart attack.
After some revelations come up other, and they all usually relate to the past, sometimes long past. In June this year, the Australian police officially charged the head of the Vatican Secretariat for economic Affairs, cardinal George Pell, with sexual harassment. We are talking about the events of 1961, when he allegedly molested a 12-year-old boy in a Catholic youth camp. Then Pell was a 20-year-old seminarian, criminal prosecution overtook him at the age of 76.