Potiphar’s Wife | The Vatican’s Secret and Child Sexual Abuse

Overview – Potiphar’s Wife by Kieran Tapsell
English summary: The cover-up of child sexual abuse by the Catholic Church has been occurring under the pontificate of six popes since 1922. For 1500 years, the Catholic Church accepted that clergy who sexually abused children deserved to be stripped of their status as priests and then imprisoned. A series of papal and Council decrees from the twelfth century required such priests to be dismissed from the priesthood, and then handed over to the civil authorities for further punishment. That all changed in 1922 when Pope Pius XI issued his decree Crimen Sollicitationis that created a de facto privilege of clergy by imposing the secret of the Holy Office on all information obtained through the Churchs canonical investigations. If the State did not know about these crimes, then there would be no State trials, and the matter could be treated as a purely canonical crime to be dealt with in secret in the Church courts. Pope Pius XII continued the decree. Pope John XXIII reissued it in 1962. Pope Paul VI in 1974 extended the reach of pontifical secrecy to the allegation itself. Pope John Paul II confirmed the application of pontifical secrecy in 2001, and in 2010, Benedict XVI even extended it to allegations about priests sexually abusing intellectually disabled adults. In 2010, Pope Benedict gave a dispensation to pontifical secrecy to allow reporting to the police where the local civil law required it, that is, just enough to keep bishops out of jail. Most countries in the world do not have any such reporting laws for the vast majority of complaints about the sexual abuse of children. Pontifical secrecy, the cornerstone of the cover up continues. The effect on the lives of children by the imposition of the Churchs Top Secret classification on clergy sex abuse allegations may not have been so bad if canon law had a decent disciplinary system to dismiss these priests. The 1983 Code of Canon Law imposed a five year limitation period which virtually ensured there would be no canonical trials. It required bishops to try to reform these priests before putting them on trial. When they were on trial, the priest could plead the Vatican Catch 22 defencehe should not be dismissed because he couldnt control himself. The Church claims that all of this has changed. Very little has changed. It has fiddled around the edges of pontifical secrecy and the disciplinary canons. The Church has been moonwalking.

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School removes the name of a Christian Brother from one of its buildings

  • By a Broken Rites researcher, article posted 1 April 2017

Some victims of Catholic Church sex abuse are forcing the church authorities to stop honouring a particular priest or religious brother because of sex-abuse allegations. In the latest example, a prominent Brisbane Catholic boys’ school (St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace) has removed the name of a former deputy headmaster (Brother C.L. Dillon) from one of its buildings.

The building is the “C.L. Dillon Boathouse”, which houses the school’s rowing club.

St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace was founded by the Christian Brothers. It is a member of the “Great Public Schools Association of Queensland”, which includes eight high-fee private schools plus the Brisbane State High School.

Brother Charles Lorenzo Dillon taught at Gregory Terrace from 1950 to 1972. He became deputy headmaster, master in charge of the middle school, officer commanding cadets, coach of the First XV and Rowing Master. He was also active in promoting basketball. He died in 1994, aged 74

The current principal, Mr Michael Carroll, says (in a circular to parents and staff) that the decision to remove Dillon’s name has been made “following the recent receipt of information related to historical abuse allegations” against Brother Dillon.

Mr Carroll’s circular says that this information may be concerning for many past and present students and staff. He says the decision to take this action was made by the college, in collaboration with the Australia-wide leadership of the Christian Brothers.

Similar action at a Melbourne school

In 2016, Melbourne’s Xavier College (founded by the Catholic order of Jesuit priests) announced that two plaques would be erected soon at Xavier (one in the Chapel and one in the grounds) to “acknowledge the shadow of sexual and other abuse that occurred at Xavier a number of years ago.” Also, Xavier College announced that its sports complex, previously named the “Stephenson Centre” in honour of the late Father Patrick Stephenson (1896-1990), would be given a new name, because the school accepted complaints by some ex-students; that Stephenson had indecently touched them. To see more about this Xavier announcement, click HERE.