Despite a crackdown announced by Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, some 518 reports of 'graviora delicta' were made in 2015, "the vast majority of which involving sexual abuse of minors", according to a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Catholic Church department that deals with priestly sex abuse.
Sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, long covered up by
ecclesiastical authorities, is the subject of Emiliano
Fittipaldi's new book 'Lussuria' (Lust), which is now available.
The journalist, who went on trial and was acquitted for the
'Vatileaks 2' case and his previous book, 'Avarizia' (Avarice),
has once again focused on the Vatican.
ANSA has seen an advance copy of 'Lussuria', which recounts
how the Vatican said that of the 587 cases opened in 2014 by its
disciplinary office, over 500 involved the crimes of 'the most
In 2013, the first year of Pope Francis's papacy, out of 522
complaints filed by dioceses and ecclesiastical institutes and
bodies from "various parts of the world", some 84.8% (443 cases)
were 'graviora delicta', including "401 charges against priests
with a child under 18 years old", Monsignor Silvano Tomasi said
in May 2014 at a Committee against Torture hearing that
requested information on the issue.
Tomasi was at that time Holy See Permanent Observer at the
United Nations in Geneva.
Similar figures were seen in 2012 and 2011 and the same trend
"has continued over the past few years", which means that around
1,200 reports of child sexual abuse were filed during the first
three years of Pope Francis's years in office.
These roughly 400 cases per year are in any case less than
the record high seen in 2004 in the US (between 700 and 800
cases), but much higher than the 2005-2009 period, when less
than 200 cases were filed every year.
The reports rose sharply again starting in 2010.