Saturday, November 27, 2010

Italy: North leafleted over paedophile Catholic priests

Activists in the northern coastal city of Savona on Thursday distributed leaflets throughout the province condemning the Catholic church's failure to take action over local paedophile clergy.

The leaflet by the Committee for the Victims of Paedophilia in the Savona Area blamed Savona's bishop, Vittorio Lupi, and the Savona diocese for the alleged clerical sex abuse.

While paedophile priest scandals have rocked the United States, Ireland and Germany, abuse cases in Italy have been emerging slowly.

Around 100 sexual abuse victims including Italian victims on 31 October marched in Rome near the Vatican to demand Pope Benedict XVI take firmer action against priests who committed abuse.

The protesters included about 55 deaf Italians from a notorious Catholic institute for the deaf in Verona, where dozens of students say they were sodomised by priests over decades.

The Vatican has been accused of a vast cover-up of widespread abuse by not removing suspected paedophile priests or turning them over to police.

Earlier this year it published the guidelines it has been using since 2003, claiming all cases are reported to the police as soon as possible.

It has also said that Pope Benedict XVI will be able to defrock paedophiles immediately.

An elderly Italian priest is on trial for sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy in the northern city of Milan.

A 74-year-old priest was in June removed from his position in northern Italy after confessing he sexually abused minors in the Alto Adige region's Bolzano-Brixen diocese.