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A series of explosive child sex abuse scandals has hit Western Europe in recent months, sending the Catholic Church into damage control mode. While such scandals have become depressingly frequent since major allegations came out in the United States in 2002, the latest charges have been particularly damaging, implicating senior members of the Vatican hierarchy, including Pope Benedict XVI himself,
Such explosive accusations are a direct attack on Pope Benedict himself, who has been criticized for sending a confidential letter in 2001 to every Roman Catholic bishop, advising them to keep allegations of sexual abuse secret for at least 10 years.
since the mid 1990s there have been nearly 15,000 complaints leveled against the church — with legal claims topping $1.5 billion.
Vatican official responded to growing criticism by defending the clergy’s action, citing statistics that showed only 1.5 to 5 percent of clergy have been involved in cases of child sex abuse — a leaky argument that acknowledges sexual abuse by up to 20,000 priests worldwide.
Even when accusations were leveled, priests tended to brush off evidence….German Justice Ministry says that Vatican secrecy has hampered investigations…collusion of Irish police in systematically covering up cases of child abuse by Dublin clergymen.
The Catholic Church’s Latest Abuse Scandals | Foreign Policy:
VIP pedophile network in Westminster, at the heart of the British government… systematically abused as young boys at sex abuse parties attended by judges, politicians, intelligence officers, and staff at the royal palaces…
about 16 MPs and members of the House of Lords, and 30 high profile figures from the Church of England, private schools, and big business, were members of, and advocates for, the Paedophile Information Exchange. The shadowy group, which operated partly in the open, campaigned for the age of consent to be abolished and incest to be legalized.
● shocking allegations of rape and murder against some of the country’s most powerful men went unchecked for decades.
It wasn’t just Special Branch that seemed keen to keep MPs out of the clutches of the law. There is growing evidence that MI5 and MI6, Britain’s security services, took a similar view. MI5 is alleged to have repeatedly blocked investigations into a sex abuse ring at the Kincora children’s home in Northern Ireland.
In 1983, a controversial MP, Geoffrey Dickens, had made a series of incendiary claims about active pedophiles in the corridors of power. He handed a file containing the names of alleged perpetrators to Leon Brittan; publicly the authorities shrugged off the claims and no trial or prosecution would follow. The dossier mysteriously disappeared.
Time and again crimes were reported but voices from above silenced the complaints before they came to court…This culture of secrecy, which had apparently paralyzed the British legal system, helped to scare off victims who wanted to report their powerful abusers.
● One of the people who dedicated their lives to amplifying the voices of the victims, trying to ensure the powerful would be held to account, was Liz Davies. Teenage boys, usually so reluctant to seek help, would line up outside her office on Hornsey Road waiting to come inside.
She would later discover that the international office of the Paedophile Information Exchange was just a few hundred yards from her desk, and her patch was home to a host of prolific child attackers linked into a network of powerful abuse rings that stretched from Westminster to Northern Ireland, Wales, and the island of Jersey in the Channel.
Then came a call from the regional headquarters. Davies and her boss, and her police counterpart and his boss were summoned for a meeting. “We were both told to drop all our investigations, that we had no evidence and we had no right to be interviewing the boys,” she said.
In 1991, their investigations led to the conviction of a fire official called Roy Caterer. When police officers raided his home they found exactly what her boys had described, along with albums and albums of indecent photos.
Davies thought her work would finally be taken seriously by the authorities; she was wrong…Davies took a suitcase stuffed with evidence, including graphic photographs, to the Metropolitan Police. She said the well intentioned superintendent looked at her haul and mournfully confessed that powerful figures still controlled what might be exposed…
How Thatcher’s Government Covered Up a VIP Pedophile Ring - The Daily Beast: