• Italy's news in English
 

Pope defends Church on rooting out child abuse

Published: 05 Mar 2014 09:24 GMT+01:00

"The Catholic Church is perhaps the only public institution to have acted with transparency and responsibility. No-one else has done more. Yet the Church is the only one to have been attacked," he said in an interview with Il Corriere della Sera daily.

The Pope's comments come weeks after the United Nations told the Vatican that is must remove all child sexual abusers from their posts and turn them over to the police.

In a hard-hitting report, the UN said that the Catholic Church was still failing to do enough to live up to its stated commitment to stamp out child abuse by priests and lay employees, including in schools.

READ MORE HERE: Vatican must report child abusers to police: UN

For more than a decade, the Catholic Church has been rocked by a cascade of scandals around the world, with victims describing the trauma of abuse at the hands of people charged with their care.

The Vatican says it continues to receive around 600 claims against abusive priests every year, many dating back to the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Earlier this week, an Italian priest faced accusations of abusing ten girls, who were parishioners at his church in Agordino, a small town in the northern province of Belluno.

READ MORE HERE: Italian priest accused of sexually abusing ten girls

The Argentine pontiff, who will celebrate the one-year anniversary of his election on March 13th, said in the interview that the abuse cases "are terrible because they leave very deep wounds."

"The statistics on the phenomenon of violence against children are shocking, but they also clearly show that the great majority of abuses are carried out in family or neighbourhood environments," he said.

Francis praised his predecessor Benedict XVI - the first pope to apologise to abuse victims - saying he had been "very courageous and opened up a path" to changing the Church's attitude towards predatory priests.

Francis himself has said Catholics should feel "shame" for abuse. In December he created a commission to investigate sex crimes, enforce prevention and care for victims.

Francis himself set up a commission in December to investigate sex crimes, enforce prevention and care for victims.

But the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said the pope's comments "reflect an archaic, defensive mindset that will not make kids safer".

"He's done nothing - literally nothing - that protects a single child, exposes a single predator or prevents a single cover up. He can claim his underlings are 'transparent', but history proves otherwise", the US-based victim support and campaign group said in a statement.

Don't miss a story about Italy - Join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'Taking selfies with dead patients was wrong'
Investigators have estimated that there were 87 more deaths than average during a two-year period. Hospital photo: Shutterstock

'Taking selfies with dead patients was wrong'

An Italian nurse has admitted that taking photographs of herself with dead patients was “wrong” but has denied multiple murder charges in a case which has gripped the country. READ  

Six Nations Championship
Proud Parisse confident of Italy rugby revival
Italy's captain Sergio Parisse (L) and head coach Jacques Brunel pose with the new Six Nations trophy. Photo: Ben Stansall/AFP

Proud Parisse confident of Italy rugby revival

Italy captain Sergio Parisse expects his side to more than justify their place in the forthcoming Six Nations Championship following a lacklustre campaign last year. READ  

Italy artisan crafts guitars for musicians in need
Roberto Ceretti makes between five and six guitars a year. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

Italy artisan crafts guitars for musicians in need

Offer Roberto Ceretti a fortune for one of his coveted hand-made guitars and he'll likely turn you down: the Italian craftsman may be in demand among collectors, but only plies his trade for top musicians in need. READ  

Italy launches search for a new president
The race to the Palazzo del Quirinale, Italy's presidential palace, is on. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Italy launches search for a new president

Italy's parliament meets on Thursday to begin selecting a new president with the race apparently wide open and much at stake for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who is keen on having a friendly figure installed as head of state. READ  

AS Roma announce US soccer academy deal
AS Roma's American president James Pallotta. Photo: Gabriel Buoys/AFP

AS Roma announce US soccer academy deal

AS Roma on Wednesday announced a partnership with seven American soccer teams with the aim of helping produce a steady stream of elite players with strong links to the Serie A club. READ  

Italy hails 'turning point' in battle against mafia
More than 40 of the arrests and detentions were made in Calabria, the crime group's southern homeland. Police photo: Shutterstock

Italy hails 'turning point' in battle against mafia

UPDATED: Italian police on Wednesday arrested more than 160 alleged members of the 'Ndrangheta mafia in what was hailed as a historic setback for the group behind much of Europe's cocaine trade. READ  

Italy 'sabotage' writer compares self to Gandhi
Italian writer Erri De Luca (L) walks past supporters holding posters "Je Suis Erri" during his trial in Turin. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

Italy 'sabotage' writer compares self to Gandhi

Italian writer Erri de Luca invoked Gandhi on Wednesday as he began his trial defence against charges of inciting criminal damage to a controversial high-speed rail link through the Alps. READ  

Man who 'converted to Islam' arrested in Sicily
The 43-year-old was arrested in Palermo, Sicily, as part of Italy's anti-terror operation. Photo: Xerones

Man who 'converted to Islam' arrested in Sicily

A 43-year-old ex-soldier who reportedly converted to Islam was arrested in the Sicilian capital of Palermo last night as part of Italy’s anti-terror sweep. READ  

The Local List
Ten Italian words used differently in English
A bimbo in English is a rather unintelligent woman. In Italian it’s a young male child. Photo: Shutterstock

Ten Italian words used differently in English

Many Italian words are now embedded the English language – particularly in the realms of music and food. But not all mean the same thing in both tongues. Here we list ten of the most problematic expressions. READ  

Italian TV crew trapped in Auschwitz overnight
Holocaust survivors and dignitaries gathered at Auschwitz on Tuesday to commemorate 70 years since its liberation. Photo: Jochen Zimmermann

Italian TV crew trapped in Auschwitz overnight

Italian diplomats were forced to intervene on Wednesday morning after an Italian TV crew and the leader of Rome’s Jewish community, Riccardo Pacifici, became trapped in Auschwitz overnight after filming at the former concentration camp. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
10 Italian words used differently in English
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
National
26-year jail term sought for Concordia captain
Vatican
What did you think of the Pope's rabbit rant?
Culture
Italy seizes more than 5,000 looted artefacts
International
How can an American get Italian citizenship?
Travel
Italian hotel named best in world for families
Culture
Top 15 English words reinvented by Italians
Culture
Top 10: The best Italian inventions
Politics
Deputy Senate chief in Syria hostage sex row
National
A portrait of modern Italy in 10 stats
National
Muslims in Italy react to new Charlie Hebdo
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Culture
Rome's Trevi pays tribute to late La Dolce Vita star
Politics
Paris attacks: Knock-on effects across Europe
National
Should Italy spy more after the Paris attack?
National
Italy moves to widen smoking ban
National
New mosque ban in Padua after Paris attacks
Business & Money
Italy banks on a future with foreign investors
National
Sicily bridge collapses within days of opening
Business & Money
Italy's luxury brands defy economic crisis
International
Why migrant smugglers are using 'ghost ships'
National
The Local's aspirations for Italy in 2015
National
Italy's top ten news stories in 2014
National
Doggy love works wonders at Italian prison
National
Russians line up to buy Italy's fairytale castles
Vatican
Artisans cry foul as Pope shuts down scrollmakers
Society
Condemned horses given new lease of life in Italy
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
National
Top 10: 'Untranslatable' Italian words
Politics
Two Italian parties call for exit from euro
Culture
10 'Italian' dishes that don't exist in Italy
National
Disastrous olive oil harvests drive up prices
Culture
Top 10: One-hit wonders from Italy
National
Anti-mafia probe shakes Italian capital
National
'Mona Lisa was a slave from China': historian
Business & Money
Will Renzi really kick-start sclerotic Italy?
International
Italian man leaves million euro artwork on TGV
National
Italians post breast selfies 'for science'
Society
10 tips for men's winter fashion in Italy
Culture
Rome wins cameo role in new Bond film
Health
Cancer survival rates climb in Italy
National
Russian craft takes Italian astronaut to space
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

441
jobs available