Vatican Hit By Gay Sex Scandal – Pope to Investigate Child Abuse by Priest and Nuns in Ireland

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The Vatican has been thrown into chaos by reports that one of the Pope’s ceremonial ushers, as well as a member of the elite Vatican choir, were running a homosexual prostitution ring.

The allegations came to light after Italian newspapers published transcripts of phone calls recorded by police, who had been conducting an unrelated corruption investigation.

The tapes appear to record Angelo Balducci, a Gentleman of His Holiness, negotiating with Thomas Chinedu Ehiem, a 29-year-old Nigerian Vatican chorister, about men he wanted brought to him for sexual purposes. Balducci was allegedly paying 2,000 euros ($2714) for each man he met, according to the Irish Times

Balducci is recorded describing precise physical details of the men he wanted. The transcripts record that during five months in 2008, Ehiem procured for Balducci at least 10 contacts with, among others, “two black Cuban lads,” a former male model from Naples, and a rugby player from Rome.

A report by the Italian Carabinieri on the case said: “In order to organize casual encounters of a sexual nature, he availed himself of the intercession of two individuals who, it is maintained, may form part of an organized network, especially active in [Rome], of exploiters or at least facilitators of male prostitution.”

The police probe into corruption resulted in Balducci and 4 others being arrested. Allegations of prostitution were only revealed later, and have resulted in Ehiem’s dismissal from the Vatican choir.

Balducci held a high position within the Vatican and was one of the priests who carried the coffin of Pope John Paul at his 2005 funeral. He has now lost his position as a Gentleman of the Holiness. His trial for corruption is still pending.

Vatican’s No. 2: Pedophilia Linked To Homosexuality

Vatican’s Number 2 Blames Homosexuality For Priest Pedophilia

Tarcisio Bertone

Vatican To Bishops: Report Sex Abuse To Police

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Church Sex Abuse Scandal ‘Has Now Reached’ The Pope: Pope Benedict allowed Pedophile Priest to work in his parrishes.

VATICAN CITY — Germany’s sex abuse scandal has now reached Pope Benedict XVI: His former archdiocese disclosed that while he was archbishop a suspected pedophile priest was transferred to a job where he later abused children.

The pontiff is also under increasing fire for a 2001 Vatican document he later penned instructing bishops to keep such cases secret.

The revelations have put the spotlight on Benedict’s handling of abuse claims both when he was archbishop of Munich from 1977-1982 and then the prefect of the Vatican office that deals with such crimes – a position he held until his 2005 election as pope.

And they may lead to further questions about what the pontiff knew about the scope of abuse in his native Germany, when he knew it and what he did about it during his tenure in Munich and quarter-century term at the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Benedict got a firsthand readout of the scandal Friday from the head of the German Bishop’s Conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, who reported that the pontiff had expressed “great dismay and deep shock” over the scandal, but encouraged bishops to continue searching for the truth.

Hours later, the Munich archdiocese admitted that it had allowed a priest suspected of having abused a child to return to pastoral work in the 1980s, while Benedict was archbishop. It stressed that the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger didn’t know about the transfer and that it had been decided by a lower-ranking official.

Pope summons Irish bishops over child abuse report

Rome, Italy (CNN) — The pope has summoned several Irish bishops to the Vatican to discuss a report documenting child abuse by Irish clergy members, the Vatican spokesman said Wednesday.

The bishops will meet with Pope Benedict XVI in mid-February, said Father Federico Lombardi, the spokesman.

The report, which came out in November, found that the Catholic Church in Ireland covered up “widespread” child abuse from 1975 to 2004.

The pope already has met with senior Irish bishops about the report, produced by the Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation. The Irish government created the commission in 2006 to examine abuse allegations

The pope said after that meeting that he was “deeply disturbed and distressed” by the report’s findings. He promised that the Catholic Church would try to develop strategies to make sure abuses don’t happen again.

“He wishes once more to express his profound regret at the actions of some members of the clergy who have betrayed their solemn promises to God, as well as the trust placed in them by the victims and their families, and by society at large,” the Vatican said in a statement then.

Two Irish bishops — Jim Moriarty and Donal Murray — resigned in December amid scrutiny of clergy members committing or covering up child abuse in Ireland.

Pope Benedict faces demand to dismiss Irish bishops in child

Pope accepts resignation of Irish bishop over child sex abuse

Catholic Priests and Nuns Raped and Molested Thousands of Children –

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DUBLIN — After a nine-year investigation, a commission published a damning report Wednesday on decades of rapes, humiliation and beatings at Catholic Church-run reform schools for Ireland’s castaway children.
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The 2,600-page report painted the most detailed and damning portrait yet of church-administered abuse in a country grown weary of revelations about child molestation by priests.

The investigation of the tax-supported schools uncovered previously secret Vatican records that demonstrated church knowledge of pedophiles in their ranks all the way back to the 1930s.

Wednesday’s five-volume report on the probe _ which was resisted by Catholic religious orders _ concluded that church officials shielded their orders’ pedophiles from arrest amid a culture of self-serving secrecy.

“A climate of fear, created by pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment, permeated most of the institutions and all those run for boys. Children lived with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was coming from,” Ireland’s Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse concluded.

Victims of the abuse, who are now in their 50s to 80s, lobbied long and hard for an official investigation. They say that for all its incredible detail, the report doesn’t nail down what really matters _ the names of their abusers.

“I do genuinely believe that it would have been a further step towards our healing if our abusers had been named and shamed,” said Christine Buckley, 62, who spent the first 18 years of her life in a Dublin orphanage where children were forced to manufacture rosaries _ and were humiliated, beaten and raped whether they achieved their quota or not.

The Catholic religious orders that ran more than 50 workhouse-style reform schools from the late 19th century until the mid-1990s offered public words of apology, shame and regret Wednesday. But when questioned, their leaders indicated they would continue to protect the identities of clergy accused of abuse _ men and women who were never reported to police, and were instead permitted to change jobs and keep harming children.
The Christian Brothers, which ran several boys’ institutions deemed to have harbored serial child molesters and sadists on their staff, insisted it had cooperated fully with the probe. The order successfully sued the commission in 2004 to keep the identities of all of its members, dead or alive, unnamed in the report. No real names, whether of victims or perpetrators, appear in the final document.

The Christian Brothers’ leader in Ireland, Brother Kevin Mullan, said the organization had been right to keep names secret because “perhaps we had doubts about some of the allegations.”

“But on the other hand, I’d have to say that at this stage, we have no interest in protecting people who were perpetrators of abuse,” Mullan said, vowing to “cooperate fully with any investigation or any civil authority seeking to explore those matters.”

Buckley, who said she was abused at an orphanage run by the Sisters of Mercy, which ran several refuges for girls where the report documented chronic brutality, said the religious orders for years branded the victims as money-seeking liars _ and were incapable of admitting their guilt today.

She criticized Mullan for suggesting that “today, having read the report, he doesn’t mind if the abusers are named and shamed. Isn’t that a little bit late for us?”

The report found that molestation and rape were “endemic” in boys’ facilities, chiefly run by the Christian Brothers order, and supervisors pursued policies that increased the danger. Girls supervised by orders of nuns, chiefly the Sisters of Mercy, suffered much less sexual abuse but frequent assaults and humiliation designed to make them feel worthless.

“In some schools a high level of ritualized beating was routine. … Girls were struck with implements designed to maximize pain and were struck on all parts of the body,” the report said. “Personal and family denigration was widespread.”

Ireland’s myriad religious orders, much like their mother church, have been devastated by 15 years of scandals involving past cover-ups of abusers in their ranks.

The Christian Brothers have withdrawn from running several schools that still bear their name and the order has had few recruits in Ireland in the past two decades. Other orders are down to a handful of members, and their bases are closer to nursing homes than active missions.

“Most of these orders will literally die out in Ireland within the next generation or so,” said Michael Kelly, editor of the Irish Catholic newspaper in Dublin. “Many of them are already in wind-up mode. They lack the confidence even to seek new vocations (recruits), due to the stigma associated with their members’ shocking, scandalous behavior.”

The Irish government, which in 1999 apologized for its role in permitting decades of abuse and established the commission to nail down the full truth of the matter, has tried to use money to bring closure to the victims.

A government-appointed panel has paid 12,000 survivors of the schools, orphanages and other church-run residences an average of $90,000 each _ on condition they surrender their right to sue either the church or state. About 2,000 more claims are pending. Irish Catholic leaders cut a controversial deal with the government in 2001 that capped the church’s contribution at $175 million _ a fraction of the final cost.

Some victims emphasized, even as they began thumbing through the report, that nothing _ not even criminal convictions of their long-ago tormentors _ will ever put right their psychological wounds and make their nightmares go away.

Tom Sweeney, who spent five years in two Christian Brothers-run institutions where he was placed for truancy, says he suffered sexual abuse and beatings. He also has bitter memories about more everyday humiliations _ such as being forced to wrap his urine-stained sheets around his neck and parade in front of other children when he’d wet his bed.

“It’s something you’ll never forget, the way you lived in these industrial schools,” he said.

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