Title: Time’s up for Catholic Church in Italy to reckon with clerical abuse, survivor group says
VATICAN CITY (RNS) — Recent reports on the clerical sexual abuse scandals in Franceand Germany have put the spotlight once again on the Catholic Church in Italy, which has so far avoided confronting the history of abusive priests in the country.Advocates for victims in Italy believe it’s time for the local church to allow a thorough investigation into claims of sexual abuse by priests but lament a “conspiracy of silence” between the Catholic institution and the Italian state.
“Italy has a big problem,” said Francesco Zanardi, founder of Rete L’Abuso, Italy’s largest network for victims of clergy abuse, in an interview with Religion News Service on Monday (Feb. 21).
In Italy “the dynamic of stopping sexual abuse is entirely in the hands of the church,” he said, adding that “the state doesn’t interfere.”
Zanardi, a clerical abuse survivor himself, has accompanied more than 1,200 victims of clergy abuse through the maze of legal and canonical procedures.
Rete L’Abuso, founded in 2010, cooperates with many other similar associations globally to promote accountability in the Catholic Church. A carefully updated and interactive map on its website monitors the movements of abusive priests, the safety of dioceses and the legal procedures currently underway.