Catholic Italy Abuse Inquiry
After a string of investigations exposing paedophile priests across the globe, it is time for Catholic-majority Italy to hold its own reckoning, a top advisor to the Vatican told AFP.
Hans Zollner, a German Jesuit priest on Pope Francis’s commission to protect minors, was speaking after the latest such probe, in Germany, accused former pope Benedict XVI of inaction on sexual abuse cases.
“There are cases of sexual abuse against minors in all parts of the world, in all sectors of society and also in the Church,” including in Italy, said Zollner.
“Three to 5% of priests around the world have been accused of abuse in the past 75 years,” he told AFP in a telephone interview late last week.
“We think the figures are comparable in Italy,” said Zollner, who is also director of Rome’s Anthropology Institute, based at the Pontifical Gregorian University, which deals with the prevention of abuse.
“There are most likely priests who have abused and continue to live without being discovered.”
Asked if an inquiry was needed in Italy, he said: “Obviously it is necessary to conduct an inquiry in every part of the world.”
“We must do everything possible to obtain justice for the victims of the past, and also to prevent abuse today,” he added.