Tony Anatrella Sexual Abuse
The Archdiocese of Paris announced Tuesday that a priest who helped develop Vatican policy on gay seminarians has been barred from priestly ministry, and ordered to a life of prayer, after a canonical process over allegations that he abused young men, including a 14- year-old minor, under the guise of therapy.
Msgr. Tony Anatrella, 81, has also been told to cease his work as a psychotherapist and refrain from publishing or public speaking.
The directive came in a penal precept, a kind of prohibitive canonical order, which was issued after a canonical process handled by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, which oversees complaints of sexual abuse of minors by clerics.
Anatrella has been a prominent figure in the Church for decades. He helped to write the 2005 Vatican policy that men with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” should not be admitted to seminaries, helped coordinate a Vatican conference on clerical celibacy, and served as an expert at the Synod on the Family.
The priest, who helped the French bishops craft their 2003 document on “fighting pedophilia,” has also been accused of sexually abusing young men and teenage boys under the pretext of therapy.
Even after he was first accused in 2001 of manipulating a young man into sexual acts under the pretence of therapy to treat “homosexual impulses,” Anatrella continued for years to be a significant influence in the Church in France and in Rome on the subjects of homosexuality and clerical celibacy.
According to a Jan. 17 statement from the Paris archdiocese, a canonical process against Anatrella was started in Paris in 2016, after several complaints against the priest were dismissed by the French courts because the statute of limitations had expired, and the priest had been barred from public ministry since 2018.