Crimen sollicitationis

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Crimen sollicitationis was a 1962 decree issued by the Vatican that laid out the procedures for dealing with Roman Catholic priests who solicit sex from parish congregants during confession. It was also used as the instruction manual for investigating child sexual abuse by priests. This updated a similar decree issued in 1922.[1]

Written in Latin, the Crimen was sent to every diocese around the world, where it was locked away from all eyes except for those priests who were commissioned with investigating accusations of sexual abuse by priests. Instead of using the Crimen to punish and dismiss priests, diocese investigators used it to silence the accusers.[2] Section 11 of the Crimen required that all testimony given in such cases be sealed. Anyone caught discussing the testimony at these tribunals were to be excommunicated. This included the victims of the abuse and their parents, families and friends[citation needed].

Although the Vatican stopped enforcing the Crimen in 2001, many abuse victims are still afraid of being excommunicated if they discuss their cases. During the last 20 years that the Crimen was enforced, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger -- later Pope Benedict XVI -- was the edict's lead enforcer[citation needed].

[edit] External links

[edit] Footnotes

  1. Thomas Doyle, The 1922 Instruction and the 1962 Instruction "Crimen Sollicitationis," Promulgated by the Vatican, 2008
  2. Johann Hari, "The Pope, the Prophet, and the religious support for evil", The Independent, 2010.
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