The Sin of Solicitation

William Kennedy mentioned a Vatican document called “The Sin of Solicitation” during our interview about pedophile priests on The Eagle 93.9 yesterday. As a faithful Roman Catholic (like Bill Kennedy), my producer, Justin, was upset by the topic — and I have to admit that I was skeptical about the existence of a document directly from the Vatican that ordered bishops to cover up sex crimes by priests.

Bill just sent me the links, and he’s right.

The confidential Vatican document, obtained by CBS News, lays out a church policy that calls for absolute secrecy when it comes to sexual abuse by priests – anyone who speaks out could be thrown out of the church.

The policy was written in 1962 by Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani.

The document, once “stored in the secret archives” of the Vatican, focuses on crimes initiated as part of the confessional relationship and what it calls the “worst crime”: sexual assault committed by a priest” or “attempted by him with youths of either sex or with brute animals.”

Bishops are instructed to pursue these cases “in the most secretive way…restrained by a perpetual silence…and everyone {including the alleged victim) …is to observe the strictest secret, which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office…under the penalty of excommunication.”

Read the entire CBS News report here, and a report by the BBC here.

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