Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Sign petition to ban systemic sexual abuse

The findings from chapter 19 of the Murphy Report remind us once more of the systemic failure of the institutional Catholic Church to protect young children whose lives were shattered by the actions of clerical paedophiles and the culpable inaction of bishops and senior clerics who still cling to power.

It is also time for the Vatican to be investigated for its role in the cover-up of paedophilia. As late as 1994, it protected the serial clerical paedophile, Tony Walsh, in spite of knowing of his criminal behaviour for 18 years.

It was only when Walsh was convicted of sexual assault in the courts one year later that the Vatican authorities agreed to his dismissal from the priesthood.

However, the matter cannot rest here as the Vatican official who was dealing with the Walsh case was Cardinal Ratzinger - now Pope Benedict.

As Catholics, we are entitled to demand from the Pope that all those Vatican documents relating to Tony Walsh be made public so that, finally, the real truth may be revealed.

In the meantime, people appalled by the most recent abuse revelations are invited to outlaw this crime of systemic sexual abuse of children on an international level by signing an online petition, organised by Survivorsvoice.org, calling on the UN to 'define and include the systemic sexual abuse of children under Article 7 of its charter definitions of Crimes against Humanity'.

BRENDAN BUTLER

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