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AP: John Paul's legacy stained by sex abuse scandal

22. april 2014

AP skriver bl.a.:

"John Paul and his top advisers failed to grasp the severity of the abuse problem until very late in his 26-year papacy, even though U.S. bishops had been petitioning the Holy See since the late-1980s for a faster way to defrock pedophile priests."

"Pope Francis has inherited John Paul's most notorious failure on the sex abuse front — the Legion of Christ order, which John Paul and his top advisers held up as a model. Francis, who will canonize John Paul on Sunday, must decide whether to sign off on the Vatican's three-year reform project, imposed after the Legion admitted that its late founder sexually abused his seminarians and fathered three children."

"The documents show the Holy See was well aware of Maciel's drug abuse, sexual abuse and financial improprieties as early as 1956, when it ordered an initial investigation and suspended him for two years to kick a morphine habit."

"Maciel's fraud, one of the greatest scandals of the 20th-century Catholic Church, raises uncomfortable questions for today's Vatican about how so many people could have been duped for so long. It also brings into question how the church's own structure, values and priorities enabled a cult-like order to grow from within and how far accountability for all the harm done should go."

"In his 2013 book "I Lived With a Saint," John Paul's longtime Polish aide, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, said his pope knew "nothing, absolutely nothing" about Maciel's misdeeds."

"The Rev. Robert Gahl, a moral theologian at Rome's Pontifical Holy Cross University, said it's in the church's interest to fully investigate just how the Legion scandal unfolded — including in those "corners of the Vatican" where Maciel's original supporters still wield influence — since John Paul "would never have knowingly allowed sexual abuse to fester."

"He who stared down dictators would never have shirked the responsibility to bring the perpetrators of moral or sexual abuse to justice," Gahl said. "History will demand such clarity and the time for it is now."

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