Vatican financial intelligence led to conviction of UK abuser priest


February 28, 2019

By John Allen and Claire Giangravé

Although the Vatican has come under fire in the UK for its alleged lack of cooperation in a public sex abuse probe, sources have told Crux it was actually Vatican financial intelligence that led to the arrest and conviction of the abuser priest at the heart of the inquiry.

“This is an important fact,” one source told Crux. “It’s a game-changer, because it shows that the new legislation [adopted by Pope Francis] on reporting duties is working.”

In fact, the story captures an intersection of reform efforts on the two most persistent sources of scandal for the Vatican in recent decades – sexual abuse and money.

The sources spoke to Crux on background.

At present, a public inquiry in the UK is examining the case of the Benedictine monastery of Ealing Abbey in West London, where a former abbot, Andrew Soper, and a former deputy head teacher of its junior school, David Pearce, both have been jailed for abuse of children.

David Enright, a prominent lawyer representing victims of abuse in Catholic schools, has written to British Prime Minister Theresa May, urging her to expel the pope’s ambassador in the country, American Archbishop Edward Adams, for refusing to hand over documents requested by the probe.

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