Pope’s words ‘difficult to reconcile’ with Vatican’s lack of cooperation with abuse inquiry


Nov. 1, 2019

By Charles Collins

It was “very disappointing” the Vatican failed to give testimony during an investigation into sex abuse in the Catholic Church in England and Wales, according to the lead counsel to the inquiry.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) investigation into the bishops’ conference’s response to the sex abuse crisis is taking place Oct. 28 – Nov. 8, and there has been frustration with the lack response from the Holy See to requests for information.

“The Holy See has not provided any evidence about the role of the CDF and/or laicization and declined to provide the inquiry with a witness statement,” Brian Altman, the inquiry’s lead counsel, said on Monday.

The requests were made to the Vatican ambassador to the UK, Archbishop Edward Adams. Like all ambassadors, he has diplomatic immunity and cannot be subpoenaed by his host country.

“Let me make perfectly clear that the inquiry went through established diplomatic channels and all proper procedures, including seeking assistance and advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, despite which no statements have been provided to the inquiry by the Holy See,” Altman complained.

“The Holy See’s refusal to provide the Inquiry with all the evidence it has sought is very disappointing. In his introduction to the recent Motu Proprio, Vos estis lux mundi, Pope Francis acknowledged the ‘physical, psychological and spiritual damage’ done to the victims of child sexual abuse, and added that ‘a continuous and profound conversion of hearts is needed, attested by concrete and effective actions that involve everyone in the Church,” Altman said.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.