ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — Local clergy abuse survivors are saying “I told you so” — after the release of new evidence that higher-ups in the Catholic Church knew about the sexual abuse of children by priests — and tried to sweep it under the rug.
In a 1997 letter that’s only now come to light, the Vatican warned Ireland’s bishops not to report cases of suspected abuse to police.
“This may be the most devastating disclosure yet about the Vatican’s simplicity in child sex crimes and cover-ups,” said SNAP’s executive director, David Clohessy of St. Louis.
But CBS news religion consultant, Father Thomas Williams says the letter has been misinterpreted.
“I think that it was clearly intended as a way to punish priests, and not as a way to get them off the hook,” said Williams.
Clohessy said he’s not buying that explanation, “the idea that this letter is just being misunderstood is just ludicrous.”
Clohessy goes on to say this letter is just one more confirmation of a deeply rooted Catholic church practices .
Either way, Father Williams says, this is a setback for the Catholic Church.
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