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Victims rights groups have long complained that criminal ability for the sexual abuse of children by members of the Roman Catholic clergy has rarely extended above the level of priests, despite evidence that bishops and archbishops knew about many of the suspected crimes — and in some cases played a role in the abuse.
On Thursday, Cardinal George Pell became the highest ranking Vatican official to be formally charged with sexual assault in connection with the scandals that have dogged the church for decades. More recently, accusations surfaced that he himself had abused boys going as far back as the s, when he was a priest in Ballarat.
At a news conference Thursday, Pell said that the pontiff had given him leave to appear in court in Melbourne next month, and that he was looking forward to the opportunity to clear his name. While criminal charges have been brought against more than priests in Australia alone, few senior Catholic prelates around the world have been brought to.
Here are some of those cases:. Accused of paying shoeshine boys for sex while serving as papal nuncio, or ambassador, in the Dominican Republic, he was recalled by Francis in and defrocked the following year.
While living at the Vatican, he was found to have child pornography on a computer. He died before Sex personals Pierre Part Louisiana trial could begin in The first American bishop criminally charged in the scandals was convicted in of failing to report suspected child abuse, a misdemeanor. Finn, who led the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo. He was sentenced to two years of court-supervised probation.
The former secretary for clergy in the Philadelphia Archdiocese was the first U. He served 33 months before he was released in August after a state appeals court reversed his conviction and granted a new trial. The French bishop was accused of covering up for a priest in his Bayeux-Lisieux diocese who admitted to sexually abusing children between and Pican told a French court that he confronted the priest after learning about one case, but did not alert police.
Instead, he sent the priest on a lengthy retreat and made him seek psychiatric help. InPican received a three-month suspended prison sentence. The retired French bishop was charged this month with failing to report accusations of child molestation made against a priest in the Diocese of Orleans, which he led from until It is the first such case in France in more than 15 years. Already a subscriber? Thank you for your support.
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Facebook Twitter Show more sharing options Share Close extra sharing options. Clouds hang over St. By Alexandra Zavis writer.
Bishop Robert Finn in Baltimore in William Lynn in Philadelphia in Bishop Pierre Pican, center, flanked by lawyers outside the Caen court house in France in Support our journalism Already a subscriber? Alexandra Zavis. More From the Los Angeles Times.Sex personals Pierre Part Louisiana
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