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"Crimen Sollicitationis"
A secret Vatican document of 1962

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According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) the Vatican issued a secret document, "Crimen Sollicitatiois" (In English: "The Crime of Solicitation") during 1962. 1

"It instructs them how to deal with priests who solicit sex from the confessional. It also deals with 'any obscene external act ... with youths of either sex'."

"It imposes an oath of secrecy on the child victim, the priest dealing with the allegation, and any witnesses." 2

According to the Evening Standard, a UK newspaper:

"The document recommended that rather than reporting sexual abuse to the relevant legal authorities, bishops should encourage the victim, witnesses and perpetrator not to talk about it. And, to keep victims quiet, it threatened that if they repeat the allegations they would be excommunicated."

"The [BBC] Panorama special, Sex Crimes And The Vatican... accuses the Catholic Church of knowingly harbouring paedophile clergymen. It reveals that priests accused of child abuse are generally not struck off [i.e. fired] or arrested but simply moved to another parish, often to reoffend. It gives examples of hush funds being used to silence the victims." 3

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Topics covered in this section:

bullet Background, and BBC documentary program

bullet Excerpts from the program sound track

bullet Some reactions of viewers to the program

Additional material:

bullet The program "Sex Crimes and the Vatican" can be seen at the BBC web site Click on the "WATCH" button in the upper right corner of the page.
bullet The transcript of the program can be read at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/
bullet The Ferns Report on 100 allegations clergy abuse in the Diocese of Ferns at: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/ This is a PDF file. You may require software to read it. Software can be obtained free from:

bullet Additional accounts of abuse in the Roman Catholic Church can be accessed at: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
  1. Text of "Crimen Sollicitatiois," English translation, (1962) Pages 5 to 60, at: http://news.bbc.co.uk This is a PDF file. You may require software to read it. Software can be obtained free from:

  2. "Sex crimes and the Vatican," Panorama, BBC One, 2006-SEP-29, at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/

  3. "Pope "led cover-up of child abuse by priests'," Evening Standard entertainment guide, 2006-SEP-30, at: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/ Caution: when we viewed this article using a FireFox, Internet Explorer or Netscape browser, the browser consumed 95 to 100% of the CPU capacity of our computer, for no obvious reason.

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Site navigation:

 Home > Religious Info. > Basic info > Child abuse > here

or Home > Religious Violence > Child abuse > here

or Home > Christianity > Roman Catholicism > Child abuse > here

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Copyright 2006 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2006-OCT-08 
Latest update: 2006-OCT-08
Author: B.A. Robinson

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