The CNN report tells of thousands of signed letters claiming that Domenico Calcagno, one of the cardinals who will elect a new pope in the conclave this week, covered up the serial sex abuse of a priest in northern Italy!
They aim behind the letters is to get the cardinal to be disqualified from voting in the conclave.
There is also the story of the brave Francesco Zanardi who claims he was raped by Father Nello Giraudo at least once a week for 5 years. He also says he was not alone. In fact, he was one of many of his school friends who also suffered repeated abuse at the hands of Giraudo.
“I was using drugs, I used to inject heroin” He says, “I went into rehab and had counseling, and later realized I was taking drugs because of the abuse."
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What he has is a whole bunch of damning documents that go all the way to former Pope Benedict XVI.
But this is just one incident. Unfortunately the cloisters of the Church are full of such tales of horror.
It may not be polite or politically correct to say so, and who knows, it may even be deemed blasphemous by some, but the Church and sex abuse have almost become synonymous!
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Unfortunately when many hear the terms, Catholic church, Pope, Cardinal, Vatican, ideally the amongst the most revered of terms, what comes to mind are words like, gay sex, sex abuse, pedophilia and dark, dark secrets of the soul.
The allegations have been rampant for a long time, but they never haunted the Vatican s they do now. Probably for the first time in memory (if not history) clouds of doubts loom strong and dark over the conclave. Indeed the dark smoke arising from the Sistine Chapel's chimney to show no Pope has been elected, never seemed so dark or sinister before.
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As the time nears for the selection of a new Pope, we cannot stop to wonder if there will be someone miraculously clean and able selected who would make things different or it’ll just be a continuation of the dark seedy era behind a new suit of papal robes.