Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Italy church sex abuse victims seek accountability

Last updated May 5, 2010 7:31 a.m. PT

Italy church sex abuse victims seek accountability

VATICAN CITY -- Victims of a Florence priest who was defrocked in 2008 for alleged sexual and psychological abuse are now demanding that his bishops be held responsible for keeping his crimes quiet for so long.

The victims' appeal is the latest sign that clerical abuse in Italy, long so taboo that it was rarely spoken of much less acted on, is increasingly getting public attention and forcing the Vatican to confront the problem in its own backyard.

In a letter to the pope obtained Wednesday, 17 alleged victims of Lelio Cantini, who first complained about him in 2004, said his bishops should resign since bishops have been forced out in other countries for cover-ups.

To date, no Italian bishop is known to have resigned for having shielded a pedophile priest.

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