Excellent report on ARTE.
Sexual Abuse, Culture of Secrecy and Impunity: Despite the uncompromising intransigence of Pope Francis, the Church has not finished with its most obscure inclinations, identified in this overwhelming documentary of exceptional density.
“A zero tolerance”: when in 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio becomes Pope Francis, he promises to close one of the darkest chapters in Catholic history and to “severely punish” the perpetrators of sexual abuse belonging to the Church. Five years later, despite advances in the recognition of victims, the crisis seems far from over. Two-thirds of priests convicted of rape or sexual abuse of minors are still in office; the bishops are still not obliged to denounce to the police the actions of the priests under their tutelage. Even more dreadfully, mutations in developing countries allow some criminal churchmen to flee the lawsuits – and reiterate their misdeeds. Manners do not seem to have changed in an institution curled up on its culture of secrecy. We understand why members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, themselves former victims, resigned in protest. While all eyes are on him, why does Pope Francis seem to persist in inaction? What are the resistances that plague any attempt at reform? How can the Vatican still think of itself above civil justice?
When the Church protects herself
From Lyon to Pennsylvania, from Argentina to Italy, John Dickie and Jesus Garces Lambert, who conducted separate investigations for ARTE into different secrets of the Catholic Church, review a multitude of sexual abuse in part unknown, committed on children by priests taking advantage of their spiritual ascendancy to satisfy their pedophile desires. But their documentary is of a different dimension than a collection of sordid facts. Thanks to the testimonies of victims, dissident priests, ecclesiastics confessed or psychologists, he probes in depth the mechanisms that push the Church to cover her excesses, and that allow her to do so. Taking into account the historical, cultural, systemic and psychosexual factors peculiar to the clergy, he draws up an indictment of an unprecedented scale. “Every institution tends to protect itself,” said one of the speakers.
The video – in FRENCH – is available to the public until March 21, 2018 :