Monday, September 14, 2009

It's Good to Be the Bishop, the Italian Priests Sex Abuse Scandal Version

Here's how you handle accusations of priests and lay religious men sexually abusing deaf children, if you're the bishop of Verona that is:

1) Initially, accuse the former students of fabricating their claims--"lies" and a stunt.

2) After one of the accused admits to sexually abusing students, conduct an internal investigation that excludes the alleged victims and any independent witnesses. [The findings: some abuse occurred, albeit a fraction of what has been alleged.]

3) Have the unmitigated gall to issue the following statement:

"The feeling that prevails is above all one of profound solidarity with the victims of abuse," [the bishop] said in a May statement. "To them and their families, a humble request of forgiveness is made."

It's good to be Monsignor Giuseppe Zenti, the current bishop of Verona. In fact, it's good to be the bishop of Verona, period:

In his declaration, Bisoli [one of the alleged victims] also accused Verona's late bishop, Monsignor Giuseppe Carraro — who is being considered for beatification — of molesting him on five separate occasions while he was a student at Provolo, which he attended from age 9 to 15.

A diocesan probe cleared Carraro of sex abuse. But the investigation interviewed none of the alleged victims, limiting testimony to surviving members of the Congregation, other school personnel and their affiliates, and documentation from the Congregation and Verona diocese.

The late bishop's beatification process was suspended pending the investigation, but is now going ahead to the Vatican's saint-making office.



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