An Italian ex-priest who claimed that he could expose a ring of clerical pedophiles in Rome has been charged with slander, as prosecutors evidently suspect that he concocted the charges to embarrass the Church.
Patrizzio Poggi, who served 5 years of an 8-year sentence on sex-abuse charges, had told reporters that he could identify 20 priests who were involved in child prostitution. But prosecutors said he could not substantiate the claims, and charged that his reports were “motivated by personal feelings of resentment.” Poggi allegedly became enraged with Church officials who did not defend him against the criminal charges that led to his conviction and imprisonment.
Additional sources for this story
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- Denunciato per calunnia don Poggi?«svelò» presunti casi di pedofilia in Curia (Corriere della Sera)
- Italian prosecutors investigating reports of clerical pedophile ring in Rome (CWN, 6/26)
And in a possibly related article:
The Pope has set up a commission to carry out an in-depth inquiry into the Vatican Bank’s activities and come up with ideas for reform, plus report updates directly to him
The Pope wants to get right to the bottom of the Vatican Bank’s affairs: He wants to be informed in person about all its activities and receive copies of documents regarding all problem areas. He feels the urgent need to face the Vatican Bank’s problems head on, in order to allow the Gospel’s principles to permeate into economic and financial activities. Francis has issued a document setting up a special commission with broad powers, which will have the task of carrying out an in-depth inquiry into both the legal position and the activities of the Institute for Religious Works.
This is an innovative decision and follows on directly from Benedict XVI’s work on transparency in the Vatican Bank : the commission answers directly to the Pope. All IOR offices and staff and the Roman Curia are called to give information and must divulge even confidential information, unless it creates a problem for other supervision, as by the regulator AIF. The information being sought is very broad and the secret of office “does not inhibit or limit the Commission’s access to documents, data and information.” Those who feel they have something to say or information to give are expressly and explicitly invited to do so, “spontaneously”, and without being called by the Commission.