A letter written by a Vatican official in 1997, marked “strictly confidential,” warned Irish bishops to avoid reporting the sexual abuse of children in the church, in hopes of avoiding public fallout from the scandals that were sure to ensue.
Victims’ groups the world over were calling the letter — first obtained by Irish broadcaster RTE — the “smoking gun” which proves institutional complicity in untold thousands of reported sexual abuses.
The church has long maintained that it did not and would never instruct its bishops to engage in a cover-up of such heinous crimes: a claim that appeared to be false.
“And if that instruction applied here, it applied everywhere,” Colm O’Gorman, with the Irish chapter of Amnesty International, told the Associated Press.
The AP also noted that the Vatican has refused to acknowledge policies passed by Irish churches that command bishops to report any instances of suspected or confirmed sexual abuse.
Ireland has conducted two state-sponsored investigations of sexual abuse within the Catholic church. A third was underway at time of this writing.
In the wake of prior revelations about the widespread sexual abuse of children in the Catholic church, some have called for the prosecution of Pope Benedict XVI for allegedly helping shelter pedophiles.
Their calls were bolstered by the revelation that while still a Catholic cardinal, the current pope, Joseph Ratzinger, told an American bishop to wait before defrocking a priest accused of sexually molesting two boys.
The Vatican has maintained that the pope cannot be prosecuted due to sovereign immunity afforded to heads of state.
A Supreme Court decision in 2010 overruled Vatican arguments that even its priests were immune to prosecution, clearing the way for officially protected pedophiles to stand trial in the United States. Others have suggested the Vatican could be pursued through the International Criminal Court (ICC) under the doctrine of “universal jurisdiction.”
Given the gravity of the latest information, it seemed calls for the prosecutions of Catholic officials were only likely to grow.
Read the AP’s full report here.
‘Angry’ Trump Michigan voters admit they want ‘this nightmare to end’ in November
President Donald Trump's Michigan supporters are abandoning their 2016 pick for Vice President Joe Biden as the election comes closer.
In a series of interviews on MSNBC Sunday, revisited voters they'd met earlier in the election cycle in Kent County.
Katey Morse and her husband were both working full time, and their kids were in school back in March, but things quickly changed as the coronavirus spread throughout the country. Luckily, she and her husband didn't lose their jobs, but they, like many parents, are struggling to do virtual school for their kids.
"I'm turning into more of an angry person than I've ever been in my life," she said about how she feels politically, noting that it makes her sad. "I've just got a countdown to November now, and I'm hoping we'll wake up from this nightmare we're in."
Trump abusing the intelligence community in an attempt to keep them quiet about Russia election hacks: Conservative
The New York Times Magazine piece outlining President Donald Trump's battles with the U.S. intelligence community revealed that Russia is continuing to wage its own cyberwar against the world. According to conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot, the devastating report explained the extent to which the president is ignoring the threats to the 2020 election.
“The options faced by the intelligence community during Trump’s presidency have been stark: avoid infuriating the president but compromise the agencies’ ostensible independence, or assert that independence and find yourself replaced with a more sycophantic alternative," wrote Robert Draper in his lengthy investigation into Trump's efforts to politicize international intelligence. According to Boot, the most shocking part of the investigation was that the experts in the intelligence community have been banned from speaking honestly about the Russian attacks.
‘Incompetent moron’ Chuck Todd ripped for letting Trump official claim Democrats want more COVID-19 deaths
"Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd is under fire -- once again -- after letting Donald Trump's trade adviser Peter Navarro claim on NBC that Democrats want more Americans to die during the coronavirus pandemic to boost their chances at the polls in November.
Instead of pushing back the NBC host known for his lack of follow-up questions let the comment slide by responding, "I take your point."
Todd's failure to call out the Trump aide for what one Twitter commenter called a "disgusting" comment led to an avalanche of criticism for the MBC political director who recently saw his weekday show cut back to make room for more commentary by colleague Nicolle Wallace.