Father Tom Doyle is a canon lawyer. He had a diplomatic career with
the Vatican but was sacked after he criticized the church's handling
of child abuse. He gives this interpretation of Crimen
Sollicitationis in the Panorama film.
Crimen solicitationis is indicative of a worldwide policy of
absolute secrecy and control of all cases of sexual abuse by the
But what you really have here is an explicit written policy to cover
up cases of child sexual abuse by the clergy to punish those who
would call attention to these crimes by the churchmen.
You've got a written policy that says that the Vatican will control
these situations and you also have I think clear written evidence of
the fact that all they are concerned about is containing and
controlling the problem.
Nowhere in any of these documents does it say anything about helping
The only thing it does is say that they can impose fear on the
victims and punish the victims for discussing or disclosing what
happened to them.
It's all controlled by the Vatican and at the top of the Vatican is
the Pope so Joseph Ratzinger was in the middle of this for most of
the years that Crimens was enforced he created the successor to
Crimen and now he is the Pope this all says that the policy and
systematic approach has not changed.
Cardinal Ratzinger, now as Pope, could tomorrow get up and say:
'Here's the policy: full disclosure to the civil authorities,
absolute isolation and dismissal of any accused and proven and
convicted clerics, complete openness and transparency, complete
openness of all financial situations, stop all barriers to the legal
process and completely co-operate with the civil authorities
He could do that.