HomeWorldWorldVictims of pedophilia sue Pope in Australia for damages

Victims of pedophilia sue Pope in Australia for damages

Pope Francis attending a general audience at the Vatican Image: Yara Nardi / Reuters

Three Australian men are suing Pope Francis and the Catholic Church for redress for pedophilia crimes committed against them by a priest. The information is from The Sydney Morning Herald, which says this is the first known case in Australia in which victims of sexual abuse by the clergy try to hold a pontiff responsible for the Church’s failure to restrain pedophiles. The accusers are three Aboriginal men who were sexually assaulted as children between 1983 and 1991 by Father Michael Glennon. According to Australians, the Catholic Church knew about the priest’s crimes, but took no action against him. Aborigines say they have suffered “significant impacts on their lives”, such as drug addiction, unemployment and homelessness, due to the abuses suffered in the childhood. In addition to the Pope, they also want compensation from the Archdiocese of Melbourne and its archbishop, Peter Comensoli. Still, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, this could be the first time that a court in Australia has punished the Catholic Church as an institution for failing to protect children of pedophile priests.The lawyer for the three victims, Angela Sdrinis, expects the Vatican nuncio to the country, Adolfo Tito Yllana, to accept notification of the process on behalf of Francisco. “It is about getting the Pope and the Vatican to accept their responsibilities,” Sdrinis told the Sydney newspaper. “What is the excuse for not having laicized him?”, He added, in reference to Glennon, who died in 2014, sentence for rape, sexual harassment and psychological abuse against 15 children, especially from vulnerable and aboriginal families. In 1978, after a sentence of two years in prison for harassment, the Archdiocese of Melbourne had already removed Glennon from the priesthood, but only the The Vatican, then under the aegis of Pope John Paul II, could make him secular again. Over the following decades, the pedophile continued to present himself as a priest, including celebrating baptisms, confessions and other sacraments, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Glennon would only be expelled by the Vatican in 1999.

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