The Catholic Chuch child abuse scandal has dealt a fresh blow to Pope Benedict XVI who has now been named in a lawsuit by an alleged American victim.
The unidentified man says he was abused by the late Father Lawrence Murphy who, it is claimed,
molested some 200 boys at a school for the deaf.
In 1995, the victim wrote to the then Vatican Secretary of State but says there was no reply. It is claimed the Pope, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was made aware of the allegations but failed to act.
The latest challenge to the Vatican calls for it to open secret files on investigations into priests.
Addressing claims of a cover-up, the Pope’s spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told euronews that failing to face up to such issues goes back to a time when there was a culture of discretion, not only within the Church, but in society in general. But this does not, he acknowledges, excuse the Church from facing up to its responsibility today, with total transparency and clarity needed.
After a bishop in Germany offered to resign over physically abusing children, government sponsored talks are taking place there today to investigate abuse in church and secular schools.
For more on the Church child abuse scandal, you can watch a special Euronews programme at 7.30pm tonight, Central European time.