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Sexual abuse silence ‘deadly’ for Church: Vatican official

Pat McMahon Contributor
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(Reuters) – Hiding behind a culture of “omerta” — the Italian word for the Mafia’s code of silence — would be deadly for the Catholic Church, the Vatican’s top official for dealing with sexual abuse of minors by clergy said Wednesday.

Monsignor Charles Scicluna made the unusually forthright comment in his speech to a landmark symposium in Rome on the sexual abuse crisis that has rocked the Church in the past decade.

“The teaching … that truth is at the basis of justice explains why a deadly culture of silence, or ‘omerta,’ is in itself wrong and unjust,” Scicluna said in his address to the four-day symposium which brings together some 200 people including bishops, leaders of religious orders, victims of abuse and psychologists.

Rarely, if ever, has a Vatican official used the word “omerta” – a serious accusation in Italian — to compare the reluctance of some in the Church to come clean on the abuse scandal with the Mafia’s code of silence.

Full story: Sexual abuse silence “deadly” for Church: Vatican official