Protest being organised against Pope and sex abuse, outside Westminster Cathedral

By Jonathan Bartley
March 25, 2010

Protesters in London this Sunday will accuse the Pope of covering up child sex abuse by Catholic clergy and demand his resignation.

The protest will take place at 12 noon on 28 March 2010 outside Westminster Cathedral in Victoria Street, London SW1.

Peter Tatchell has this to say: "In a 2001 edict to Catholic Bishops worldwide, the Pope ordered a cover-up of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy. He failed to ensure that priests who raped and sexually abused young people were reported to the police. This is why he is not welcome in the UK and why we object to him being honoured with a State Visit in September, especially a State Visit that is being funded by the taxpayer.

"According to a 2006 BBC Panorama programme, Sex Crimes And The Vatican, in 2001, while he was Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI issued a secret Vatican edict to all Catholic bishops. It recommended that instead of reporting child sex abusers to the police, bishops should report them to the Vatican and encourage the victims to take an oath to not talk about the abuse they suffered. To keep victims quiet, the Pope proposed that if they broke their oath and repeated the sex abuse allegations they should be excommunicated.

"The Panorama programme revealed details of the Pope's leading role in the cover-up of the sexual assault of youths by Catholic clergy. It reported that the Vatican knowingly harboured and protected paedophile clergymen. Priests accused of child sex abuse were mostly not sacked or reported to the police but simply moved to another parish, often to reoffend. The BBC gave examples of church hush funds being used to silence the victims".

OutRage! is helping to coordinate Sunday's protest, which is being organised by the Protest the Pope coalition:

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