- Victims blast papal nuncio’s abrupt departure
- They believe Vatican is avoiding answering questions about cover ups
- “Come clean about your time in Ireland and Australia,” they urge
Holding signs and childhood photos at a footpath news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will;
- Demand answers as to why the papal nuncio to Australia has suddenly been reassigned to Israel with no replacement in over four months.
- Question whether or not it has to do with the current abuse inquiries, and
- Will urge anyone who may have seen or suspected clergy sex crimes in Canberra to come forward now to police and prosecutors
Friday, November 30 at 10:15 a.m.
Outside the Papal Nuncio’s consulate in Canberra, 2 Vancouver Street, Red Hill ACT 2603 (corner of Monaco Cres)
Three to four members of an international support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest) including an American woman who is the organisation’s president and founder.
A prominent Australian Archbishop has recently left Australia to take up the post of Papal Nuncio in Israel, and leaders of an international support group for victims of clergy abuse believe he left in an effort to avoid scandal.
Archbishop Giuseppe Lazarotto had, while he was stationed in Ireland in 2005, repeatedly refused to provide information to the Murphy Commission, a group that was created to investigate child sex crimes by clergy in Ireland. In the time since, Archbishop Lazarotto has since been accused of “doing everything in his power to protect suspected Irish clerics.” Since Lazarotto left Australia for Israel, no replacement has been named.
Leaders of SNAP are now challenging the Vatican on this issue, and are questioning whether this move is a deliberate one by the catholic church to avoid having Archbishop Lazarotto subjected to tough questions about clergy abuse from the current Victorian Parliamentary inquiry and the soon to be initiated Federal Royal Commission.
“It’s very unusual to see moves like this made so quickly, and especially without any plan for the vacancies left behind,” said Barbara Blaine, SNAP President. “We’d like to get some answers on why Lazarotto was moved and why church officials never forced him to answer questions in Ireland.”
SNAP is also concerned that Archbishop Lazarotto may have perpetuated similar cover-ups during his time in Australia, and that he may be taking the same tactics with him to Israel.
“Given all that Lazarotto has been accused of and the fact that he’s never been forced to answer these allegations, we are concerned about his activities here and in Israel,” said Blaine. “Parishioners in both countries deserve the truth.”