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Church waited in Italian sex abuse case

Thanks to Ian for the link.
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The Vatican has yet to directly address another child sex abuse scandal in Europe bearing similarities to a case in Wisconsin involving deaf children.

Dozens of deaf men and women in Italy are alleging that Roman Catholic priests and others in the church sexually assaulted them over several years.

The Associated Press reported Friday that only now, a year after the case became public, is the Vatican directing the diocese to interview the alleged victims to hear the complaints.

In a signed statement last year, the 67 former pupils at a school for the deaf in Verona described sexual abuse, pedophilia and corporal punishment from the 1950s to the 1980s.

They named 24 priests, church brothers and lay religious men at the Antonio Provolo Institute for the Deaf.

Milwaukee deaf school implicated

On Thursday, the Vatican lashed out at a New York Times report on a similar case in the United States amid weeks of headlines linking Pope Benedict XVI to charges of covering up for priests who have molested children.

The Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore, published a front-page editorial, claiming there is a media conspiracy to smear the Pope's name.

The paper denounced what it called "the evident and ignoble intent to wound Benedict XVI and his closest advisers at any cost."

The New York Times report, based on internal church documents, said the Vatican halted the investigation of a Wisconsin priest, Lawrence Murphy, accused of molesting as many as many as 200 boys at a Milwaukee school for the deaf from 1950 to 1975.

The report also said the future pope himself was kept closely apprised of the case when he was still Joseph Ratzinger, the archbishop of Munich and Freising.
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