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article imageVatican Secretary of State denies covering up sex abuses

By Igor I. Solar     Apr 6, 2010 in World
Santiago - Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, currently visiting Chile, denied that the church and Pope Benedict XVI ignored sexual abuses by priests while the current Pope headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
"It's not true" Bertone starkly said, replying to Chilean media reporters when asked about the subject at his arrival in Santiago. The second authority of the Holy See arrived to Santiago on Tuesday April 6, invited by the Episcopal Conference as official guest of the government on the occasion of the bicentenary of the Chilean Republic.
The Catholic Church has been under heavy criticism for not doing enough to stop priests accused of sexual abuse of children. In the U.S.A, priest Lawrence Murphy abused more than 200 deaf children between 1950 and 1974. The Vatican knew in 1996, but the priest, who acknowledged his deeds in a letter, was not punished. He died in 1998. In Germany in the 80s, the priest Peter Hullermann was accused of pedophilia. The New York Times revealed that Joseph Ratzinger, the current Pope, then archbishop of Munich, knew about it, but only moved Hullermann to another parish. In Ireland an extensive investigation concluded that the Church had covered up for decades sexual and physical abuses against thousands of students in Catholic schools from 1940 to late 70s.
As part of his mission in Chile, Bertone will deliver to the Chilean Episcopal Conference a religious image that Pope blessed and presented last week in Rome, on the occasion of the earthquake that affected Chile on Feb. 27.
On Wednesday, Bertone will be received by President Sebastián Piñera in the presidential palace. Later in the day he will travel to the Diocese of Punta Arenas. On Friday morning, he will travel to Concepción and Talcahuano, two of the southern cities hardest hit by the earthquake.
The agenda of the Vatican's number two also contemplates a lecture at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, on the subject "Church and State 200 years of national independence. History and Prospects".
Cardinal Bertone has not been free from controversy. His Eminence was accused by Italian journalist Antonio Soccio of deliberately lying in his book “The Last Secret of Fatima”. Additionally, Christopher Ferrara, a Catholic attorney, wrote an entire book called “The Secret Still Hidden” aimed at exposing and discredit the claims of Cardinal Bertone with respect to Fatima. Bertone denied in a televised appearance that he had said anything less than the full truth about Fatima.
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