Sean King

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Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Coming Clean?

One afternoon last month, a rare thing happened in Rome’s main courthouse: for perhaps the first time ever, an Italian bishop took the witness stand in the case of a priest accused of the sexual abuse of children.

Soon after, another rare thing happened. The leader of the Italian bishops’ conference acknowledged at a news conference that it was “possible” that bishops in Italy had covered up abuse, while his deputy said that in the past decade, 100 Italian priests had faced church trials in connection with the sexual abuse of minors.

The remarks were the first time the bishops’ conference had ever publicly quantified the number of Italian cases — and one of the few where it answered reporters’ questions on the matter.

UPDATE:> Things turn ugly in Belgium.

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