In what could prove a blow to the Vatican's bid to get the late Pope John Paul II named a saint, new information has surfaced about how the Catholic Church may have mishandled the pedophilia scandal under his papacy.
Documents obtained by the Associated Press detail how in the late 1990s the Vatican sought to discourage an initiative by the Irish branch of the Catholic Church to help police identify pedophile priests. Vatican officials argued that any such whistle-blowing would be in violation of the church's canon laws, which dictate that investigations of such crimes be handled only within the church.
In a 1997 letter, Archbishop Luciano Storero -- then the Vatican's diplomat in Ireland -- warned that the Irish diocese's collaboration with the police "gives rise to serious reservations of both a moral and a canonical nature." Church critics have already announced that they regard the Ireland correspondence as a smoking gun, showing that senior Vatican officials had been usingRead More »from New documents show that Vatican forbade bishops from reporting sexual-abuse cases to law enforcement