Interviews of alleged victims of abuse in Mexico were actually scheduled to begin in March. But now Archbishop Scicluna's trip has been postponed – because of the coronavirus crisis, as they say.
No one really knows now what will happen next in Mexico. Actually should there on 20. March, an investigation into allegations of abuse by Vatican chief investigator Charles Scicluna will begin. But now the Coronavirus makes a line through the calculation. A statement released Friday by the Mexican bishops' conference said that because of the Corona crisis, the Vatican has suspended all activities abroad for the time being. Scicluna and Spanish priest Jordi Bertomeu of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith were supposed to be out by 27. March to investigate allegations of abuse and cover-up in Mexico. The plan was primarily for independent questioning of alleged victims.
"Culture of silence and fear"
Earlier, the papal nuncio in Mexico, Archbishop Franco Coppola, held out the prospect in an interview that investigations into cover-up allegations against four Mexican bishops would begin in May. This is to counter a "culture of silence and fear," Mexican media quoted the Vatican's diplomatic representative in Mexico as saying. But the announcement had only a half-life of one day. In the meantime, the nunciature has announced an e-mail address through which victims could contact the representation in confidence. Those who wish to contact him can do so in this way.
The communication signed by the president of the bishops' conference, Archbishop Rogelio Cabrera, and the secretary, Auxiliary Bishop Alfonso Miranda, states that the Vatican canceled the mission after Italy's Corona crisis also reached Vatican City. On Friday, the first case of infection in the Vatican had become known. On Saturday evening, Mexican media reported that there are now seven confirmed cases of Corona in the country.
About the Corona virus?
In contrast, the U.S. portal Crux (Friday) and other media reported voices in Mexico saying the postponement because of Corona was a pretext. Rather, he said, there is also resistance within the bishops' conference to the announced Vatican investigation. Scicluna's trip, for example, was only announced on Monday, but the viral crisis in Italy had been an ie for much longer. There has been no word from the Vatican side that Scicluna's trip has been canceled because of the virus.
"I don't think it happened for that reason," Ana Lucia Salazar is quoted as saying in Mexican media. She is one of those abuse victims who turned to the public with her fate and thus increased the prere to clarify the facts in Mexico in the long term. According to her, she was abused by a member of the religious order "Legionaries of Christ". Another victim, Biani Lopez-Antunez, urges church to move faster. One cannot wait for the Vatican while children are being abused by priests.
System made public
Scicluna has been working for years at the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as an investigator. In the course of this, the archbishop of Malta was involved in the investigation of several abuse scandals. The canon lawyer should also be accompanied by Bertomeu in his current assignment. Both made public, among other things, a sometimes downright abuse system in the church in Chile.
In January, Mexico's bishops' conference spoke out in favor of mandatory reporting of abuse and announced the establishment of an investigative commission. The occasion was a wave of lawsuits against Mexican priests: according to the Spanish online portal elpais.com, there have been a total of 426 related court cases since 2010, with 271 cases directly related to child abuse and another 155 related to other offenses such as child pornography. According to "El Pais", 253 court cases have already been concluded, 173 are still pending before the judiciary. According to the data, 217 Mexican clergy have been dismissed from the clergy so far in recent years.