Cardinal pressured to skip conclave for 'pedophilia coverup'

Italy's Domenico Calcagno 'hid sex-abuse cases' says L'Abuso

Cardinal pressured to skip conclave for 'pedophilia coverup'

Genoa, March 7 - An Italian group campaigning against priest sex abuse on Thursday called for Cardinal Domenico Calcagno to be banned from electing a new pope. Francesco Zanardi, the head of L'Abuso, said he he will be in Rome Friday to "personally hand (Vatican Spokesman Federico) Lombardi and the Vatican administrative office" a petition signed by numerous people demanding that "Cardinal Calcagno stays out of the conclave". Zanardi accuses Calcagno, a former bishop of the northern city of Savona, and two other recent bishops there of systematically covering up cases of pedophilia in the diocese. On Sunday, pedophilia victims appeared on Italian television with accusations that Benedict XVI knew of several cases of priest sex abuse in Savona but never did anything about it. The accusers, who made their statements on Italian television program Le Iene, said that the Vatican failed to press charges against several priests in the city of Savona who victimized minors 10 years ago when then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was cardinal-prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whose role required investigating the sexual abuse of minors by priests. Presented as evidence on the program was a letter dated September 8, 2003 and addressed to Ratzinger in which Calcagno, informed him of a priest who had been accused of pedophilia. The priest, who was later transferred to another parish, was sentenced to one year in jail last year.

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