Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican ruler who opposed sexual abuse, dies aged 94

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, a controversial Vatican ruler for more than a quarter of a century who was accused of covering up one of the Catholic Church’s most notorious sex offenders, has died at the age of 94.

Sodano, who had been ill for some time and died Friday night, was secretary of state under two popes – John Paul II and Benedict XVI. – and held the second post in the Vatican hierarchy for 16 years between 1990 and 2006.

It was widely believed that Sodano, along with John Paul’s secretary, then-Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, led the church in the late years of the late pope’s life, when his health deteriorated with Parkinson’s and other diseases. John Paul died in 2005.

In a series of revelations in the 2010 National Catholic Reporter, author Jason Berry, a leading expert on the church’s sex abuse crisis, wrote of how Sodano prevented the Vatican from filing a lawsuit against Father Marcial Maciel, the disgraced founder of the Church religious order of the Legion of Christ.

Angelo Sodano was secretary of state under two popes - John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
Angelo Sodano was secretary of state under two popes – John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
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After John Paul’s death, Pope Benedict stepped up investigations into Maciel and removed him in 2006 when the Vatican acknowledged allegations he had sidelined for decades were true.

The cult-like Legion of Christ, whose rules forbade criticizing its founder or questioning his motives, later acknowledged that Maciel, who died in 2008, lived a double life as a pedophile, womanizer and drug addict.

Sodano has repeatedly denied allegations that he knew about Maciel’s double life and was covering for him. Maciel, a conservative who is seen as a bulwark against liberalism in the church, was known for making generous financial gifts to the Vatican.

In 2010, four years after Pope Benedict replaced Sodano as Secretary of State, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna accused Sodano of blocking a full investigation into former Austrian Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano and Queen Elizabeth II are seen together October 17, 2000 during a meeting with Pope John Paul II in Vatican City.
Cardinal Angelo Sodano and Queen Elizabeth II are seen together October 17, 2000 during a meeting with Pope John Paul II in Vatican City.
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Groer resigned as Archbishop of Vienna in 1995 after allegations of a history of sexually abusing young seminarians. He died in 2003 without admitting his guilt or being charged.

Sodano also denied these allegations.

In 2010, victims of clergyman sexual abuse condemned Sodano for saying during a public Easter sermon that abuse was mostly “petty gossip.”

Ordained a priest in 1950, Sodano entered the diplomatic service a few years later. He served in Vatican embassies in Ecuador, Uruguay and Chile before being recalled to the Vatican for senior administrative posts, including second place.

In 2010, victims of clerical sexual abuse condemned Angelo Sodano because he said it was mostly abuse "petty gossip."
In 2010, victims of clerical sexual abuse condemned Angelo Sodano for saying abuse was mostly “petty gossip.”
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Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim of clerical sex abuse in his native Chile and now a member of a Vatican commission to prevent sex abuse, wrote on Twitter that Sodano is “a man who has caused so much harm to so many people and has covered up abuse in Chile for years.” and the world”.

Sodano was Vatican ambassador to Chile from 1977 to 1988.

Vatican insiders said that Sodano, who continued to reside at the Vatican, continued to be a significant influence on the careers of Vatican officials for the remainder of Benedict’s pontificate even after his retirement. Benedict resigned in 2013.

https://nypost.com/2022/05/29/cardinal-angelo-sodano-vatican-power-who-dismissed-sexual-abuse-dead-at-94/ Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican ruler who opposed sexual abuse, dies aged 94

JACLYN DIAZ

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