Pope caught up in Argentine paedophile priest scandal

By Martin Boudot, Daphné Gastaldi, Mathieu Martinière, Mathieu Périsse et Antton Rouget

In 2010 when he was still Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis commissioned a report that sought to exonerate a prominent priest who had been convicted of paedophilia. Now for the first time an Argentine judge has told Mediapart and TV documentary  Cash Investigation that a direct attempt was made by the church to influence his views ahead of the priest's appeal hearing. Martin Boudot, Daphné Gastaldi, Mathieu Martinière, Mathieu Périsse and Antton Rouget report.

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Officially, the Catholic Church has adopted a “zero tolerance” attitude towards child abuse. Under pressure following a number of high-profile paedophile affairs, including scandals involving French clergy, the Vatican has insisted that it takes an uncompromising stance on the subject. However, according to a joint investigation by Mediapart and French television documentary programme Cash Investigation, several senior figures in the Catholic Church have knowingly covered up or defended priests accused of acts of child abuse. Some of these cases directly affect the Vatican itself.