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HomeLatest NewsA French priest convicted of abuse attends a priesthood convention at the...

A French priest convicted of abuse attends a priesthood convention at the Vatican.

The Vatican organized a three-day symposium on the priesthood to, among other things, discuss the absence of a vocation and the issue of celibacy. The prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Marc Ouellet, opened it on Thursday, assuring that the congress is an opportunity to apologize to the victims of sexual violence. But everything was overshadowed when it became known that among the participants there is a French priest convicted of abuse.

This is 81-year-old Tony Anatrella, who was banned from public practice in 2018 — but without being expelled from the priesthood — after the French Church dealt with allegations that he abused the adult seminarians he treated in so-called “conversion therapy.” “. “, a treatment with the supposed aim of eradicating homosexuality. In Paris, he was known as “the psychiatrist of the church”.

Among other things, the symposium examines the impact of sodomy cases on lack of vocation.

According to the French Catholic newspaper La Croix, Anatrella is one of hundreds of people who attended this symposium, which discussed, among other things, how clerical pederasty affects vocation. He even ate on Thursday at the dining room of the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican, where Pope Francis lives.

Anatrella is known to the Holy See. In the past, he came to advise dicasteries (Vatican ministries) on organizing psychotherapy courses, ostensibly to treat the homosexuality of priests. He has written thirty books on marriage, sex and homosexuality and has always maintained his innocence, saying he was persecuted for his opposition to gays.

The news of his presence at the convention was like a slap in the face. According to the lawyer of some of his victims, Nadia Debbash, his presence is “inappropriate and again hurting the victims.” The Vatican has not publicly commented on this issue, but the conference organizer indicated that he was not invited as a speaker, but registered on his own initiative.

The first accusations against Anatrell appeared in the early 2000s and have not stopped growing since then. One of those who condemned him, Daniel Lamarck, a former seminarian who attended his therapy in the eighties, claimed that he was going to “cure” his homosexuality by having sex with him. He is currently under investigation by the Congregation of the Faith for sexually abusing five other patients in his “therapy,” notes Il Messaggero.

In July 2018, then-Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupéty banned him from performing the sacraments or attending public events without the consent of the archbishop. Last year, the Archdiocese of Paris announced that he would face a canonical trial.

“This shameful return to the public stage shows his usual style: complete lack of shame, modesty, prudence,” complained French Dominican Philippe Lefebvre, an expert on combating sexual abuse by the clergy. “It is amazing that, despite his personal history, which has caused great damage to many people, he can still move around normally without restrictions,” criticized the editorial of Il Sismografo, a portal specializing in the Church.


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