Controversial Cardinal Angelo Sodano Who Covered Up Clerical Sex Abuse Dies at 94
One of the most controversial cardinals in the history of the Catholic church’s clerical sex abuse saga has died. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who served as secretary of state under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, died after battling COVID-related pneumonia, according to the Holy See Press office. He was 94. Sodano famously angered abuse survivors when he called widespread claims of sex abuse by priests “petty gossip.” In 2005, he asked then U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice to intervene in an investigation of a priest accused of pedophilia in Kentucky (which she declined). He also blocked the investigation into Father Marcial Maciel, the pedophile, womanizing, drug addict founder of the disgraced Legion of Christ order who died in 2008, and whose crimes were exposed by Daily Beast contributor Jason Berry. After John Paul II died, his successor Pope Benedict removed Sodano after he tried to block a series of clerical sex abuse investigations into diocese around the world. Pope Francis, in a telegram, praised the cardinal’s diplomatic work on behalf of the church, immediately drawing criticism from abuse survivors.