Prominent French Priest Barred From Ministry For Abuse Attends Vatican Priesthood Conference

Msgr. Tony Anatrella, a psychotherapist who was once a Vatican adviser on human sexuality, was banned from ministering as a priest by the former Archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit, in 2018. 

Newsroom ( 21/02/2022 1:00 PM Gaudium Press) News of Msgr. Tony Anatrella’s’ attendance at the Feb. 17-19 Vatican conference was first reported by the French Catholic daily, La Croix. It also reported that the Vatican said the cleric, who retains his priestly faculties, was not invited and registered on his own accord. More than 400 cardinals, bishops, priests and theological experts are participating in the Feb. 17-19 Vatican conference, which Pope Francis addressed during its opening day.

“This symposium takes note of the outcry and anger of God’s people,” over clergy abuse and cover-up said conference organizer Cardinal Marc Ouellet during his opening remarks on Feb. 17.

As Ouellet noted, the conference was an occasion “to express our sincere regret and to ask forgiveness again of the victims, who suffer their lives destroyed by abusive and criminal behavior, which has remained hidden for too long and treated lightly, out of a desire to protect the institution and the perpetrators instead of the victims.”

Background

In June 2021, the Paris Archdiocese announced that Anatrella would face a canonical trial regarding allegations of ​​inappropriate sexual relationships with male clients. Anatrella, 80, has denied the allegations and maintained his innocence, saying he has been targeted due to his opposition to homosexuality. He was banned from ministering as a priest by the former Archbishop of ParisMichel Aupetit, in 2018. 

More by Gaudium Press  Five New Complaints of Abuse by Father Rupnik Presented to Vatican

The author of a dozen books on marriage, family and sexuality, Anatrella has served as a consultant to the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Health Care Workers.

Allegations against him first surfaced in the early 2000s and continued to mount over the next two decades. In 2017, the Paris Archdiocese launched an investigation into the controversial priest, resulting in his removal from public ministry.

During a 2016 Vatican conference, Anatrella maintained that Catholic bishops do not have to report abuse allegations to authorities. Following his remarks, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, publicly rejected Anatrella’s claims.

“We all have a moral and ethical responsibility to report suspected abuse to the civil authorities who are charged with protecting our society,” O’Malley said in response to the French priest.

(Via NCR online)

Compiled by Raju Hasmukh

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