Police drop sex abuse investigation into Italian bishop

Italian police drop probe into bishop who is accused of alleged sexual abuse of seminarists, media says

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

Priests sing and dance in St Peter's Square at the Vatican, Saturday, April 26, 2014.

Italian police are dropping a probe into a bishop for the alleged sexual abuse of seminarists, media reports said Sunday.

Prosecutors in Cassino, south of Rome, had opened a probe into monsignor Gerardo Antonazzo after receiving a letter from a seminarian accusing the bishop of sexually molesting him and others.

But prosecutor Luciano d’Emmanuele on Sunday released a statement saying no charges would be brought, La Repubblica daily said.

Antonazzo had been quoted on Saturday stressing "how utterly unfounded the accusations are."

Sex abuse scandals have dogged the Catholic Church in recent years with alleged victims breaking their silence in the United States, Ireland, the Netherlands, Australia  France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Mexico and Poland.

Pope Francis has approved the creation of an internal church tribunal to punish bishops who cover up sex abuse by priests, but networks of abuse survivors point out that the Holy See has shied away from legal action so far.