Category Archives: Father Mansour Labaki
Lebanese priest convicted of pedophilia says Vatican officials bribed
Nov. 09, 2014 | 04:44 PM
BEIRUT: Mansour Labaki, a Lebanese priest convicted of pedophilia in 2012 by the Vatican, broke his silence on the affair Sunday, denying any crime and accusing the top Catholic authority of corruption.
“People in the church were bribed and I have proof of this,” he told Voice of Lebanon radio station, insisting that the charges against him were fabricated.
Labaki said that he was expecting a fair trial when he arrive to Rome, but was surprised to learn that he was not allowed to respond to the accusations made against him.
He said he wished the court would listen to the testimonies of people who have worked with him and several students that he “raised” who, according to him, would attest his innocence.
The priest said that he is willing to forgive all those that cursed him.
The complaints were first filed in 2011 by the priest’s estranged niece and three French women. The report went directly from French church authorities to the Vatican, bypassing civil criminal courts.
Labaki, 74, was convicted by the Vatican in April 2012 of sexually abusing at least three children, as well as soliciting sex. He was sentenced to a “life of prayer,” which he has been carrying out in a monastery in Lebanon.
Labaki, a Maronite priest, author and composer, is known in both Lebanon and France for his charity work, particularly with orphans. He founded two orphanages in Lebanon and one in France, and has won 15 international book prizes.
His sentence was carried out under Vatican law, with other states typically avoiding involvement in Vatican legal matters, Marco Ventura, professor of Canon law and religion at the University of Leuven in Belgium, told the Daily Star last year.
Labaki filed an appeal last year, but the court held up the verdict.
His lawyer has since filed a lawsuit with the Lebanese judiciary against those involved in accusations against Labaki.