Police detain abuse victims

2010-03-25 20:06

Rome - Four American victims of clergy sexual abuse say they were detained and questioned by Italian police in Rome on Thursday after showing photos of the pope during a news conference outside St. Peter's Square.

Barbara Blaine, one of the victims, said after emerging from a police station near the Vatican that officers told them a judge would decide if they would be charged. She says they were detained because they didn't have a permit for the outdoor news conference.

Blaine said police seemed most concerned because they displayed photos of Pope Benedict XVI and his top aide, Italian Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. She says police also confiscated posters with slogans like "Stop the secrecy."

According to church documents, the Vatican ordered a stop to a church trial of a priest who abused 200 deaf children in Wisconsin.