Vatican regrets making Savile a papal knight
WITH more revelations of child sex crimes committed by disgraced British television star, Jimmy Savile, coming out forcefully, the Vatican said yesterday it regretted conferring a papal knighthood on him in 1990.
However, the Vatican said there was no way to revoke the honour despite revelations
The Vatican is “deeply saddened that someone who has been defiled in this way could have been, in his lifetime, put forward for an honour awarded by the Holy See, which, in the light of recent information, should certainly not have been conferred,” Agence France Presse (AFP) quoted Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, as saying.
The late DJ and presenter was made a knight commander of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great by Pope John Paul II in 1990.
Asked about the possible withdrawal of the honour, Lombardi said that the Vatican “strongly condemned horrible sexual abuse crimes committed against minors.”
But he explained that “given there is no permanent and official list of people who have received papal honours in the past, it is not possible to strike out anyone from a list that does not exist.”
The names of those receiving papal honours do not appear in the Papal Yearbook, and the distinction ends with the death of the person concerned, the Vatican said.
The leader of England’s Catholics had asked the Vatican whether the papal knighthood given to Savile could be posthumously removed. [more]