VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The archbishop of Paris has banned French Msgr. Tony Anatrella, a longtime Vatican consultant on issues of sexuality, from all public ministry and ordered him to a life of prayer after a Vatican investigation into allegations he sexually abused young men he was counseling.
Msgr. Anatrella, who will be 82 in February, had been a consultant to the pontifical councils for the family and for health care ministry and wrote a long article in the Vatican newspaper in 2005 explaining an instruction issued that day by the then-Congregation for Catholic Education cautioning bishops about accepting homosexuals as candidates for the priesthood.
A year later, two French periodicals published stories accusing Msgr. Anatrella, a psychotherapist, of sexually abusing them during therapy sessions. He denied the accusations.
A notice published Jan. 17 on the website of the Archdiocese of Paris said French criminal courts had dismissed “several accusations” against Msgr. Anatrella because the statute of limitations had expired.
But, it said, “a canonical procedure” against him was begun by the archdiocese in 2016.
Without giving any specifics of the procedure or a verdict, if there was one, the archdiocese said the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith had ordered Msgr. Anatrella “to immediately renounce all professional activities as a therapist.”
“Clarifying the decree of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, the archbishop of Paris sent Father Tony Anatrella a monition with a penal precept, in which he is formally requested, under pain of canonical sanctions,” to cease: “all activities related to psychotherapy,” publishing anything, participating in public conferences and celebrating or concelebrating Mass in public.
In addition, Archbishop Laurent Ulrich of Paris ordered him to conduct a life of prayer out of the public eye.