The Vatican says it has opened an investigation into reports that a former altar boy, who allegedly raped his dormitory mate repeatedly, was allowed to become a priest.
The Vatican issued a statement on Saturday, saying a new investigation had been launched in an attempt to shed “full light on what really happened.”
The statement noted that an initial investigation in 2013 had led to “no adequate confirmation.”
The allegations about the St. Pius X Institute, known as a pre-seminary, were made in a recent book and in Italian television reports.
According to the reports, the teenager was accepted into what is known as a major seminary when he became an adult, despite complaints to superiors against him.
He was later ordained as a priest and is currently serving in a parish in northern Italy, the reports say.
The Roman Catholic Church has been hit by numerous scandals in the past few years, involving allegations of covering up the sexual abuse of children by priests to protect pedophiles and the reputation of the Church.
More than 4,000 priests in the United States have reportedly faced sexual abuse allegations since the 1950s in cases involving more than 10,000 children.
Pope Francis, who was appointed in 2013 with a mandate to overhaul the Vatican, has warned that there will be “no privileges” for bishops when it comes to child sex offenses. The pontiff also promised more action in response to accusations of cover-up and excessive leniency by the Vatican.
In the most recent controversial case, the Vatican’s Finance Chief Cardinal George Pell, who is a top adviser to Pope Francis, has been on trial in Australia on sexual abuse charges.