The U.S. Catholic Church spent $10.6 million on lobbyists to prevent victims of clerical sex abuse from suing for damages.
According to a new report, the money was doled out from 2011 through 2018 in eight northeastern states where bills to reform statute of limitations laws were either in the works or being considered.
“This report lays out what we have known all along — that the Catholic Church refuses to take responsibility for the decades of abuse that took place knowingly under its watch,” said attorney Stephen Weiss, who works for one of the law firms that commissioned the study.
“Statute of limitations reforms give survivors more time to obtain some measure of closure on the atrocities committed against them,” attorney Gerald Williams added. “The church has yet to implement meaningful reforms, and by working to prevent these laws from passing, the church is clearly demonstrating that it does not stand with survivors.”
In Pennsylvania, where currently victims of child sex abuse can come forward with criminal allegations until the age of 50 and can file civil claims until age 30, the church spent $5,322,979 to keep those limitations in place, according to the report, “Church Influencing State: How the Catholic Church Spent Millions Against Survivors of Clergy Abuse.”
The report was commissioned by Seeger Weiss LLP, Williams Cedar LLC, Abraham Watkins and the Simpson Tuegel Law Firm, which collectively represent 300 survivors of clergy sex abuse nationwide. The data in the report was obtained from public filings in the individual states.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro, whose blockbuster grand jury report last year identified 301 “predator priests” in six dioceses who were alleged to have abused more than 1,000 children, has been leading the charge to lift those statutes of limitations.
“The extensive lobbying by the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania against the reforms recommended by the Grand Jury proves what I have said all along: the Church cannot be trusted to police itself,” Shapiro said. “It’s reprehensible that the Church continues to spend significant sums of money fighting these reforms, instead of protecting and supporting the victims of clergy sexual abuse.”
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops did not return an NBC News request for comment.
In New York, the church spent $2,912,772 in what ultimately was a failed bid to prevent the passage of the Child Victims Act, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law on Feb. 14. It allows child sexual abuse victims to sue their abuser or institutions until age 55. Previously the cutoff was age 23.
Of that money, 80 percent went to the Catholic Conference Policy Group Inc., which was tasked with lobbying on “statute of limitations, legislative issues and liability issues,” the report found.
“I think it’s incredibly troubling that parishioners who on Sundays contributed to the church collections may have been inadvertently funding lobbying efforts against victims of sex abuse seeking legal redress,” New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman, who championed the Child Victims Act, said. “Three million dollars that went for lobbying could have done a lot of good elsewhere, including soup kitchens, after-school programs for children, support for seniors. In my district, a Catholic school that is closing might perhaps have stayed open if that money had been used for better causes.”
In an email to NBC News, Dennis Poust, a spokesman for the New York State Catholic Conference, said: “All of our lobbying activity is reported as required by law to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics and has always been publicly available.”
“As far as the Child Victims Act, while we did raise concerns about the one-year look back, ultimately when sponsors amended the bill at our request to provide an opportunity for recourse to survivors in public institutions, the Catholic Conference dropped its opposition this year,” he wrote.
When asked for comment, New York Diocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling referred NBC News to Poust.
In Connecticut, where advocates for victims of priest sex abuse are presently pushing for the elimination of statutes of limitations for major sex crimes, the church spent $875,261, according to the report.
The report also said the church spent $633,458 in New Jersey where Gov. Phil Murphy last month signed legislation that allows child victims to sue up until they turn 55 or “within seven years of their first realization that the abuse caused them harm,” according to The Associated Press.
During that time period, the church spent $537,551 in Massachusetts, $124,260 in Maine, and $61,961 in Rhode Island.
“That is completely inaccurate,” said James Driscoll, executive director of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference. “I have no idea where the writer of this report came up with this figure. They never checked with me for any input before they wrote this report.”
And in New Hampshire, where legislation to lift or amend the statute of limitations has yet to be introduced, the church has spent $134,345, according to the report.
Tom Bebbington, a spokesman for the Diocese of Manchester, said it “advocates before the state legislature on issues of importance for the good of all citizens including abortion, assisted suicide, education, preventing human trafficking, and repeal of the death penalty.”
“The services of lobbying professionals were used during the time period of this report for advocacy on all of these issues and more, but no lobbyist was engaged to advocate on behalf of the Diocese on statute of limitations legislation,” he insisted.
David Clohessy, the former director of the Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said church funds should never be used to fight clerical abuse victims.
“It’s appalling that parishioners’ donations are used to keep child sex crimes — and those who committed and concealed them — covered up,” said Clohessy. “There’s no better indication of how bishops think and act than where they put their flocks’ funds. And there are few more egregious and reckless ways to spend churchgoers’ contributions than to put their kids at risk by fighting secular reforms that help expose predators.”
Asked if he believes the church was willing to spend that kind of money on lobbyists because it feared payouts for victims would cost 10 times more, Weiss said that appears to be the case.
“The church made the soulless decision to spend 10 million of its dollars to evade its responsibility to those harmed by clergy abuse, rather that use those funds toward the healing process,” he said. “Clearly these expenditures were aimed at protecting the church’s financial interests, not at doing the right thing.”
Sexual abuse of minors was rife among superiors of the Legionaries of Christ Catholic religious order, with at least 60 boys abused by its founder Father Marcial Maciel, a report by the group showed.
The report is important because for decades until 2006, including during all of the pontificate of Pope John Paul, the Vatican dismissed accusations by seminarians that Maciel had abused them sexually, some when they were as young as 12.
The order said the report, which was released on Saturday and covers the period since Maciel founded it in his native Mexico in 1941 to this year, was “an additional attempt (by the Legionaries) to confront their history”.
Maciel, who died in 2008, was perhaps the Roman Catholic Church’s most notorious pedophile, even abusing children he had fathered secretly with at least two women while living a double life and being feted by the Vatican and Church conservatives.
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, 92, who was secretary of state under John Paul, was for years one of the Legionaries’ biggest protectors in the Vatican.
Pope Francis accepted his resignation as dean of the college of cardinals on Saturday and simultaneously changed church law to limit the dean’s position to a five-year term, rather than for life.
The Vatican first acknowledged Maciel’s crimes in 2006, when former Pope Benedict ordered him to retire to a life of “prayer and penitence”. But Benedict resisted calls from some in the Church who said the order should be dissolved because it was toxic to the core.
The Vatican instead took over the order in 2010 and began a process of reform.
The new report says that between 1941 and 2019, 175 minors were victims of abuse by 33 priests in the order. At least 60, or about one-third, were abused by Maciel himself, it said.
Most victims were boys between 11 and 16, it said.
ABUSE OF POWER
While the report said the 33 amounted to only 2.44% of the 1,353 priests ordained by the order, it said that nearly 43% of those who committed the abuse were in positions of authority, making it difficult to report or punish the abuse.
“(Abuse) was linked to the abuse of power and conscience on the part of some who took advantage of their posts to abuse,” it said.
Of the 33, six have died, eight have left the priesthood, and one had left the order. Of the 18 who remain members, four have “ministerial restrictions” to keep them away from minors and 14 have no public priestly ministry, the report said.
Seventy-four seminarians studying for the priesthood also abused minors and 81% of them were not ordained.
Father Christian Borgogno, a former member of the order, said that the numbers of those abused were “clearly unlikely” to be accurate and believed that they were much higher.
“It is difficult to think that this is anything more than a whitewash of the (Legionaries’) image,” he said in a tweet. He said the reported lacked “independent sources”.
After Maciel’s death, Vatican investigations found that he had also fathered several children with at least two women, visited them regularly and sent them money. He also used drugs.
Former members have said the order was run like a cult, with rules forbidding any criticism of the founder or questioning of his motives.
They said Maciel gave huge contributions to the Vatican during the papacy of John Paul, who admired the Legionaries’ orthodoxy and ability to produce vocations.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests at a school for the deaf in Argentina staged a protest at the Vatican on Friday to bring attention to an upcoming trial of more alleged abusers.
Last November a court in the province of Mendoza convicted two priests and the former gardener at a Catholic Church-run school on 28 counts of sexual abuse and corruption of minors.
Trials for about 10 others who worked at the Antonio Provolo Institute for the deaf, including teachers and a nun, are expected to start in a few months. They are accused of abetting the abuse by the priests.
About 20 people, including several former students, held up signs reading “Zero Tolerance,” “Don’t Forget,” and “We Are Not Going Away” in front of the building housing the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine for the Faith, which handles abuse cases. The victims’ lawyers and other victims of abuse were among those who joined the protest.
“Church officials in Argentina are not cooperating with civil authorities and not cooperating with prosecutors concerning the rape and sexual abuse of dozens of deaf children in Argentina,” Peter Isely, a founder of the advocacy group Ending Clergy Abuse (ECA), told Reuters at the demonstration.
The case in Argentina and a similar one at a school for the deaf in Italy have prompted outrage because of the particular vulnerability of the children and their difficulty in communicating about the crimes.
ECA and several other groups of victims traveled to Rome to mark the first anniversary of a Church summit on sexual abuse at the Vatican.
They say Pope Francis and Vatican officials have not done enough to make bishops and other members of the Catholic Church hierarchy accountable for the cover-up of sexual abuse.
The two priests convicted in last November’s trial were given sentences of 42 and 45 years in prison respectively while the school employee was given 18 years. They are appealing the ruling.
The Catholic Church around the world is still struggling to come to grips with the worldwide crisis, most of which involves cases of abuse that happened decades ago.
It has devastated the Church’s credibility and dented its coffers. About two dozen dioceses in the United States alone have filed for bankruptcy because of mounting lawsuits.
A number of U.S. states have also changed statutes of limitations law enabling victims to file for damages for abuse that occurred decades ago.
Yes, I am an atheist. Yes, I do not believe in your god, nor your Jesus, nor your bible, nor your religion. Your god and your religion is just one of many of humanity. Your god is as real as the Muslims’ god, the Jewish god, or the old Pagan Greek, Egyptian, Roman, Welch, Anglo, Saxxon, etc gods and religions. NO ONE can prove to me their god is real. That would be like proving to me? That the sound of thunder is the sound of the voice of your god, which? If you actually read your buybulls and studied your history of this god? That is what he actually was to the Jews, their version of Thor, the Thunder god.
Be that as it may? I am doing this posting on the topic of why NO CHRISTIAN SHOULD EVER TELL ANYONE THEY ARE GOING TO HELL!!! And? This posting is a result of a set of comments on the posting Is the Bible Creating Atheists?
This is an edited response to Becky, one of the commentors.
ONE of the worst things ANY Christian can tell someone like myself or ANY victim or survivor of a rape by a Christian priest or pastors is that they would be going to hell if they do not accept your Jesus!!!
Why do I say this?
Because that is one of the tools that these Christian pedophile perverts used with great effect to silence us. Now here is my personal example, but it applies to most of the victims and survivors. If you were to read any of their stories? You would see how much this is typical for all of us. When we speak of these nightmares? Think of vivid lucid dreaming, where this shit is real to you. You feel everything, you experience everything, and it is constant, night after night after night. I am sure some of you have had dreams that felt so real it was as if you were not dreaming but you were actually there. This is what these nightmares are like.
Brain-washing in the horrors of hell
Now, when you grow up in the RCC like I did? Hell is drilled into your head big time. They tell you with great detail the horrors of hell. They brainwash you into this by putting great fear into your head, your heart and soul about the horrors of hell and they also drill into you the commandments of god from the OT that you were to stone to death mouthy kids, and all the other shit that happened to kids, like the 42 kids in the Prophet Elisha’s story. The second part of the brainwashing is? A priest tells you to do something? That is like God and Jesus himself telling you to do something. YOU NEVER QUESTION a priest, or a leader of the church. You do? YOU are going to hell. So can you understand this so far? I am sure you can.
Hell used to silence the victims
Then? When you get raped by these scumbags? They use the brain-washing horrors of hell to keep you silent and it works perfectly.
My rape started out with one pedo priest, Father Leon Gaulin, right after the cops dropped me off at the church. He was real disgusting. He had me saying Our Fathers and Hail Mary’s as he raped me anally in the places bedroom. Hell, I can still to this day see it in my mind. The wool blankets, the dark headboard, the wastebasket I eventually tried to puke in after he forced me to perform oral sex on him. But? It was while he was raping me anally that he started using the horrors of hell to control me. Saying over and over to me if I told anyone about his “special healing” of me I would burn in hell for all eternity. I do not know if you can understand what that is like for a Roman Catholic brain-washed kid, but hey…it is not something you would want done to you.
And? There you are, having this done to you, in a fucking church no less, well the church buildings bedroom, and you, deep inside yourself, are begging, screaming and praying to god and Jesus to make this shit stop and it does not? Well another brain-washing tool used is that if god or Jesus did not answer your prayers? Then it was their will for what was happening to keep happening. So again, you are being raped by a Christian Roman Catholic priest, you have the horrors of hell drilled into you being used against you, your prayers have failed so you feel this is what god and Jesus want to have done to you and you? Go literally insane.
Then? When they gang-raped me? Even though Gaulin drugged me with a glass of water after he raped me? My sub-conscious recorded everything. When I first came out about this as an adult? I only remembered what Gaulin did to me, until he gave me that glass of water to drink. But now?After years of great therapy and lots of work? Well as one of my favorite Five Finger Death Punch song goes? I Remember Everything now. I remember every damn thing Gaulin, Desmond and McQue did to me at St Thomas More parish in Durham NH that night and why I tried to kill myself not soon afterwards for the first of many times.
They took their turns with me on that damn altar and they used the horrors of hell over and over again, same type of shit that Gaulin used. Imagine being a kid, stretched, bent over an altar of a church, three damn Christian pedophile priests taking turns, raping your ass, and telling you again, over and over, you tell anyone you are going to hell and this is what God and Jesus is giving you as a punishment for backtalking your father and breaking the commandments.
And this is why when some Christian? Tells me or someone who went through this that if they do not accept their god and Lord and Savior they will be going to hell? That is why we go off so freaking psycho at times.
Welcome to my Nightmares
Not soon afterwards? The nightmares began. First? I would be in the family car, the old station wagon we used to have, the one where my little brother Ricky suffered an accident with a huge scythe. We would be going over the bridge over Great Bay, a trip we took a lot really. At first? It would be horrible storms, a huge tidal wave, almost hurricane weather and we would be blown off the bridge. Then it became sheets of literal fire coming down the bay to engulf us all in the car. After my second serious suicide attempt? They got really, really bad. And because of them? I became a pyro.
I started burning things. I would burn down old abandoned houses, set fire to woods, and then one day I got arrested for blowing up an abandoned truck almost in the center of town. I was literally acting out what was going on in my nightmares. Because they changed to my now being in hell, being gang raped by the demons of hell, just like I was gang raped by those priests in that church.
The demons? Were the priests with demon faces. And I would wake up from this shit screaming, drenched in sweat. Why? Because one of the demon priests would say to me, see, I told you what would happen if you told anyone about your special healing and he would bite off my dick. See why I would wake up screaming. Again realize, these are very lucid nightmares, YOU feel the heat of hell, you see the flames, it is just like you were brain-washed into believing. The demons are real in these nightmares, you feel it all, the pain, it is like living that night of horror all over again, each and every time you have these nightmares. But now? You are in hell having this done to you.
You say you are a Christian? Then practice love, patience and understanding instead of telling someone they are going to hell. YOU may never know what they went through and why they might literally snap on you and throw all kinds of nasty disgusting words at you. It is not personal, it is you telling us that we are going to hell that causes our PTSD to react to you and what you said to us. Understand that the word HELL is a huge trigger for people like us. YOU have no idea what this is like for us. Yes, I am an atheist, but the horrors of hell brain-washing technique is one of the hardest of all brain-washing techniques to overcome, especially? When it is used in this fashion against you.
So when someone tells me, or many other victims and survivors that if we do not accept their god and Jesus we would spend an eternity in hell? Christians should try to understand why victims and survivors have such as myself have a mental blow out reaction when we are told this. Again!!!
It is nothing really personal against the Christian saying this to us, it is just the fact that those who raped our bodies? Those who raped our minds? Those who raped our souls? Our hearts? Used the horrors of hell to torment and torture many of us into silence. Most ask why do we wait so long before we speak of what happened to us? Well this is one of the main reasons.
THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK TO SOMEONE, ESPECIALLY US ATHEISTS, BECAUSE THERE MAY BE? A DAMN GOOD REASON WHY? WE ARE ATHEISTS AND SOME OF THE WORDS YOU DO USE TO US? ARE TRIGGERS, WORDS THAT WERE USED BY CHRISTIAN PRIESTS AND PASTORS, WELL VERSED IN BRAIN-WASHING YOU INTO THE HORRORS OF THEIR HELL, AND THEN USING IT TO DESTROY YOUR LIVES, DESTROY EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU FOR THEIR SICK AND TWISTED, PERVERTED, PEDOPHILE PLEASURE.
Not so long ago, Pope Francis asked priest abuse victims for forgiveness.
Yet how do those of us, whom were raped and had our souls stolen from us, whom committed suicide because of it, can give him forgiveness, or any of us so harmed, when he refuses to clean house of all the Cardinals, Bishops and Archbishops whom covered up these evil crimes and are still sitting in the positions that they are in?
How can Paul Anthony Carson, whom upon seeing the priest whom raped him walking down the street and then going home and hanging himself, being found by his parents, forgive him?
How can Emma Foster, whom was raped by Father Kevin O’Donnell, while at a primary school whom committed suicide because of it, forgive him?
How can Daniel Neill, whom committed suicide because of his rapist priest, Joseph Gallagher, forgive him?
How can the 30 boys raped at the St Alipius primary school, whom committed suicide forgive him for their rapes?
How can David M. Jarboe Jr. whom stepped into the parking lot of downtown Owensboro’s Blessed Mother Catholic Church and because of his horror from his priest rape, blew his brains out, forgive him?
How can the 40 suicide victims of another parish in Victoria Australia forgive him?
Or the thirteen victims of priest rape whom committed suicide in Belgium forgive him?
Or the thousands of others, whom committed suicide, because of their rapes and soul tortures by their pedophile priests forgive him?
How can the parents and relatives of these children, ever forgive him? Whom lost their child, due to the brutal rapes and soul destruction of them.
How can the parents of Paul Anthony Carson, whom cut him down, and were devastated forgive him? Or any of the other parents?
None of them can. Matter of fact, they are supposedly in hell, burning for all eternity, because the pain and suffering brought on by their rapes by Roman Catholic priests, committed suicide, which the RC teaches that if you do commit suicide, then you will burn in hell for eternity. I don’t believe they are. I believe they are in Paradise, free from all of their suffering, at peace and filled with light and love. They are the true Angels, the Guardians, the Protectors of us still here.
The horror, the suffering, the pain, of those of us, whom were raped, whom had our souls stolen from us, whom then were continually brutalized by the leaders of the church, whom told us we were to blame for our rapes, that we seduced their priests, that because we did not punch our rapist priests in the face, that meant we not only wanted to be raped, we enjoyed our rapes and we are homosexuals because of it, with all the connotations that goes along with that evil declaration against us, have driven many of us to kill ourselves. Or that we should consider our rapes as gifts from God, or many other equally disgusting insults thrown at us by those leaders whom are supposed to help us heal.
In my opinion, the Roman Catholic Church, from Pope Francis, to the Cardinals such as Timothy Dolan, Donald Wuerl, Roger Mahony, Bernard Law, John Niedstedt, and many others, Bishops and Archbishops, are just as responsible, not only for the rapes of these men and women, but also for the suicides of these victims. They drove many to commit suicide over what they said about us, and that makes them as responsible for these suicide deaths as if they pulled the triggers themselves. You do not insult, nor you do not blame the victims of rape for their rapes.
No Pope Francis, until you do what you have promised us you would do. Clean house, stop fighting us victims when we seek justice for the crimes committed against us, with the church lawyers getting our cases dismissed using the statues of limitations.
When Parishioners start caring more about us, their very children of the church, whom were raped and brutalized, and many of you turned your backs on your own children, because you would rather support the leaders of your churches, over your very own children.
When people stand up and demand that the disgusting attacks against us, like Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, whom claims we seduced our priests, whom claims because we did not punch our rapist priests in the face when they were raping us, thereby, we not only wanted to be raped, we enjoyed our rapes and we are homosexuals because of it.
Then maybe, we will find it to forgive you all. We cannot do so, until all of you, truly repent, and start standing up for us, instead of those whom so harmed us.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks about rape.
PART THREE LIFE IN CHRIST
SECTION TWO THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
CHAPTER TWO “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF”
ARTICLE 6 THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT
II The Vocation to Chastity:
Offenses Against Chastity
2356: Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them.
Start living up to your Catechism teachings. Start standing up for your sons and daughters whom had their lives devastated by a pedophile priest of this church. How many more of your children must die? How many more of your children will commit suicide before you finally wake up and realize that YOU MUST stand up for your own children over the Pope, Cardinals, Bishops and Archbishops of the Roman Catholic Church?
How many more parents are going to come home and find their child dead because of this evil?
As a survivor of a brutal, all night long, gang rape by three RCC priests when I was 15? To one who has gone from being a victim to a strong survivor? Who has worked the last 15 years blogging and exposing all the Crimes Against Humanity and all the Crimes Against the Children of the World by the Pedophile Pimps, Pedo priests and nuns, and abusive, degenerate priests, brothers, nuns and sisters who ran the infamous Industrial Schools and Homes, their Magdalene and Good Shepherd Laundries slave encampments, their brutal and deadly for fetuses, infants and children at their Women’s and Children’s Homes?
I say the Unholy Roman Catholic Cult of Pedophile Pimps, Pedophiles and you pew polishers who love and adore them? Ought to try to learn what is going to happen to you all when your Jesus said it would be better for you to hang a huge millstone around your neck and throw yourself into the deepest of lakes if by your actions you so much as harm a single hair on the head of a child or by your actions? Drive that child away from the love of God, which many of your pedophile priests and other degenerates? Sure did.
As far as I am concerned and a whole bunch of victims and survivors who stand behind me, and all the over three thousand victims of your degenrate cult who have committed suicide because of the evil done to them at the hands and dicks of disgusting priests? You are all condemned. each and every single one of you. And you are all bound for hell for all eternity. Plain and simple.
Your pedophile pimps, from Pope Francis to each and every Cardinal, Bishop and Archbishop who protected these pedophiles? All belong on death row, along with all the rest of your pedophiles you have hidden and protected. For your Crimes Against Humanity, your Crimes Against the Children of the World and for First Degree Murder for each and every victim who committed suicide.
ROME—“Giuseppe” was born to impoverished parents outside of Verona in
northern Italy with a congenital birth defect that left him deaf and
mute. When it became clear that his parents could not provide for
him—much less communicate with him—they brought him to the local
Catholic church, which enrolled him in their Antonio Provolo Institute
for deaf and mute children. It was here he learned to communicate
through standard sign language and other visual cues. It was also where
he became one of scores of victims of the priests and religious brothers who ran the school.
When he was 11, a monk who worked at the institute as an educator started teaching “special secret signs” for things like masturbation, fellatio, penis, and anus. “I didn’t understand at first just why this man was teaching me these strange secret signs,” Giuseppe explained in an exclusive, and very emotional, interview in Rome. “Then one day it became very clear when one of the priests made the secret sign for fellatio when we were alone, which was followed by him pushing his erect penis into my mouth.”
From that point on, Giuseppe said through his interpreter—often using fast and somewhat violent sign language as tears ran down his face—priests and the brothers would give a sign to the young boys and then take them to special rooms Giuseppe says were used for “time out” punishments or as resting areas. He said that because everyone was deaf at the school except those who worked there, no one could hear the screams and cries of the young boys when the abuse took place. Giuseppe said that on several occasions he and others tried to write down what was happening, but because their letters and notes were given to the priests and brothers to be mailed out, they were likely intercepted.“You would see friends with tears rolling down their faces and you knew exactly what had just happened. You didn’t need to hear to know.”— “Giuseppe,” a deaf survivor of clerical sex abuse
“Of course we screamed and cried,” he said. “Sometimes you would see priests coming into the dormitory at night, or you would see friends with tears rolling down their faces and you knew exactly what had just happened. You didn’t need to hear to know.”
against Giuseppe allegedly lasted for seven full years, until he turned
18 and left the institution. Whenever he tried to explain what was
happening to him inside the school, no one understood because the
language he had been taught to describe the sexual acts was
incomprehensible to sign-language readers. “It was so frustrating that
no one understood what we said,” Giuseppe explained, adding that even
after he left the institution and lived in another Catholic charity
house, he had a difficult time making anyone understand what had
happened. “It took a long time for us to be believed.”
Giuseppe is one of 67 young boys who have been named in court documents and were allegedly abused by more than two dozen priests and brothers at the Provolo Institute, according to Verona prosecutors who have been investigating the allegations for nearly a decade and who plan to bring it to trial later this year.
One of the most notorious alleged
offenders was Father Nicola Corradi, now 83, who was moved to South
America in the mid-1980s after Giuseppe and others’ abuse claims came to
light. Rather than handing him over to secular authorities or asking
the mother church in Rome to defrock him, the bishop transferred him to
the Provolo Institute in Mendoza, Argentina. Several other priests
accused of abuse in Verona were also transferred to the sister school in
Argentina, but have since passed away.
Argentina, court documents there would later allege that Corradi was
soon up to his usual practices and, despite credible reports from Italy
that were beginning to surface, he was allowed to stay in his job at the
school for the deaf, where he apparently found like-minded abusers. He
was finally arrested in 2016 on allegations that he abused 22 deaf and
mute children over the course of nearly three decades. Three other
priests were arrested with him. There are more than 60 civil trials
going on across Argentina against priests like Corradi who allegedly
Julieta Añazco was one of those victims at the
Provolo Institute. She says she was first abused by Father Ricardo
Giménez, who worked at the institute. He first attacked her when she was
just seven years old, she says, when the two were in a tent being used
as a confessional at a Catholic youth festival. The abuse went on for
three years before her parents found out and filed a complaint. Giménez
was then transferred by the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, under the
direction of then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis.
Añazco is now a pivotal member of Argentina’s branch of the Survivor’s Network of Those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP. She told the German magazine Der Spiegel in a cover story out last week that she and another group of students from the Provolo Institute tried to meet on several occasions with Bergoglio before he was elected as pope because he was the highest ranking prelate in the diocese at the time. Then, in July 2013, she and 13 other victims wrote a letter to the new pontiff to remind him about what happened in his native country under his watch. Giménez, who professes his innocence, is still an active priest although he was arrested and briefly detained. “They can’t undo these terrible things.”— “Giuseppe”
That letter was never answered by Francis, but Añazco did receive proof of receipt. She is lobbying a court in Argentina to open a civil suit against the pope for overlooking complaints when he was the head of the archdiocese. The watchdog website Bishop Accountability outlines five cases that Pope Francis overlooked as cardinal. One concerns Father Julio Cesar Grassi.
Earlier this month, the Associated Press uncovered a secret 2,000-page forensic study commissioned by Bergoglio in 2010 to study whether Grassi, a priest who worked at the Provolo Institute and founded a home for street children he is alleged to have abused, and who already had been convicted in secular courts and sentenced to 15 years in prison, was truly guilty. The report concluded that he was not and that the case did not merit a criminal trial. An appellate court upheld the conviction against the priest, but he has not been defrocked.
Argentina probes sex abuse at deaf school, what Vatican knew
LUJAN DE CUYO, Argentina – Children told prosecutors that two Roman
Catholic priests repeatedly raped them by an image of the Virgin Mary
inside the small school chapel in remote northwestern Argentina. Only
their tormenters would have heard their cries, because the other
children at the school were deaf.
The clerical sex abuse scandal unfolding at the Antonio Provolo
Institute for hearing-impaired children in Mendoza province would be
shocking enough on its own. Yet dozens of students in the Provolo
Institute’s school in Italy were similarly abused for decades, some of
whom allegedly by the same priest who now stands formally charged of
raping and molesting young deaf Argentines.
And the Vatican knew about Father Nicola Corradi since at least 2009,
when the Italian Provolo students went public with tales of shocking
abuse against the most vulnerable of children and named names.
While the Vatican ordered an investigation and sanctioned four
accused priests, Corradi apparently never was sanctioned for his alleged
crimes in Italy.
The Verona diocese apologized to the Italian students in 2012. After
the students again named Corradi as an abuser living in Francis’s native
Argentina in a 2014 letter to the pope and the Verona bishop, the
Vatican still took no action. Though this year a Vatican official said
Pope Francis wanted to assure the victims that the church was taking
measures to protect children and prevent sexual abuse.
But at least 24 students of the Provolo institute in Argentina have
now come forward seeking justice for the abuse they say they suffered at
the hands of Corradi, 82, another priest, Father Horacio Corbacho, 55,
and three other men. The five were arrested in late November by police
who raided the school in Argentina’s Mendoza province and found
magazines featuring naked women and about $34,000 in Corradi’s room.
All the suspects are being held at a jail in Mendoza and have not
spoken publicly since their arrest. Corradi’s attorney, Pablo Kletzl, on
Friday declined to comment on the case.
Victims and prosecutors say the anal and vaginal rapes, fondling and oral sex allegedly committed by the priests took place in the bathrooms, dorms, garden and a basement at the school in Lujan de Cuyo, a city about 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) northwest of Buenos Aires.
The school has “a little chapel with an image of the Virgin and some chairs where the kids would get confession and receive the communion. That’s where some of the acts were happening,” former lead prosecutor Fabrizio Sidoti told The Associated Press of the stories he heard from the alleged victims after the scandal broke.
Children from other regions of Argentina who lived at the dorms were said to be especially vulnerable and targeted often. The tales they have told are harrowing: One of the alleged victims told AP she witnessed how a girl was raped by one priest while the other one forced her to give him oral sex.
Argentine courts said the alleged victims in the case in that country
could not be publicly identified and AP does not identify people who
may have been sexually assaulted unless they voluntarily identify
“They always said it was a game: ‘Let’s go play, let’s go play’ and
they would take us to the girls’ bathroom,” said one of the women who
claims that she was abused at the school in Argentina.
The prosecutor is expecting more than 20 other people to provide testimony and more people claiming abuse to come forward.
Pope Francis has not spoken publicly about the case, and the Vatican declined to comment on Corradi’s arrest.
Advocates of sex abuse victims by priests question how Francis could
have been unaware of Corradi’s alleged misdeeds, given he was publicly
named by the Italian victims starting in 2009 and most recently in 2014.
“No other pope has spoken as passionately about the evil of child sex
abuse as Francis. No other pope has invoked ‘zero tolerance’ as often.
No other pope has promised accountability of church superiors,” said
Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability, an online
resource about clerical abuse.
“In light of the crimes against the helpless children in Mendoza, the pope’s assurances seem empty indeed.”
On Dec. 11, the pope appeared in a video using sign language to wish
deaf people worldwide a Merry Christmas – a gesture that fell
particularly flat in Argentina as Catholics struggle with the enormity
of the Provolo scandal.
“Either he lives outside of reality or this is enormously cynical …
it’s a mockery,” said Carlos Lombardi, an attorney who specializes in
The Provolo case first exploded in Italy in 2009, when the Italian
victims went public with stories of abuse after what they said were
three useless years of negotiations with the diocese of Verona, where
the institute has its Italian headquarters.
The 67 victims alleged sexual abuse, pedophilia and corporal punishment at the hands of priests, brothers and lay religious from the 1950s to the 1980s. At the time, 14 of the victims wrote sworn statements and videotaped their testimony detailing the abuse they suffered. They named 24 priests, lay religious and religious brothers in a list that was published online.
Corradi was one of those included in the list, which specified he was in Argentina at that time.
In 2010, the Vatican ordered the Verona diocese to investigate the claims. One of the victims identified Corradi.
The investigation results were sent to the Vatican. In a Nov. 24,
2012 letter, the Verona diocese wrote to the Provolo victims with the
results of the Vatican-ordered inquiry and apologized.
A copy of the letter provided to the AP listed only five priests accused, four of them sanctioned with a fifth excused because of his age and Alzheimer’s. Some of the original 24 accused had already died, others had left the congregation. For those sanctioned, the Vatican ordered punishments including living a life of prayer and penance and being placed under surveillance away from children.
Corradi wasn’t among the five. But the Provolo victims didn’t stop pushing for investigation of other priests.
On Dec. 31, 2013, they wrote to the pope asking him to institute an independent commission of inquiry to investigate the charges of clerical sex abuse in Italy.
On Oct. 20, 2014, they wrote Francis and the Verona bishop naming 14 priests and lay religious from the institute who were still alive and in ministry who allegedly had sexually abused them. They named Corradi, and noted that he and three others were in Argentina.
“We must point out that the behavior of the church is not in the least bit in line with the ‘zero tolerance’ stance of Pope Francis,” they wrote, listing the 14 priests and their current locations.
“Such behavior makes us think that the church has no interest in the suffering provoked by priests who sexually abused deaf children, priests who continue to live their lives normally, priests who never apologized to victims, priests who never asked forgiveness and for whom the church itself attempts to let the time pass in hopes that everything is forgotten.”
No response was immediately received.
More than two years later, the Vatican’s No. 3 official,
Archbishop Angelo Becciu, acknowledged receipt of the letters. In a Feb.
5, 2016, response, he said that as far as the Provolo victims’ request
for a commission of inquiry was concerned, he had forwarded the proposal
to the Italian Bishops’ Conference.
Becciu said in that letter that the pope wanted to assure the Provolo
victims that the church was taking measures to protect children and
prevent sexual abuse.
The Italian Bishops’ Conference didn’t respond to an email seeking comment on whether such a commission was under consideration.
“I’m convinced that some hierarchy covered this up. They sent the
wolf to take care of the sheep,” said Alejandro Gulle, the chief
prosecutor in Mendoza.
The Mendoza Archbishopric says it was unaware of the accusations
against Corradi. “A religious man comes to a diocese and you trust the
legitimate superior,” spokesman Marcelo De Benedectis said.
He said that allegations aired by the case have prompted the Mendoza
diocese to take measures such as demanding a sworn statement from
priests stating that they don’t have a history of violating canon or
The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has been informed about the Mendoza accusations, he added.
Viviana Avila, who teaches at the school, told the AP that among the
professors “none of us suspected anything,” nor received any complaints
from the students. She said the teachers finished classes at midday and
never came near the dorms.
Unlike the Verona case, the alleged crimes in Mendoza have not
expired due to the statute of limitations and could lead to up to
50-year jail sentences for a conviction.
A prosecutor is also probing accusations by a man who says he was
abused at the Provolo Institute in the city of La Plata when Corradi
first arrived in Argentina in the 1980s.
“We want justice to be served. We might be able to get long
sentences. I hope they’re the maximum,” said Gulle, the Mendoza
prosecutor. “But we’ll never compensate the spiritual damage suffered by
Bergoglio Implicated In the Sexual Abuse Of Deaf Orphans In Argentina
As a Cardinal in Argentina Pope Francis was told that priests were raping deaf children but did nothing to stop the sexual abuse and punish the abusers.
In a sordid report from the Daily Beast comes a tragic tale of the systematic rape and sexual abuse of deaf orphans by Catholic priests and monks, a story that begins in Italy and ends in Argentina, where the future Pope Francis was then known as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
The story explains how deaf children were groomed for sexual abuse, noting:
The priests and monks created their own sick sign language to command the deaf and mute boys to perform oral sex and be sodomized.
The details of the story are sickening, and begin in Italy, with a boy named “Giuseppe,” who “was born to impoverished parents outside of Verona in northern Italy with a congenital birth defect that left him deaf and mute.” The deaf boy was eventually enrolled at the Antonio Provolo Institute for deaf and mute children.
The Daily Beast reports: When he was 11, a monk who worked at the institute as an educator started teaching “special secret signs” for things like masturbation, fellatio, penis, and anus. “I didn’t understand at first just why this man was teaching me these strange secret signs,”
Giuseppe explained in an exclusive, and very emotional, interview in Rome. “Then one day it became very clear when one of the priests made the secret sign for fellatio when we were alone, which was followed by him pushing his erect penis into my mouth.” Giuseppe reports: Of course we screamed and cried. Sometimes you would see priests coming into the dormitory at night, or you would see friends with tears rolling down their faces and you knew exactly what had just happened. You didn’t need to hear to know.
Eventually Giuseppe grew up and escaped the abuse, and made it his mission to report it. He is now “one of 67 young boys who have been named in court documents and were allegedly abused by more than two dozen priests and brothers at the Provolo Institute.”
After the abuse claims of Giuseppe and others became public, the offending priests and monks were quietly shipped off to Argentina.
This is standard practice for the Catholic church, and has been for decades. When a priest is caught raping and sexually assaulting children, he is quietly moved to a new location, where the pattern resumes. The offending priests from Italy were shipped to another school for the deaf run by Catholics, only this school was in Argentina, where Pope Francis was serving as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
The Daily Beast reports: One of the most notorious alleged offenders was Father Nicola Corradi, now 83, who was moved to South America in the mid-1980s after Giuseppe and others’ abuse claims came to light. Rather than handing him over to secular authorities or asking the mother church in Rome to defrock him, the bishop transferred him to the Provolo Institute in Mendoza, Argentina. Several other priests accused of abuse in Verona were also transferred to the sister school in Argentina, but have since passed away.
At the Provolo Institute in Mendoza, Argentina, under the direction of Father Nicola Corradi, the abuse of deaf children continued.
Corradi “was finally arrested in 2016 on allegations that he abused 22 deaf and mute children over the course of nearly three decades.
Three other priests were arrested with him. There are more than 60 civil trials going on across Argentina against priests like Corradi who allegedly abused children.”
As for the abuse in Argentina, The Daily Beast notes: Julieta Añazco was one of those victims at the [Argentinian] Provolo Institute. She says she was first abused by Father Ricardo Giménez, who worked at the institute. He first attacked her when she was just seven years old, she says, when the two were in a tent being used as a confessional at a Catholic youth festival. The abuse went on for three years before her parents found out and filed a complaint.
Giménez was then transferred by the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, under the direction of then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis. In other words, Pope Francis knew about the sexual abuse, but did nothing to prosecute the criminals. He simply transferred the child raping priests to a new location.
According to the report, victims from the Provolo Institute repeatedly asked for a meeting with the then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis. However, Bergoglio refused to meet with the victims. In 2013 Añazco and other victims from the Provolo Institute sent a registered letter of protest to Pope Francis, reminding him that he had ignored the reports of abuse. Pope Francis has not replied. Father Giménez is still an active priest.
Nun arrested for allegedly abusing deaf children in Argentina
A Roman Catholic nun from Japan has been arrested and charged on suspicion of helping priests sexually abuse children at a school for youths with hearing disabilities in Argentina, authorities said.
Kosaka Kumiko was also charged with physically abusing the students at the Antonio Provolo Institute for children with hearing impairment in northwestern Mendoza province.
Local media showed the 42-year-old nun in handcuffs and wearing her
habit and a bullet-proof vest as she was escorted by police to a court
hearing. Kumiko, who was born in Japan but has Argentine citizenship,
denied any wrongdoing during the eight-hour hearing late Thursday.
Authorities say that Kumiko lived at the Provolo Institute from
2004-2012. She had been on the run for about a month before she turned
herself in this week.
The case against the nun was launched after a former student accused
of making her wear a diaper to cover up a hemorrhage after she was
allegedly raped by priest Horacio Corbacho.
Corbacho, fellow priest Nicola Corradi and three other men were
arrested last year after they were charged with sexually abusing at
least two dozen students at the Provolo Institute. They are being held
at a jail in Mendoza and have not spoken publicly since the arrest. If
found guilty, the accused face 10 to 50 years in prison.
Corradi had earlier been accused in Italy of abusing students at the
Provolo Institute in Verona, a notorious school for the deaf where
hundreds of children are believed to have been sexually assaulted over
the years by two dozen priests and religious brothers.
Advocates for clerical sex abuse have expressed anger that Corradi
wasn’t sanctioned by the Vatican and allegedly went on to abuse children
in Pope Francis’ native Argentina.
Victims and prosecutors say the anal and vaginal rapes, fondling and
oral sex allegedly committed by the priests took place in the bathrooms,
dorms, garden and a basement at the school in Lujan de Cuyo, a city
about 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) northwest of Buenos Aires.
A Vatican investigative commission recently visited Mendoza to learn more about the case against the priests.
PRIESTS STAND TRIAL IN ARGENTINA FOR SEXUALLY ABUSING DEAF AND MUTE CHILDREN
In a case known to Pope Francis since he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, priests who worked at a former institute for deaf and hearing-impaired children are being tried in Argentina for the sexual abuse of impaired children.
The first trial in a series of trials that will involve both priests, nuns and staff began Monday for the sexual abuse of former students at the Antonio Próvolo Institute for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children in Mendoza, Argentina.
Cdl. Jorge Bergoglio, then-bishop of Buenos Aires, definitely knew about the sexual abuse at the institute.
Father Nicola Corradi, Fr. Horacio Corbacho and Armando Gómez have been
accused of sexually abusing deaf and hearing-impaired children from 2004 to
2016. Corradi pleaded not guilty, while Corbacho and Gómez have yet to enter
Former directors, employees and two nuns will also be tried for
allegedly participating in the abuse or having knowledge of it without taking
Depending on the individual offenses, the defendants face up to 20–50
Monday’s trial lasted about two hours. The charges included the corruption of minors, sexual touching and rape.
Pope Francis’ Inaction
One victim insisted that, before becoming pope, Cdl. Jorge Bergoglio,
then-archbishop of Buenos Aires, definitely knew about the sexual abuse at the
institute. She said that the victims who came forward tried to meet the
cardinal more than once — to no avail.
The Vatican did investigate the Próvolo Institute in 2010, acknowledging in 2012 that the abuses did occur; however, aside from a few light sanctions, the Vatican has said or done nothing further to date.
Another victim said that victims wrote several letters to the Vatican
in 2013 and 2014. Not having received a response, some of those victims went to
Rome to meet with Pope Francis and hand-delivered a letter to him.
In that meeting, the Pope asked for forgiveness for what happened and
requested the victims pray for him. He did “nothing else,” according
to that victim.
Yet another victim, who was also present at that meeting with the Pope,
confirmed the testimony, saying that Pope Francis said, “Forgive me”
and then said a prayer.
In the face of inaction ― first as a cardinal and now as the pope ―
some of these pedophile priests are being housed as guests in Vatican
accommodations or freely roaming the streets.
Father Eligio Piccoli, a priest who once worked at the Próvolo Institute’s main location in Verona, Italy, was resting in a Vatican accommodation in Negrar, near Verona, where a reporter approached him with some questions.
“Those things that the Association of the deaf is telling, are they true?” asked the reporter.
“Something is true, there is a lot of truth, but because they are
corrupt,” Piccoli began to answer.
“Who?” asked the reporter.
“The deaf-mute are all corrupt and have interests to
protect,” answered Piccoli.
“But are these stories true?” asked the reporter.
“Yes, they’re true,” said Piccoli.
Piccoli then talked about how most of the priests had engaged in these
activities with the impaired children, including himself.
He spoke of a “cuddly” child who came into his room from the cold one day. According to Piccoli, the child exposed himself and the pedophile priest lost his head, performing some sexual act with the child.
The reporter then asked, “Anyway, was what happened in that room
“No, it depends … because males with males was a joke, those are
jokes. However, if with a woman, it becomes more dangerous,” said Piccoli.
“What is sin? It’s having fun with the evil, being pleased with the evil.
But if you do something for a need, for a joke like this, come on.”
“As one has the smoking habit, one has the habit of — you feel the
urge to unload, that’s it,” concluded Piccoli.
And certainly, as pope, he could have acted years ago.
Father Eliseo Pirmati, an Italian priest who worked in both Verona and
La Plata, and who absconded to Verona in December 2017 to avoid prosecution in
Argentina, was found freely wandering the streets of Verona in June. After Mass
at Santa Teresa degli Scalzi in Verona one day, the pedophile priest was
confronted by a journalist as he walked back to the Próvolo Institute in the
The abuse at the Próvolo Institute occurred in Argentina (La Plata and
Mendoza) and Italy (Verona).
Próvolo Institute in Mendoza, Argentina
Anne Barret Doyle, co-director of Bishop Accountability, told the
Associated Press that neither the Vatican nor the Pope will likely respond.
When the Verona institute made headlines in 2009 and 2010, Cdl.
Bergoglio was president of the Argentine bishops’ conference.
“He could have ordered an investigation of the Mendoza and La
Plata schools then,” she said. “And certainly, as pope, he could have
acted years ago. He was notified by the Verona victims of Corradi’s presence in
Corradi, who stood trial on Monday, seems to have been the ringleader.
WATCH: Pope Francis Gets Caught in Gigantic Lie Regarding a Sexual Abuse Case in Argentina
Pope Francis faced accusations of covering up priestly abuse while he was the archbishop and cardinal in Buenos Aires, a 2017 French documentary reveals. A segment of the documentary, “Sex Abuse in the Church: The Code of Silence,” investigates the pope’s assertion that sexual abuse never happened in his diocese.
journalist Martin Boudot traveled to Buenos Aires to find out if the
pope was telling the truth. Contradicting the pope’s assertion, a group
of victims claimed they were sexually abused while Bergoglio [now Pope
Francis] was archbishop and told Boudot their cries for justice were
pedophile priests, in his book Pope Francis says there were no cases in
his diocese,” said Boudot, prompting derisive laughter from the group.
wants people to believe that, but it’s a lie,” said one of the victims.
They said they all tried to contact the archbishop after they were
abused, but their cries fell on deaf ears.
received all the celebrities, like Leonardo DiCaprio,” said one of the
women. “And for us, not even a quick letter to say he was sorry.”
worse, in one case, Bergoglio tried to influence the Argentinean
justice system in an effort to protect Father Julio Grassi, who
is serving the remainder of a 15-year jail sentence after being
convicted of sexually abusing teenage boys.
The Argentinian church did everything it could to get Grassi acquitted and the trial was spread over 15 years, according to Boudot. In 2010, in fact, the Argentine Episcopal Conference led by Cardinal Bergoglio ordered a counter-inquiry called “Studies on the Grassi Case.”
Boudot said the 2,800-page counter inquiry was actually “a confidential, internal Argentinian Church legal text” that accused the children of “falsification, lies, deceit and invention.” The purpose of the study was to overturn the court’s decision and get Fr. Grassi acquitted on appeal.
“So the pope did commission a counter-inquiry to try to have a priest who had been sentenced for pedophilia acquitted,” Boudot reported. What’s more, Bergoglio is said to have repeatedly sent the “study” to various judges right before Fr. Grassi’s various appeal hearings.
At the center of the counter-inquiry commissioned by Bergoglio was an orphan boy who was allegedly Grassi’s main victim. Now an adult, the man spoke about the case for the first time to Boudot anonymously because he’s still afraid of reprisals. He explained to Boudot that he received threats and people broke into his home and stole evidence he could have used in the trial. “In the end, the courts took action for my safety and placed me in the witness protection program,” he said.
never forget what Father Grassi kept repeating at his trial: ‘Bergoglio
never let go of my hand.’ Now Bergoglio is Pope Francis, but he has
never gone against Grassi’s words. So I’m certain he never let go of
Grassi’s hand!” he added.
to get an interview with the pope, Boudot and his team went to the
Vatican to see if they could hand a letter with written questions about
the Grassi case to the pope during his public audience at St. Peter’s
After managing to
hand the letter to a plainclothes Swiss Guard as the pope passed by, one
of the reporters got close enough to shout a question to the pope, who
had exited the popemobile.
“Your Holiness, in the Grassi case, did you try to influence Argentinian justice?” the woman shouted. Pope Francis glared at her and curtly replied, “no.”
“No? Then why did you commission a counter-inquiry?” she pressed.
With a wave of his hand, the pope replied, “I never did.”
Detailed Summary of Case of Rev. Julio César Grassi, Drawn from Media Coverage and Legal Documents
Grassi was a Salesian until 1991, when he became a priest of the
Morón diocese. In 1993, he founded Fundacion Felices los Niños (the
Happy Children Foundation), aimed at rescuing street children. According
to a news article, the foundation cared for 6,300 children in 17 homes
nationwide from 1993 to 2002.
On November 29, 2000, an anonymous complaint filed
in the Juvenile Court of Morón accused Grassi of corrupting minors. The
case lay dormant until 10/23/2002, when Telenoche Investiga,an
investigative news show on Argentina’s Channel 13, aired a program
alleging Grassi’s sexual abuse of five boys, ages 11 to 17. It included
an interview with a young man, his face obscured, who said that Grassi
performed oral sex on him in 1998, when he was 15. Within days, Grassi
was arrested and charged with 17 counts of abuse of three boys, who were
9, 13, and 17 when the alleged incidents occurred. Grassi denied all
In November 2002, the executive committee of the Argentine bishops’ conference issued a statement denouncing a “campaign” intended to “blur the image” of the Catholic Church and “cause society to lose its trust” in the institution. It warned against making “condemning judgments about individuals or institutions before a fair trial.” Although the statement did not refer to a specific attack, some news analysts interpreted it as the bishops’ response to public uproar about Grassi and the recently arrested Archbishop Storni. The Executive Committee was headed by Archbishop Karlic of Paraná and his first and second vice-presidents, Monsignor Miras of Rosario and Cardinal Bergoglio of Buenos Aires.
Grassi’s trial, one of the longest in Argentine
history, began on 8/20/2008 and lasted for nine months, with testimony
from 130 witnesses. On June 9, 2009, he was found guilty of two acts of
aggravated sexual assault and corruption of minors in the case of
“Gabriel.” He was acquitted of 15 other counts of abuse of “Luis” and
“Ezekiel.” He was sentenced to 15 years in prison but allowed to remain
free pending his appeal. He was prohibited from going alone to his
Foundation’s offices and children’s homes but could enter them if
accompanied by an individual whom he could designate.
On June 20, 2009, 49 priests and 50 laypeople
issued a statement opposing the court’s decision to let Grassi remain
free. They also criticized the “silence of ecclesial leaders before this
case and others.” The signers said, “We see that other bishops’
conferences like Colombia’s have spoken up in similar cases, and we do
not understand your silence, that has the appearance of ‘hushing up’ and
On September 14, 2010, the Criminal Appeals Court
of Buenos Aires province denied Grassi’s first appeal and confirmed the
15-year sentence. A few days later, the local court in Morón ruled again
that Grassi could remain free until his conviction was final. He was
prohibited only from entering the offices of the Happy Children
Foundation. Subsequent attempts by the prosecutor and victims’ attorneys
to have Grassi detained were rejected twice, in November /2010 by the
Appeal Court of Morón and in June 2011 by the Criminal Appeals Court of
Buenos Aires province.
On March 9, 2012, the bishop of Morón, Luis
Eichhorn, wrote to the Court of Morón, asking that Grassi be allowed to
transfer back to the Morón diocese. (Grassi had been living somewhere in
the diocese of San Justo.) Eichhorn asked specifically if Grassi could
live in the town of Hurlingham, at LaBlanquita, a house with a swimming
pool and large park, on the same block as the Happy Children
headquarters, where Grassi had assaulted Gabriel. On March 10, /2012,
the Court granted Bishop Eichhorn’s request.
On April 24, 2013, the Criminal Court of Morón
ruled affirmatively on a plaintiff’s motion that Grassi had violated
conditions of his freedom by referring to a victim in a TV interview.
Grassi’s lawyers announced they would appeal the decision. On September
19, 2013, the Supreme Court of Buenos Aires province rejected Grassi’s
appeal and ratified his 15-year sentence. On September 23, 2013,
the Morón Criminal Court No.1 ordered that Grassi immediately go to
prison to begin serving his sentence. In February 2014, Grassi filed a
request from prison requesting to be free until the national Supreme
Court reviews his case.
He remained in prison. In Novmeber 2016, he was
convicted of using his Happy Children Foundation funds to pay the rent
of his private home, for which he received an additional 2-year
In a March 2017 unanimous decision, the Supreme
Court upheld the original 15-year sentence. A day later, the archdiocese
of Morón stated that the canonical investigation of the allegations
against Grassi is ongoing.
Because of his pre-trial detention, Grassi benefits
from a “Two-for-One” sentencing law and will complete his sentence in
2026. In 2021, he’ll be eligible for conditional release.
Father Grassi and Cardinal Bergoglio
Throughout the trial, Grassi claimed to be
supported by numerous bishops, especially Cardinal Bergoglio, who, he
said, “never let go of my hand [and] is always at my side.” Though long a
public supporter of the Happy Children Foundation, which ran homes in
the Buenos Aires archdiocese, Bergoglio said little to defend Grassi
publicly after his arrest. In a 2006 interview with Veintitres
magazine, Bergoglio said that “justice will determine” Grassi’s
innocence, although “there is a media campaign against him, a
condemnation in the media.” In August 2008, a spokesperson for the
Argentine bishops’ conference, then headed by Bergoglio, said that
Grassi’s claim of the cardinal’s backing was “an affirmation that he’s
making on his own.” He added that the bishops “are respectful of the
rule of law” and that innocence must be presumed until proven
Indeed, after Grassi was found guilty in June 2009,
Bergoglio secretly authorized an extensive critical examination of
Grassi’s prosecution and of the three original plaintiffs. In his
capacity as president of the Argentine Bishops’ conference, Bergoglio
approved the hiring of a leading criminal defense lawyer and legal
scholar, Marcelo Sancinetti, to do the private investigation.
The resulting study vigorously asserted Grassi’s innocence and, according to a Página/12 report, denied even the prevalence of child sexual abuse itself. It reportedly was circulated to judges who had yet to make determinations in the case. The first volume, with 423 pages, debunked the accusations of “Ezequiel,” of which Grassi was acquitted; volume two, with 646 pages, attacked the credibility of “Gabriel,” of whose abuse Grassi was convicted. As of spring 2013, a third volume had been produced, and a fourth and final volume was expected.
The bishops’ commissioned exoneration of Grassi was revealed in December 2011 by Juan Pablo Gallego, an attorney for the Committee for Oversight and Implementation of International Conventions for Children’s Rights, who had represented the plaintiffs at the trial. Gallego called the study a “scandalous instance of lobbying and exerting pressure on the Court” and accused the bishops of “further hindering a process that has outrageously granted the condemned priest a situation of almost unthinkable freedom.”
Grassi remained free pending appeal until September
2013, when his second appeal was rejected by the provincial court, and
the Morón Criminal Court No.1 ordered that he finally go to prison.
“And peace to the children, on this special day on which God became a child, above all those deprived of the joys of childhood because of hunger, wars or the selfishness of adults.” – Pope Francis’ Christmas Urbi et Orbi Message 2016
Indeed, Pope Francis. The joys of childhood are deprived to the victims of clergy sexual abuse by the selfishness of adults. Despite his global popularity, the reality is that Francis is all talk, and no action when dealing with clerical child sex abuse. Not surprisingly, as the novelist, V.S. Naipaul observed about Argentines, “it is the Argentine attitude to suppress and ignore.”
Notwithstanding his incessant chatter about mercy and human trafficking, this Argentine Pope continues to suppress and ignore the ongoing clerical child sexual abuse. The latest case of papal inertia and deafness is especially heinous since it involves the sexual abuse of hundreds of disabled deaf and mute children in Italy and Argentina by several priests, giving tragic magnification to the oft used term, voiceless victims. This coverup lies squarely on Bergoglio’s watch.
During the 3 1/2 years of the Francis Papacy, the self-appointed Merciful One is not so merciful when it comes to the victims of clergy sex abuse. As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio left a record of abysmal apathy and inaction to root out clergy sex abuse. This pattern lives on behind the Vatican walls.
Who could forget the now familiar Francis fury raging at the faithful Catholics of Osorno Chile who pleaded with the Pope not to elevate a bishop who had allegedly protected a serial child predator? Francis ignored and suppressed their concerns as “stupid.” Who could forget the Pope’s personal appointment to the Synod on the Family of Cardinal Danneels, the renowned Belgian prelate who protected predator clerics? Don’t forget child abuse victim Peter Saunders, who served on the papal child protection commission and was forced to take a leave of absence for criticizing the Pope’s decisions on clerical sex abusers.
Wake up, Francis fawners, his mercy meme rings as hollow and empty, as hope and change.
It’s difficult to imagine a worse scenario for victim children then the latest case to cross Francis’ desk involving Fr. Nicholas Corradi. Fr. Corradi worked in the famous Provolo Institute for deaf and mute children in Italy for many years. Fr. Corradi was one of several priests who allegedly abused disabled children at the Provolo Institute.
The victims’ families argue that the Vatican knew about Fr. Corradi since at least 2009, when he was publicly accused of abusing deaf and mute students at the Provolo Institute in Verona, Italy. The Italian Provolo students went public with tales of shocking abuse against the most vulnerable of children and named several priest perps. While the Vatican sanctioned four accused priests, Corradi apparently was not punished for his alleged crimes in Italy and shockingly, Corradi left Italy and relocated to the South America at an Argentine school for deaf and mute students in Mendoza Argentina.
Despite allegations of sexual abuse by Corradi from Italian students, the Vatican apparently made no effort to immediately notify the Argentines, and recall Corradi to Italy. Additionally, the Argentine Conference of Bishops, then headed by Cardinal Bergoglio made no inquiries into the sudden arrival of Fr. Corradi at the school for deaf children in Mendoza Argentina. They should have been on high alert since modern Church history are full of predatory priests relocating to other countries and continents to avoid prosecution for child predation. Vetting Fr. Corradi for the sake of vulnerable deaf children would have been a simple precaution for their protection. Try Google for starters.
Tragically, and not surprisingly, the same clerical sex abuse scandal unfolded at the Argentine Provolo Institute for hearing impaired children. Like the dozens of children similarly abused in Italy, victims stepped forward to allege rape and sexual abuse by Fr. Corradi and another priest and staff members. And the Vatican knew about the Rev. Nicola Corradi since at least 2009.
In 2014, the Italian victims wrote directly to Pope Francis branding Corradi as a paedophile and flagged that he was living in Francis’ native Argentina. Where is the infamous Francis mercy and sense of urgency for disabled Argentine children? Pope Francis did nothing and would not open an independent investigation into Fr. Corradi’s alleged sexual abuse of these high risk children in Argentina. One would think that Argentine deaf and mute children at risk of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest would garner top priority from the Argentine pontiff!
The letter to Pope Francis details the heartbreakingly brutal and painful journey and treatment of abuse victims by the Vatican:
are a group of former students of the Antonio Provolo Institute for the
Deaf and Dumb of Verona (Italy) who told the press about the abuses
committed by paedophile priests at the Institute. This was done only
after three years of fruitless contacts with the Curia of Verona and in
order to prevent what happened to us from happening to other
children.The Bishop of Verona, who had been aware of what was going on,
immediately accused us of being slanderers.
On May 9, 2014, the Provolo victims of Italy sent the Pope Francis a video message (knowing his preference for videos) on May 9, 2014. The eight deaf mutes pleaded for justice and asked the Pope for safety measure for the protection of children. Still no action by the Pope Francis while Fr. Corradi was teaching deaf and mute children in Argentina.
Since the Congregation for the Defense of the Faith had determined in 2012 (during Benedict’s papacy) that Corradi had sexually abused deaf and mute children in Italy, the Vatican was on notice that this priest had relocated to an Argentine school for deaf and mute children. Hasn’t the Vatican learned that predators relocate and pick up where they left off, by abusing children? Wasn’t the Vatican concerned that disabled Argentine children were at high risk with Fr. Corradi? How many Agentine children were abused because of the Vatican inaction and silence?
Finally, after ongoing publicity and personal pleas, in 2015 Provolo Victims’ Association met with Francis and personally asked him for an independent investigation of the clerical abuse of deaf and mute children. They waited and waited for a response from the loquacious pontiff to their urgent request for an independent investigation. Nothing, but silence.
after repeated requests to the Vatican press office. An answer came
dated February 2016 in which the Vatican press office stated that the
Pope forwarded the victims’ request to the Italian Bishop’s Conference,
saying it was up to the Italian Bishop’s Conference to investigate the
allegations. What happened to the much touted Papal Commission on the
Protection of Minors? After a massive clerical sex abuse scandal
involving the most vulnerable children on two continents, the Vatican
passively and callously pitches the problem to the Italian Bishop’s
folks, is nothing more than a dodge, a pontifical punt into oblivion
from this Pope who incessantly prattles on about zero tolerance for
clergy sex abuse and poses as the champion of human trafficking victims,
while his own Argentine disabled children were allegedly sexually
abused by his indifference and inaction. Some mercy!
Yet, Swift Papal Action for Ecclesial Rivals
Francis’ inaction over the rape of innocent children, with his recent
sudden action to appoint an independent commission to investigate the
Knights of Malta, whose Cardinal Patronus happens to be Francis’ arch
rival, Cardinal Raymond Burke. Within a week of learning that the
Grand Chancellor of the Knights of Malta was suspended for continuing
to distribute condoms, Francis quickly assembled a high powered
commission to investigate that suspension, and presumably Burke, and to
report back promptly to the Pope.
Francis wants to wield political and ecclesial power, he does so with
dispatch and authority. Papal politics, not child sexual abuse victims,
garner his speedy attention. If Pope Francis has an opportunity to
take a political shot at his clerical political rivals, he seemingly
moves with all deliberate speed. Yet when mute and deaf child victims of
clergy abuse beg for an independent investigation, Francis drags his
feet, slow walking his answer, and does nothing for years, causing more
children to be raped and sexually abused.
Police Arrest Predator Priest Ignored by Francis
late November 2016, Argentine Police arrested 82-year old priest Rev.
Nicola Corradi, 55-year-old priest Horacio Corbacho, and three other
men. They are accused of sexual and physical child abuse at the Antonio
Provolo Institute in northwestern Mendoza province.One of the priests
Nicolás Corradi, who had been given a previous conviction for child
abuse in Italy before being transferred to Argentina, gave orders that
none of the children’s relatives were allowed to enter the school.
Parents now believe this was part of the cover up.When the police raided
the school in Argentina’s Mendoza province and they found pornography
and about $34,000 in Rev. Corradi’s room.
Pope Francis urged to open files on Argentina’s pedophile priests
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Activists against abuse by Roman Catholic
clergy urged Pope Francis on Tuesday to apologize for what they called
the Argentine church’s protection of two priests who were eventually
convicted of sexually assaulting children.
The U.S.-based Bishop Accountability group cited the case of Father
Julio Cesar Grassi, who ran the “Happy Children” foundation and was
convicted of pedophilia in 2008, and Father Napoleon Sasso, convicted in
2007 of abusing girls at a soup kitchen in suburban Buenos Aires.
The Buenos Aires archbishop’s office didn’t immediately respond Tuesday.
The pope’s authorized biographer, Sergio Rubin, told The Associated
Press before Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope last week that he
had drawn an increasingly tough line on clergy abuse. Bergoglio insisted
that accused priests face trial, and imposed a thorough screening
process in an attempt to weed out future problems, Rubin said.
In the 2012 book “On Heaven and Earth,” in which Bergoglio and Rabbi
Abraham Skorka engage in a religious dialogue, the future pope said the
church should not ignore the sexual abuse of minors by priests.
“When that happens, we must never turn a blind eye. You cannot be in a
position of power and destroy the life of another person,” he said,
adding that priests guilty of such offences should be stripped of their
right to perform priestly duties.
Bergoglio said the church shouldn’t try to keep such cases quiet. “I do
not believe in taking positions that uphold a certain corporative
spirit in order to avoid damaging the image of the institution,” he
Nobody has presented evidence that Bergoglio was directly involved covering up sex abuse. But a lawyer for the victims, Ernesto Moreau, told the AP that as the top authority for the Argentine church, Bergoglio was ultimately responsible for the treatment of the victims, who have yet to get medical treatment or compensation.
“Bergoglio has been the strongest man in the Argentine church since the beginning of this century,” Moreau said, and yet “the leadership of the church has never done anything to remove these people from these places, and neither has it done anything to relieve the pain of the victims.”
At the Vatican, Francis will be ultimately responsible for the work of
the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which last year told the
world’s bishops conferences to come up with comprehensive guidelines to
deal with sexual abusive clergy. It gave the bishops a year to draft
guidelines to better screen priests, root out potential abusers, educate
laity about the problem, and require bishops report suspected abuse to
civil authorities where civil reporting laws exist.
As it turns out, Bergoglio has several examples in Argentina to draw from.
Grassi was well known in Buenos Aires for persuading celebrities to
donate to his “Happy Children” foundation, which ran orphanages and
social outreach programs. Before he was convicted, Grassi praised
Bergoglio for “never abandoning him.” Now he’s free on appeal, thanks in
part to a church filing on his behalf.
Sasso, meanwhile, enjoys prison furloughs after serving half of a 17-year sentence for abusing five girls.
Sasso was assigned to the soup kitchen, at a chapel where his bedroom
shared the only bathroom, after living in a home for wayward priests
where he had been sent after accusations of pedophilia were raised
against him in remote San Juan province.
“The bathroom had two doors. The girls would come in through the outside door, and the priest would bring them into his bedroom through the other, sexually abusing the girls,” Moreau said. “These were really poor people, who were there for free meals while their parents worked. They found an enormous amount of child pornography in his computer, semen, condoms.” It was a medical priest and a nun who discovered that Sasso abused 25 girls aged 3 to 16, but when they informed church officials, they were told to “remain patient,” and nothing was done, Moreau said.
Eventually, they sought higher authorities and the case was taken up by
the criminal courts, but the mid-level officials who covered it up
still have their positions, while the priest and nun were forced to work
elsewhere, the lawyer said.
Bergoglio ran Argentina’s bishops conference, which must approve
inter-diocese priest transfers, at the time when Sasso was assigned to
the soup kitchen. He also ran the church when Sasso later became a
fugitive and hid out for a year inside church property in the same
diocese where the abuse occurred, Moreau said.
Bishop Accountability co-director Anne Doyle said that shows Bergoglio
was behind the curve in the Catholic Church’s global struggle to deal
with sex abuse by its priests, which erupted in 2002 after thousands of
cases became public in the United States and around the world.
“We would be alarmed if the Archbishop Bergoglio had done this in the
’60s or ’70s. That would be sad and disturbing. But the fact that he did
this just five years ago, when other bishops in other countries were
meeting victims and implementing tough reporting laws, it puts him
behind some of his American counterparts, that’s for sure,” Doyle told
The group said that to send a message of zero tolerance, Francis should
tell the Buenos Aires archdiocese to release the complete files on the
Grassi and Sasso cases, publicly identify priests who are “credibly
accused” and endorse mandatory reporting by church officials to law
enforcement of suspected abuse. The pope also should admit that he was
wrong to defend abusive priests, apologize to the victims of Grassi and
Sasso, and offer to meet with the victims, the group said.
Doyle noted that The Washington Post reported on these cases just as
Francis was being installed as pope in a Vatican ceremony seen around
the world Tuesday.
“The victims of these two priests are the very children of God about
whom he was speaking in his homily today,” she said. “They are the most
vulnerable of the poor. We hope that Francis will seize this as a
priority and reach out to the victims and rectify his terrible
insensitivity to them when he was archbishop.”
In the United States, confidential files on hundreds of pedophile
priests have been released either through civil litigation, settlements
or court order. The contents have revealed how top church officials
worked behind the scenes to control the sex abuse scandal and keep it
from authorities as well as parishioners.
Similar broad releases of confidential priest files haven’t happened in
Latin America, where victims are less likely to come forward and even
less likely to file a civil claim.
Ramon Luzarraga, an expert on the Catholic Church in Latin America,
said justice has come more slowly in Argentina in part because its
society has until recently avoided public discussions of sexual
humiliation, which was used as a tactic in the “dirty war” waged against
leftists by the 1976-83 military dictatorship.
Also, he said, “Argentina’s democracy is still comparatively young and,
compared to the United States, people are not as acclimated to being
outspoken in the face of injustice.”
That leaves clergy abuse victims in the U.S. and their supporters to
hold the pope to account on questions of priest abuse everywhere, said
Luzarraga, who teaches theology at the University of Dayton in Ohio.
The hundreds of confidential priest personnel files that have been made
public in the U.S. have bolstered critics because they can see with
their own eyes how the American church dealt with abusive priests, he
“That is a big difference. Information is power.”
POPE FRANCIS COVERED UP AND PROTECTED DISGUSTING SCUMBAG PRIESTS WHO WERE RAPING DEAF/MUTE CHILDREN AT THE ANTONIO PROVOLO INSTITUTES AND SHOULD BE PUT TO DEATH FOR IT
THE FIRST TORTURE THIS HEAD PEDOPHILE PIMP POPE FRANCIS SHOULD BE HAVING A RED HOT, COAL FILLED POPES PEAR SHOVED UP HIS ASS.
The Pear of Anguish was used during the Middle Ages as a way to torture
women who conducted a miscarriage, liars, blasphemers and homosexuals.
A pear-shaped instrument was inserted into one of the victim’s orifices:
the vagina for women, the anus for homosexuals and the mouth for liars
The instrument consisted of four leaves that slowly separated from each
other as the torturer turned the screw at the top. It was the torturer’s
decision to simply tear the skin or expand the “pear” to its maximum
and mutilate the victim.
The Pear of Anguish was usually very adorned to differentiate between
the anal, vaginal and oral pears. They also varied in size accordingly.
This torture very rarely provoked death, but was often followed by other torture methods.
THEN POPE FRANCIS’ DEATH PENALTY PUNISHMENT NEXT GETS PUNISHED WITH THE RAT TORTURE.
A cheap and effective way to torture someone was with the use of rats.
There were many variants, but the most common was to force a rat through
a victim’s body (usually the intestines) as a way to escape. This was
done as follows:
The victim was completely restrained and tied to the ground or any
horizontal surface. A rat was then placed on his stomach covered by a
metallic container. As the container was gradually heated, the rat began
to look for a way out – through the victim’s body.
Digging a hole usually took a few hours of agonizing pain for the victim. This almost invariantly resulted in death.
THEN? WE PLACE THIS JUDAS TO CHILDREN IN THE JUDAS CHAIR
Also known as the Judas Chair, the Chair of Torture was a terrible device of the Middle Ages. It was used until the late 1800’s in Europe.
There are many variants of the chair. They all have one thing in common: spikes cover the back, arm-rests, seat, leg-rests and foot-rests. The number of spikes in one of these chairs ranges from 500 to 1,500.
To avoid movement, the victim’s wrists were tied to the chair or, in one version, two bars pushed the arms against arm-rests for the spikes to penetrate the flesh even further. In some versions, there were holes under the chair’s bottom where the torturer placed coal to cause severe burns while the victim still remained conscious.
This instrument’s strength lies primarily in the psychological fear caused on the victims. It was a common practice to extract a confession by forcing the victim to watch someone else be tortured with this instrument.
The time of death greatly varied ranging from a few hours to a day or more. No spike penetrated any vital organ and the wound was closed by the spike itself which delayed blood loss greatly.
And last, but certainly not least? Pope Francis should be drawn and quartered, his head cut off and put on a pike in front of the Vatican with the warning “This is what we will now do to Roman Catholic scum leaders who cover up and protect disgusting, demonic pedophile priests who rape children
Usually, this form of execution was used on prisoners convicted of
treason. It was reserved to the most hated of criminals, as it was
easily the most sadistic and barbaric form of execution ever invented.
A chronicler by the name of William Harrison portrayed the execution of hanging, drawing, and quartering as: “The
greatest and most grievous punishment used in England for such as
offend against the State is drawing from the prison to the place of
execution upon an hurdle or sled, where they are hanged till they be
half dead, and then taken down, and quartered alive; after that, their
members and bowels are cut from their bodies, and thrown into a fire,
provided near hand and within their own sight, even for the same