Thursday, 29 December 2016

Pope Francis Aware Of Child-Abusing Argentinian Priest

Priests the Rev. Nicola Corradi (wheelchair) and the Rev. Horacio Corbacho, left.

Photo credit: AP/Emmanuel Rodriguez Villegas
Pope Francis 'told about alleged child rapist' two years before his arrest | The Independent:

You might expect the Argentinian Catholic cleric, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, to be especially interested in what happens to Argentinian school children, especially when, as Pope Francis, he has expressed determination to put an end to the scandals of child-abuse by Catholic priests that have engulfed just about every Catholic diocese throughout the world.

But not so, it seems.

In 2014, Pope Francis was allegedly made aware that the Catholic priest, the Rev Nicola Corradi, had been transferred from Italy to Argentina after being accused of abusing children at the Verona school of the Antonio Provolo Institute for hearing-impaired children. He has now been arrested and charged with raping children at the Institute's school in Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza Province, Argentina, 620 miles northwest of Buenos Aires. According to the the Independent:

He was named in the scandal that hit the institute's Verona school in 2009, when 67 students alleged they had been abused. The Verona diocese apologised to students there and the Vatican sanctioned four priests, though not Rev Corradi. In 2014 the students sent the Pope a letter - acknowledged only this year - again naming him as an abuser, living in Argentina.

Now another two dozen children have named him as one of six priests, including 55 year-old Rev Horacio Corbacho, who abused them at the Instituted school in Argentina.

According to Associated Press:

The children told prosecutors the 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.


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. The 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 themselves.

"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.

In a marked contrast between what he says and what actually happens, last year Pope Francis told US victims of clerical abuse that all responsible will be held responsible and called for a stricter "oversight to ensure that youth are protected". Not so for those being abused by old chums from Argentina, it would seem.

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. In light of the crimes against the helpless children in Mendoza, the pope's assurances seem empty indeed.

Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.
Last February, British anti-abuse campaigner, Peter Saunders, was effectively forced out of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors for complaining that the Commission was doing nothing to erase the culture of cover-ups within the Church authority. In June, the Pope announced that clerics would be liable to dismissal and trial in the Vatican if they were neglectful of their duty of care for children and vulnerable adults, yet only last November the Catholic Church in the USA won a victory in court confirming their right to keep information about child abuse secret.

Authorities in Argentina expect more children from the Antonio Provolo Institute school to now come forward with claims of abuse.

The Pope has not spoken publicly on Corradi's arrest and the Vatican has declined to comment.

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