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Monday, January 2, 2017

No Mercy for Sex Abuse Victims

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"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 childho
od 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.

Papal Deafness

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:

We 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.


Finally, 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 Conference?

That, 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

Contrast 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.

When 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

In 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.

Now at least
. “Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?”

 

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Read 9433 times Last modified on Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Elizabeth Yore

Elizabeth Yore served on the Heartland Institute Delegation that traveled to the Vatican in April 2015 to urge Pope Francis to re-examine his reliance on UN population control proponents who promote climate change.  She is an international child protection attorney who has investigated several cases of clergy sex abuse of children. She served as Special Counsel and Child Advocate to Oprah Winfrey. She is the former General Counsel of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and former General Counsel at National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

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