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Apparently, Pope Francis has already reached a conclusion regarding a Vatican trial still in progress. The trial involves alleged sexual abuse and cover-up in the pre-seminary that provides altar boys to the Holy See. Church Militant’s William Mahoney has more on Francis’ recent actions.
Saint Pius X Pre-seminary, located in the Vatican, will soon close its doors and be transferred elsewhere.
On Thursday, Italian newspaper Il Messaggero reported Pope Francis decided to “heavily intervene” before the conclusion of a Vatican trial.
It’s the first criminal trial to occur in the Vatican City State tribunals.
Gerald O’Connell: “I see this as really verification of the fact that the pope is cracking down very hard. He changed the law to make it possible for prosecution of this kind to be done not in the Church tribunals, but in the Vatican City State tribunals.”
The trial is of two priests, one accused of sexual abuse and the other of cover-up.
The accuser, a 28-year-old man identified only as L.G., testified earlier this month that fellow student Gabriele Martinelli, now a priest, sexually assaulted him using violence and threats from 2007 to 2012.
Kamil Jarzembowski was roommates with L.G. at the time of the alleged abuse.
I saw violence, mainly through blackmail and abuse of power by Gabriele Martinelli, and it was terrifying seeing these things because at the time I was 15. I had never seen two people having sex, and yet I was forced to watch these things inside the Vatican. Psychologically it was pretty tough to take because I came to the Vatican to serve the Church. I was a strong believer.
Father Enrico Radice is also on trial for charges he impeded investigations into Martinelli’s alleged abuse.
Radice has consistently maintained his innocence, as has Martinelli.
Reporter: We need to speak with you.
Martinelli: About what?
Reporter: There are three guys with accusations of sexual abuse that happened at St. Pius X Pre-seminary in the Vatican.
Martinelli: Hey, listen, I don’t know anything. I’m sorry.
Comments on an Italian video summarizing the case indicate, in the court of public opinion, Martinelli is guilty:
- “What shame. It’s completely true that the habit doesn’t make the monk!”
- “Poor boys who have fallen into the trap of devils always dressed up as priests and bishops.”
- “Perverts are even worse than criminals.”
Where the Pius X Pre-seminary will be moved, or how relocating it will actually change anything, is unclear.
The pre-seminary was authorized by Pius XII in 1956 to foster priestly vocations at the behest of the Como diocese.
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