FaithWorld

Italian sexual abuse victims want Pope Benedict to speak out

April 9, 2010
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Abuse victim Gianni Bisoli in Verona April 8, 2010/Paolo Bona

Abuse victim Dario Laiti is deaf and has great difficulty speaking. But he has a clear message for Pope Benedict: expose predator priests, past and present, living and dead, for the good of the Church.

“I think the pope has to carry out justice. He has to get rid of all the priests who abused children. He has to tell the world who these people were and which of them are still living,” Laiti told Reuters in the northern Italian city of Verona.

So far, the pope has not spoken out directly on the new wave of sexual abuse allegations that is hounding the Church in a number of countries, including the United States, Italy and his native Germany.

Laiti, 59, and others who say they were abused as boys in the Church-run Antonio Provolo School for the deaf decades ago have joined a growing list of victims who are calling on the pontiff to say more and directly address the crisis.

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Gianni Bisoli with Italian newspaper headline quoting Pope Benedict saying "Paedophilia, insult to God," April 8, 2010/Paolo Bona

The diocese of Verona has opened an investigation into the accusations. It says while some abuse may have taken place at the school in the 1950s and 1960s, it was not as extensive as some of the former Provolo students claim.

Victims have come forward in many places, including Germany and the United States. But Laiti and his former schoolmates stand out in a country where the Roman Catholic Church still wields enormous power.

“I think this is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Marco Politi, a Vatican analyst and papal biographer.

Read the full feature here.

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Comments
5 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

In my opinion the pope is acting like a SVP of a bank. He is bidding time waiting for instructions from above. Honestly, I think this is the issue. The pope feels that he will be guided in what he should do. So the victims need to start directing their concerns and request to the ‘one up there’ as John XXIII once reminded his long suffering (but devoted) Secretary of State, Cardinal Tardini.
Thank YOU. Nice coverage.
Anura Guruge
Papal Historian

Posted by aguruge | Report as abusive
 

I think the Catholic Chruch will be judged by God.
History tell as many hidden crimens.

Posted by armas | Report as abusive
 

Well, lots of the victims have lost their faith, so telling them to pray for guidance and help is callous and arrogant.
Since when was there something wrong with the truth, Catholic Church?
Was Jesus supportive of lying to protect people? I’m pretty sure he was all for telling the truth, no matter the cost.

Posted by Jarlent | Report as abusive
 

Hello, while it is said use the same yard stick to measure your own wrongs when punishment is meted out, I cannot because I am not a pedophile. I haven’t a clue, but I am fair and I know that absolutely no one should be above the law.Are there subtleties that should be considered when it comes to guilty or innocent; ” Mitigating circumstances “is the term however, in this case it could not possibly apply. Where is the pope when we need him. From whom should we look to for guidance at this point? It’s your call.

Posted by vercur | Report as abusive
 

Hello, while it is said use the same yard stick to measure your own wrongs when punishment is meted out, I cannot because I am not a pedophile. I haven’t a clue, but I am fair and I know that absolutely no one should be above the law.Are there subtleties of a situation that should be considered when it comes to guilty or innocent?Of course and they are called ” Mitigating circumstances “in this case it could not possibly apply. Where is the pope when we need him. From whom should we look to for guidance at this point? It’s your call.

Posted by vercur | Report as abusive
 

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