When Pope Francis was the bishop of Argentina, many sex abuse victims tried to contact him to report the horrific things done to them or their family members by predator priests. But according to the pope, there were never any reports of sex abuse in his diocese. Pope Francis claimed this in a book of interviews with him compiled by Robert Laffont, as referenced in this article by Debra Heine, who notes that the pope was caught denying an easily verifiable fact.
Pope Francis claimed not only that he never had any complaints of sex abuse in Argentina but that he had not commissioned a more than 2000-page study on the case of Father Grassi, who was convicted of abusing children. In the study, the conclusion was that Grassi was innocent and his victims were all lying. Unfortunately for Pope Francis, this study has been examined by Italian media and found to have his name on it and a date of 2010 when he was still a bishop. This isn’t the first or last time the pope sided with abusers over victims.
There’s another group of victims from Argentina who have been trying to get the pope’s attention for years, starting when he was the bishop there. The children from the Antonio Provolo Institute suffered unspeakable trauma by priests. The details are so disturbing as to be beyond belief. Deaf and mute children were raped and sodomized, some so violently they were physically injured in a place that was supposed to be a holy place of learning and faith. The details are in this CBS report from 2016.
A group of the survivors has appeared in an Italian news video to tell their stories. It is unclear when this report was made and since European news sometimes doesn’t have an international reach it’s hard to know if this was ever reported in America. However, I followed the story back to when it was uncovered and never heard these details before. I confirmed with two different Italian-speaking sources that the subtitles on the video are correct.
The most disturbing and shocking part of this video is that a man whom the survivors say is accused rapist Fr. Piccoli, is filmed lying in a hospital or nursing home bed on Vatican property. He gleefully tells the cameramen about all the boys he raped and fondled. He laughs, unrepentant, and talks of how it was such a fine joke. PJM was unable to verify with 100 percent certainty that it is Piccoli in the video or whether he is still alive, but it is certain that the individual in the video was living on Vatican property and being cared for with the funds of Catholic parishioners even after allegedly committing horrific sexual crimes against deaf children (whom he calls “corrupt”) for which he never spent a day in jail.
The survivors all say they tried and failed to get an audience with then Bishop Bergoglio and again later when he became the pope. Only one of the deaf victims has had an audience with the pope and even then there were no answers and no promise to do anything about the abuse. Don’t worry though, he did have time to meet with Bono and Bono says he’s really choked up about the pederast priest thing.
Three arrests have been made by Argentinian police including Niccola Corradi, who was credibly accused of child abuse in Verona in 2009 before the Argentinian scandal. Nothing happened to him as a result. Pope Francis was told directly about the danger his presence at the Provolo Institute posed in 2014. “Pope Francis was notified directly of the allegations against Corradi in 2014, when former students of in the school wrote to him and Verona’s bishop, expressing concern that Corradi was living in Argentina and apparently still in priestly ministry.”
Kosaka Kumiko, a nun, was also arrested this year in connection with the Provolo Institute abuse. She is accused of handing the children over to be abused and physically beating the children. The idea that Pope Francis had never heard of any abuse in Argentina is ridiculous and provably false. What should be done when the pope is caught lying multiple times about something this important? Last I checked lying is still a sin. The question is, are there enough decent bishops left to do something about it?