“Victims should know that the Pope is on their side.” A most egregious lie!

By Betty Clermont | 17 August 2018
The Open Tabernacle

(Credit: Catholic Church England and Wales / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

After the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report revealing decades of clerical sex abuse and cover up, yesterday a Vatican spokesman declared, “Victims should know that the Pope is on their side. Those who have suffered are his priority, and the Church wants to listen to them to root out this tragic horror that destroys the lives of the innocent.” REALLY???

  • On at least five occasions, Pope Francis was personally informed about sexual predators and did nothing to stop them.
  • Currently, officials in Chile are raiding Church offices for information on clerical sex abuse because Pope Francis refuses to provide that information.
  • On July 24, Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, head of the Church in Chile, was accused of covering up sexual abuse. He covered up clerical sex abuse for decades even before Pope Francis elevated him to cardinal in 2014. Ezzati remains in office.
  • Luis Ladaria Ferrer, elevated to cardinal May 20 and promoted to prefect of the powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by Pope Francis, is awaiting a trial announced on April 4 by French authorities for covering up a child sex abuse scandal.
  • Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga “had protected a pedophile priest from Costa Rica, a fugitive from Interpol, who was found in bed with an eight-year-old child by her mother.” Rodriquez Maradiaga was chosen by Pope Francis to head his Council of Cardinals to advise him on Church governance.
  • Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, the retired archbishop of Santiago, made headlines in Chile for protecting  a sexual predator long before Pope Francis chose him for his Council of Cardinals.
  • Cardinal George Pell will stand trial for “historical sex abuse” in Australia. Before being chosen by Pope Francis, he made national headlines for his mistreatment of sex abuse survivors. When one former altar boy dared to sue, Pell “instructed his lawyers to “crush this victim.” Pell, Rodriguez Maradiaga and Errazuriz all remain as members of the pope’s council.
  •  “88 bishops worldwide have been accused publicly of sexual wrongdoing – 60 allegedly abused minors, and 28 are publicly accused of sexual abuse/sexual misconduct with adults only.” To date, only four have been laicized or “defrocked.”
  • 14 still-active bishops have been accused of complicity with abusive priests


Fr. Nicola Corradi

By open letter and video message “handed to Pope Francis” in May 2014, former students at the notorious Provolo Institute for the Deaf in Italy where more than one hundred deaf and mute children had been sexually abused, informed the pontiff that one of the predators, Fr. Nicola Corradi, held a current position at the Provolo Institute in Argentina.

The pope took no action to stop him.

Corradi and four others in the Argentine school were arrested in November 2016 and charged with raping and molesting at least 22 children. More reports poured in and “it’s now thought that as many as 60 children fell victim to abuse.” Prosecutors said the alleged anal and vaginal rapes, fondling and oral sex took place in the bathrooms, dorms, garden, basement and chapel. “Victims said they were taken to the Casita de Dios (the little house of God) where they were forced to perform sexual acts on one another and made to watch other students being abused.”

“One of the alleged victims said she witnessed how a girl was raped by one priest while the other one forced her to give him oral sex.” Another accused a nun “of making her wear a diaper to cover up a hemorrhage after she was raped by a priest” when she was five years old.

“The tormentors” knew “the other children wouldn’t hear the screams as they were deaf.”

Fr. Mauro Inzoli

The Vatican found the Italian priest guilty in 2012 of sexually abusing young boys and he was defrocked. But Inzoli is friends with Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio who “intervened on behalf of Inzoli and Pope Francis returned him to the priestly state in 2014, inviting him to ‘a life of humility and prayer.’” Inzoli was later seen at a conference on the family.

In June 2016, a civil court convicted Inzoli of eight incidents of sexual violence between 2004 and 2008 against five children aged 12-16. Fifteen more crimes were barred by the statute of limitations. Inzoli was sentenced to four years and nine months.

The Vatican had withheld information from their canonical trial from the civil prosecutors. “Of course, the pope could have allowed the Vatican to share this information with civil authorities if he so desired,” noted Michael Brendan Dougherty, senior correspondent at TheWeek.com.

The Inzoli case is one of several in which Francis overruled the advice of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and reduced a sentence that called for the priest to be laicized (defrocked). Instead, the priests were sentenced to penalties including a lifetime of penance and prayer and removal from public ministry. At the same time, Francis also ordered three longtime staffers at the CDF dismissed, two of whom worked for the discipline section that handles sex abuse cases.

Inzoli was defrocked again in May 2017 and is still serving his civil prison sentence.

Archbishop Josef Wesolowski

Wesolowski, the Vatican ambassador to the Dominican Republic, was accused of soliciting poor street boys for sex. Pope Francis was informed in July 2013. He dismissed Wesolowski in secret from his post but left him a free man.

The archbishop was finally arrested by the Vatican in September 2014 only after “there was a serious risk that the nuncio would be arrested on Italian territory at the request of the Dominican authorities and then extradited,” reported the Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera. The archbishop was found with more than 100,000 computer files of child pornography, a “key ingredient” in sex trafficking.

Wesolowski died mysteriously while he was under house arrest in the Vatican on the eve of his trial which would have publicized the above information

Archbishop Anthony Apuron

Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron was accused by four former altar boys of rape and sexual assault in the 1970s. Apuron’s nephew filed a lawsuit Jan. 10, 2018, claiming that his uncle raped him in 1989 or 1990. On Aug. 9, another survivor accused Apuron of sexual abuse in 1994-1995.

Pope Francis removed Apuron from office in 2016, meaning the pope found the charges against the archbishop to be credible but leaving him with his title, honors, income, benefits and freedom.

Apuron’s “regular canonical trial” began in August 2017. He was found guilty on March 16, 2018, of “some [unspecified] charges.” The sentence was that he leave his position as archbishop of Guam and no longer reside there but “in the case of an appeal, the imposed penalties are suspended until a final resolution.” Apuron made his appeal the next day.  So Apuron keeps his title, honors, income, benefits and freedom.

Sex abuse of minors in the Vatican’s preseminary

Pope Francis was personally informed of alleged sex abuse of minors in the Vatican’s preseminary for boys aspiring to become priests, according to Gianluigi Nuzzi’s book, Peccato Originale (Original Sin).

Nuzzi reported that Kamil Jarzembowski, who entered the St. Pius X preseminary at the age of 13, wrote a letter about the sexual abuse and handed it directly to Pope Francis.

The pope did nothing to stop it.

After Nuzzi’s book and an Italian television reported on the abuse, the Vatican said it opened an investigation on Nov. 18, 2017.


On June 19, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, described as Pope Francis’ “top sex crimes expert,” was asked whether he would make public a report he had prepared and delivered to the pope in April regarding the sex abuse scandal in Chile. He responded “the decision was up to Pope Francis, adding that the Church’s ‘freedom and autonomy’ should be respected.”

On July 20, the head of the Chilean Catholic Church’s abuse prevention committee said he will not deliver Scicluna’s report to Chile’s attorney general. He said that “the pope is the only recipient of this report.”

The national prosecutor, Jorge Abbott, sent a letter on August 1 to the Vatican to request Church files “in criminal matters for nine persons who are being investigated by the regional prosecutors.” He has not received them.

On Aug. 9, a Chilean prosecutor confirmed that confiscation of records in the Military Bishopric was carried out due to possible concealment.

“The Chilean government asked the Vatican on Aug. 14 for documents related to sex abuse accusations against clergy in Chile, as local prosecutors raided another office of the Church in Santiago … Several offices of senior Church figures have been raided as prosecutors search for evidence of accusations of sexual abuse by clergy not reported to the civilian police, and evidence of cover-ups. Chilean prosecutors have said they are investigating 38 cases of sex crimes committed by clergy and lay people against minors and adults. There are 73 people under investigation and 104 victims, most of whom were minors at the time of the abuse.”

Also on Aug. 14, the National Prosecutor’s Office specifically asked the Vatican for access to the Scicluna report and canonical files of those investigated in cases of alleged sexual abuse against minors.


As archbishop of Santiago, Ezzati is considered the head of the Church in Chile. “Prosecutors investigating criminal accusations against bishops, clerics and lay workers in the Church in Chile are probing claims that Ezzati and others covered up a network of 14 priests who systematically abused minors.”

In a July 31 interview, prosecutor Emiliano Arias said he also “believes Ezzati knew that a former diocesan chancellor had received allegations of sexual misconduct” and did nothing. The chancellor was “a direct adviser” to Ezzati.

It was announced on Aug. 8 that the cardinal retained a high-powered attorney to represent him before the courts.

Ezzati covered up clerical sex abuse for decades even before Pope Francis elevated him to cardinal in 2014. He is still in office.


Ladaria was accused of covering up a child sex abuse scandal by a French court on April 4, 2018. French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin had sought advice about the case of Fr. Bernard Preynat, accused of being a serial sex abuse predator, from Ladaria in 2015 when he was the No. 2 official in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Ladaria advised Barbarin to keep it a secret and “avoid any public scandal.”

Far worse, in July 2017, Ladaria was accused of covering up for Fr. Gianni Trotta. The CDF received complaints against Trotta in 2009 and took three years to find him guilty of child sex abuse in 2012. Trotta was removed from the priesthood but the CDF did not contact the civil authorities. In fact, Ladaria wrote to Trotta’s bishop in 2012 instructing him not to divulge the reasons why Trotta had been laicized “so as to avoid scandal.”

Trotta continued to dress as a priest and became the coach of a youth soccer team.

Already convicted of sexual violence against an 11-year-old and sentenced to eight years in prison by a civil court, Trotta is now standing trial for nine other alleged cases of sex abuse against boys that occurred in 2014. “Trotta allegedly raped five, abused others in his home individually or in groups, photographing them during sexual acts.”

“If Ladaria had informed the police, these children would have been safe,” journalist and Vatican expert Emiliano Fittipaldi noted.


It is idiotic to expect the Vatican to stop lying. But we should expect more truth-telling from our U.S. media.

Reprinted with permission from the author.

Betty Clermont is author of The Neo-Catholics: Implementing Christian Nationalism in America (Clarity Press, 2009).

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Former Irish politician reveals sexual abuse on national television

Pope Francis calls for “silence in prayer” in face of sex abuse scandal

Chile – The pope defends a bishop accused of witnessing abuse

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