A yearlong Associated Press tally has documented 73 cases with allegations of sexual abuse by priests against minors over the past decade in Italy, with more than 235 victims. The tally was compiled from local media reports, linked to by Web sites of victims groups and blogs. Almost all the cases have come out in the seven years since the scandal about Roman Catholic priest abuse broke in the United States.
One man’s disturbing personal account:
VERONA, Italy – It happened night after night, the deaf man said, sometimes in the priest’s bedroom, sometimes in the bathroom, even in the confessional.
When he was a young boy at a Catholic-run institute for the deaf, Alessandro Vantini said, priests sodomized him so relentlessly he came to feel “as if I were dead.” This year, he and dozens of other former students did something highly unusual for Italy: They went public with claims they were forced to perform sex acts with priests.
For decades, a culture of silence has surrounded priest abuse in Italy, where surveys show the church is considered one of the country’s most respected institutions. Now, in the Vatican’s backyard, a movement to air and root out abusive priests is slowly and fitfully taking hold.
It’s about time. The Catholic church must be held accountable (any other organization would be shut down for this sort of organized crime). The “culture of silence” must end.
H/T to ChuckA once again…