In yet another case of sexual abuse emanating from the Vatican church, three former altar boys of the Catholic church have now made shocking allegations stating that they were sexually abused two priests in the Vatican, reports Guardian.
The child abuse cases have yet again rocked the Catholic church as several anonymous former altar boys at the Vatican’s youth seminary have accused at least two priests of sexually abusing them by kissing and fondling three of them in the Nineties.
Reportedly, Le Iene (‘The Hyenas’), an Italian investigative TV programme broke these allegations in 2017, stated that the senior seminarian, who is now a priest, had sexually abused teenagers who served as altar boys at papal masses in St Peter’s Basilica. The allegations of abuse in the Vatican’s youth seminary dates back to the 1980s and 90s when the boys were aged between 10 and 14, will be telecasted in an Italian TV show on Sunday.
These shocking cases of sexual abuse have now come to light just two months after the Vatican Church had announced Father Gabriele Martinelli and Father Enrico Radice will stand trial over accusations of covering up sexual crimes.
According to one of the victim altar boys, a priest sat him down on his lap and fondled his penis. In the programme, one of the victims had alleged that one of the priests, who was managing the school’s communal showers, tried to remove his bathrobe. “He wanted to undress me,” the victim alleged. “I tried to wriggle away. I was 13 years old. I fell to the ground and asked him what are you doing?. I then got up and ran away,” said the victim.
Another victim alleged that he was abused at the Casa Santa Marta, a place where many priests stay. The victim said he was arrested by a priest at the youth seminary when he was 10 or 11 years old. “He asked me to go upstairs to his room, made me sit on his legs, began to stroke my thigh and then put a hand on my private parts,” he told Le Iene.
Reportedly, the priest allegedly persisted with the abuse and later stopped it as the alter boy refused the advances.
The victims, who are now aged between 37 and 40, had come forward together a few years ago to share their agonies to the public. The third victim has also made similar allegations but chose not to go into detail for the programme. They claimed that a fourth former altar boy suffered worse sexual abuse than they did, but he refused to talk.
The allegations were corroborated by several people who claimed to have witnessed some of the abuse.
The fresh allegations come just months after Catholic leaders had gathered for an unprecedented summit at the Vatican to tackle widespread paedophilia within the church. At the close of the summit in February, Pope Francis promised the church would “spare no effort” in bringing abusers to justice and would not cover up or underestimate abuse.
In March this year, Cardinal George Pell, who is third in seniority after the Pope in the Vatican, was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison for sexually abusing two choirboys in the late 1990s.
George Pell, who was the former Vatican treasurer, is the most senior Catholic figure ever to be found guilty of sexual offences against children. Pell had abused young choir boys in a Melbourne cathedral in 1996 and 1997. Ironically, George Pell was one of the inner circle of nine cardinals chose by Pope Francis to deal with issues such as sexual abuse of children by the clergy, fixing account books and financial reforms.
Similarly, in January this year, in a major embarrassment to the Vatican Church and Pope Francis, Vatican priest Hermann Geissler, who was appointed to handle sex-abuse cases within the Catholic Church has quit from his position two months after being accused of sexual abuse.
Hermann Geissler, who was the Chief of staff in a Church Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was accused of sexual harassment by a former nun named Doris Wagner-Reisinger. The former nun of the Church had earlier accused an unnamed Vatican priest of making sexual advances towards her during a confession session in 2009