Since Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope in 2013, he has spoken often and forcefully about the rights of the poor, the marginalized, and those who’ve been sexually abused by Catholic priests.
The Pope told US victims of clerical abuse last year that “all responsible will be held accountable” and called for stronger “oversight to ensure that youth are protected.”
His Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors has announced that newly-appointed bishops will get comprehensive training on how to deal effectively with the root causes of child abuse.
His words indicated a willingness to deal with the problem of priest sexual abuse. However, his actions tell a different story. We now know that Pope Francis was told about a Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing children in Italy and that the priest had been reassigned to a school in Argentina. Francis did nothing and alerted no one. That priest has now been arrested on suspicion of child rape.
The Rev. Nicola Corradi, 82, was arrested in late November along with four other men. All were accused of abuse at the Antonio Provolo Institute for hearing-impaired children in Mendoza province.
Corraldi’s name originally surfaced in 2009 in a child sex abuse scandal at the same institute’s school in Verona. Sixty-seven said they had been abused. The Verona diocese apologized to the students and the Vatican sanctioned four priests, but not Corradi.
In 2014, the same students sent the Pope a letter about their abuse and again accused Corradi, by then living in Argentina. The Pope only acknowledged the letter this year, after Corradi was arrested in Argentina. He had done nothing with the accusation from the students for two years.
Prosecutors in Mendoza expect more people to come forward with claims of abuse and they told AP that the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had been told about the allegations.
Pope Francis, who is from Argentina, has not spoken publicly about the case and the Vatican declined to comment on Corradi’s arrest to the media.
Francis’s words are betrayed by his inaction. If he meant to do nothing to stop abusive priests, he should have not made empty promises. His inaction in the face of credible accusations prove him a liar and a hypocrite.