As a Cardinal in Argentina Pope Francis was told that priests were raping deaf children but did nothing to stop the sexual abuse and punish the abusers.
In a sordid report from the Daily Beast comes a tragic tale of the systematic rape and sexual abuse of deaf orphans by Catholic priests and monks, a story that begins in Italy and ends in Argentina, where the future Pope Francis was then known as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
The story explains how deaf children were groomed for sexual abuse, noting:
The priests and monks created their own sick sign language to command the deaf and mute boys to perform oral sex and be sodomized.
The details of the story are sickening, and begin in Italy, with a boy named “Giuseppe,” who “was born to impoverished parents outside of Verona in northern Italy with a congenital birth defect that left him deaf and mute.”
The deaf boy was eventually enrolled at the Antonio Provolo Institute for deaf and mute children. The Daily Beast reports:
When he was 11, a monk who worked at the institute as an educator started teaching “special secret signs” for things like masturbation, fellatio, penis, and anus. “I didn’t understand at first just why this man was teaching me these strange secret signs,” Giuseppe explained in an exclusive, and very emotional, interview in Rome. “Then one day it became very clear when one of the priests made the secret sign for fellatio when we were alone, which was followed by him pushing his erect penis into my mouth.”
Of course we screamed and cried. Sometimes you would see priests coming into the dormitory at night, or you would see friends with tears rolling down their faces and you knew exactly what had just happened. You didn’t need to hear to know.
Eventually Giuseppe grew up and escaped the abuse, and made it his mission to report it. He is now “one of 67 young boys who have been named in court documents and were allegedly abused by more than two dozen priests and brothers at the Provolo Institute.”
After the abuse claims of Giuseppe and others became public, the offending priests and monks were quietly shipped off to Argentina. This is standard practice for the Catholic church, and has been for decades. When a priest is caught raping and sexually assaulting children, he is quietly moved to a new location, where the pattern resumes.
The offending priests from Italy were shipped to another school for the deaf run by Catholics, only this school was in Argentina, where Pope Francis was serving as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. The Daily Beast reports:
One of the most notorious alleged offenders was Father Nicola Corradi, now 83, who was moved to South America in the mid-1980s after Giuseppe and others’ abuse claims came to light. Rather than handing him over to secular authorities or asking the mother church in Rome to defrock him, the bishop transferred him to the Provolo Institute in Mendoza, Argentina. Several other priests accused of abuse in Verona were also transferred to the sister school in Argentina, but have since passed away.
At the Provolo Institute in Mendoza, Argentina, under the direction of Father Nicola Corradi, the abuse of deaf children continued. Corradi “was finally arrested in 2016 on allegations that he abused 22 deaf and mute children over the course of nearly three decades. Three other priests were arrested with him. There are more than 60 civil trials going on across Argentina against priests like Corradi who allegedly abused children.”
As for the abuse in Argentina, The Daily Beast notes:
Julieta Añazco was one of those victims at the [Argentinian] Provolo Institute. She says she was first abused by Father Ricardo Giménez, who worked at the institute. He first attacked her when she was just seven years old, she says, when the two were in a tent being used as a confessional at a Catholic youth festival. The abuse went on for three years before her parents found out and filed a complaint. Giménez was then transferred by the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, under the direction of then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis.
In other words, Pope Francis knew about the sexual abuse, but did nothing to prosecute the criminals. He simply transferred the child raping priests to a new location. According to the report, victims from the Provolo Institute repeatedly asked for a meeting with the then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis. However, Bergoglio refused to meet with the victims.
In 2013 Añazco and other victims from the Provolo Institute sent a registered letter of protest to Pope Francis, reminding him that he had ignored the reports of abuse. Pope Francis has not replied.
Father Giménez is still an active priest.
Bottom line: As a Cardinal in Argentina Pope Francis was told that priests were raping deaf children but did nothing to punish the predatory priests.