NEWS:  June 29, 2018
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Bird’s Eye View of the News

Atila Sinke Guimarães

Marco Tossati's article

Tossati's article was removed from his website soon after being published...

On May 26, 2018, journalist Marco Tosatti from La Stampa in Turin, Italy, posted an article on his website Stilum Curiae reporting the involvement of Pope Francis in a cover-up for a pedophile priest in Buenos Aires when he was Archbishop of that city. The article refreshed some little-known old data reported by the Spanish blog Publico. Soon after, however, Tossatti's article was removed from that site, probably due to pressure from the Vatican.

Nonetheless, his full article had been transcribed by another Italian website – Acta Apostolicae Sedis. The reader can find a snapshot here; the second part of the posting is Tossati’s article. The Brazilian blog Fratres in Unum made the piece accessible in Portuguese, where I found it, with its various Spanish and Italian links. I thank the blog for this important public service. I am translating the data into English and passing the information on to my readers.

The case history & cover-up

In May 2013, the Appeals Tribunal of Quilmes, Buenos Aires, Argentina, confirmed a sentence by the City Court condemning the Diocese to pay US $27,000 (115,600 pesetas) to a victim of pedophilia to compensate for his psychological treatment and the moral damage he suffered.

Soon after in that same May 2013, the Spanish blog Publico highlighted the the case of a 15-year-old Argentinian – Gabriel Ferrini – who had been abused by Fr. Ruben Pardo in 2002. Immediately after being sexually violated, the youth reported the crime to his mother, Beatriz. She went to the Bishop of Quilmes, Luis Teodorico Stöckler.

The Diocese of Quilmes is subordinate to the Province of Buenos Aires whose Archbishop at that time was none other than Jorge Bergoglio. Bishop Stöckler called the priest to confront him with the accusation. Pardo acknowledged the abuse before the Bishop 96 hours after the abuse took place.

Fr. Ruben Pardo and Gabriel Ferrini

Left, Fr. Ruben Pardo; right, Gabriel Ferrini

Since the Bishop delayed in punishing the priest, Beatriz Varela tried to communicate with Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio. However, he refused to receive her and ordered his bodyguards to prevent her from entering his residence. Symptomatically, at the same time the Archbishop of Buenos Aires was hosting the pedophile priest in a comfortable residence under his jurisdiction.

The abuse took place on August 15, 2002. Beatriz Varela was a worker in a diocesan school of Quilmes. She had asked the vicar of the local parish, Fr. Ruben Pardo, to instruct her two sons in the truths of the Catholic Church. The priest went to her house and, after giving some classes there, told Beatriz that he would continue the instruction in the church providing that Gabriel spend the night there. He also told the mother that in this way the youth could serve his early morning Mass.

Pope Francis covered up for pedophile priest in Buenos Aires

Hypocrisy: Arch. Bergoglio did not receive the mother's victim and sent his bodyguards against her

With his mother’s consent, the youth went to the rectory for the class. That evening, Pardo invited Gabriel to sleep with him in his bed. The youth first interpreted the gesture as a paternal invitation, until the moment when the priest actually violated him sexually. Gabriel reported: “I knew he was violating me but I couldn’t think of how to avoid it, because I was in shock and very afraid.”

When the priest ended the abuse and fell asleep, Gabriel slipped out and ran back to his house and reported what had happened to his mother. Beatriz went straight to Bishop Luis Stöcker. She stated: “Initially, he showed consternation, but, as the time went by, he did not take any action.” Instead, she continued, the Bishop “tried to minimize the case, saying that I had to be merciful with persons who chose celibacy as a vocation because they have moments of weakness.”

Beatriz told the Bishop that she wanted “truth, justice and the guarantee that such a thing would not happen to anyone else.” The Bishop then threatened to cut her employment. “I worked for a school in the Diocese,” she said, explaining her difficult situation.

Next, Beatriz had recourse to the Church Tribunal, whose president “refused to accept the denunciation.” Fifteen days later, she was interviewed by four priests “who submitted me to a humiliating interrogation with lascivious and tendentious questions, as if I were the one who had induced the abuse, when they knew for sure that the abuser had admitted the fact 96 hours after the episode before the Bishop, who reprimanded him.”

The mother of the victim also went to the Archdiocese, the residence of Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio. He refused to receive her and sent his security guards to expel her from the property. Soon afterwards, she learned that Fr. Ruben Pardo was a guest at the Vicar’s House in the Flores neighborhood, directly dependent on the Archbishop of Buenos Aires. She observed: “Bergoglio was aware of this situation because no one can be installed in the Vicar’s House without the authorization of the Archbishop.”

Beatriz Varela

Above, Beatriz Varela; below, her son Gabriel Ferrini

Gabriel Ferrini, victim of sexual abuse by a priest
She boldly accused Pope Francis: “This is Bergoglio’s compromise: He speaks against cases of pedophilia in the Church, but uses hypocrisy, lies and complicity to cover them. He does not care about God and society.”

Then, she made a more general censure: “In the Church everyone knows and everyone keeps silent; thus, all are accomplices.”

She also mentioned other cases she knew about: “There were priests who were transferred to the Archdiocese of Cordoba after I made the denunciation. Last Friday a desolate mother called me because her 4-year-old daughter had been violated by those two priests, who still work in the school. … Other children are still at risk.” The mother of the abused girl did not want to go to press, but she did start a lawsuit against the priests.

Regarding the final verdict of the Appeals Tribunal and the Court of Quilmes, she also had bitter memories: “When the priest who abused my son died [of AIDS in 2005], the process disappeared for two years. When the lawsuit fell into the risk of expiring [by the statute of limitations], my son tried to commit suicide. He had to be interned for one-and-a-half months in a psychiatric clinic. No amount of money can compensate for what we have suffered.”

The son, Gabriel Ferrini, also had an opinion on the sentence: “The verdict established a judicial precedent and can help other victims so that it will not be so difficult for them to find a solution.

“It is necessary to take action because many people are afraid or too ashamed to denounce and quarrel with someone in clerical garb.”

This is the case that came to light at the end of May, when Marco Tossati highlighted the sentence by the Appeals Tribunal of Quilmes declaring the Diocese of Quilmes guilty of pedophile abuse.

This case resurfaced at the very moment when Pope Bergoglio was being besieged by public indignation over his nomination of and cover-up for Bishop Barros in the Diocese of Osorno, Chile. So, following his old pattern of action, Bergoglio apparently sent his “security guards” to threaten the Italian journalist who was trying to make these data public.

Years ago in Buenos Aires he used the same strong arm system against Beatriz Varela; now in Rome he seems to be using an identical procedure with Marco Tossati. Let me help to expose this plot, if it exists. I do not like “security guards” used for this purpose. They remind me of the methods of All Capone. Further, I believe it is time for us Catholics to become aware of what the “honest, pure, merciful and humble” procedures of our Holy Father really are.


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