Sexual abuse of minors, one of the most serious problems facing the Catholic Church today, could have occurred even in the very center of Christianity. The Vatican announced yesterday that the promoter of justice (prosecutor) of his Court will bring to trial the priest Gabriele Martinelli for allegedly committing pedophile acts in the San Pio X pre-seminary. It is located within the smallest state in the world and there they live and form the so-called 'altar boys of the Pope', because they are the boys who help in the religious ceremonies celebrated in the basilica of San Pedro. Together with Martinelli, Enrico Radice, rector of the preseminary at the time of the events, which would have occurred in the years preceding 2012, will also be prosecuted.
The Vatican opened an investigation in November 2017 after some Italian media denounced this alleged scandal. In order to start the trial, a particular dispensation from Francisco was necessary, which arrived on July 29, since the legislation in force at the time the events took place only contemplated the possibility of opening a process if the victim denounced as maximum twelve months after the abuses.
The altar boys with whom Martinelli would have committed dishonest acts years ago that told the Vatican authorities these episodes, but at first no one believed them. The appearance of new data collected by the journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi in the book 'Peccato originale' (Original Sin) and by the television program 'Le Iene', by Canale 5, were decisive for the reopening of the case. Among the testimonies offered is that of the young Polish Kamil Tadeusz Jarzembowski, who recalls that he witnessed how his roommate was abused "more than 140 times" by a boy older than he who ended up becoming a priest.
It would be Martinelli, who after his ordination exercised his ministry in the diocese of Como, in northern Italy, where he has so far had habitual treatment with minors. “During the night, when there was no superior in the halls, I entered the room and got into my bed. I masturbated and practiced oral sex. I was 13 years old, ”says one of the victims in the report of 'Le Iene'. Martinelli was then 20 years old and was the leader of the altar boys who lived in the San Pío X preseminary. The television program offered the testimony of other alleged Martinelli victims and also revealed possible cases of child abuse in the San Pío X in the 70s .
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