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Montevideo, October 22nd 2021 - 03:32 UTC

 

 

Rape and sexual abuse of altar boys who serve Mass in St Peter's Basilica

Thursday, October 15th 2020 - 08:38 UTC
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Whistleblower Kamil Jarzembowski outside St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. Photo: AP Whistleblower Kamil Jarzembowski outside St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. Photo: AP

A Vatican court heard graphic descriptions of sexual abuse on Wednesday as two priests went on trial, one charged with repeatedly raping an altar boy in a youth seminary and the other of covering up the attacks.

The first hearing lasted only eight minutes as charges were read to Father Gabriele Martinelli, 28, who was a minor for most of the time of the alleged abuse, and Father Enrico Radice, 72, who was rector.

Neither of the two defendants has responded publicly to the accusations and the defense has not yet entered a formal plea.

The abuse took place between 2007 and 2012 in the Pius X Pre-Seminary, which houses altar boys who serve Mass in St Peter's Basilica, sometimes for the pope, and are thinking of becoming priests.

Martinelli later went on to become a priest and the prosecution says Radice did not block the ordination even though he knew about the abuse.

A clerk read out charges including how Martinelli allegedly forced a boy known by his initials LG “to undergo carnal acts, acts of sodomy, masturbation on himself and on the boy, at different times and in different places inside Vatican City”.

The trial in the Vatican's tiny courtroom is the first concerning abuse committed inside the city-state's walls. The alleged abuse began when LG was 13, and Martinelli continued the abuse of LG for about a year after he turned 18, the prosecution says.

Categories: Politics, International.

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