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Detailed Summary of Case of Archbishop Edgardo Gabriel Storni,
Drawn from Media Coverage and Public Reports

Summary Sources

In 1992, an 18-year-old seminarian, Rubén Descalzo, told a Santa Fe parish priest named Father José Guntern that Storni had sexually assaulted him. Guntern sent Storni a letter urging him to realize "the seriousness of your actions." Guntern soon was interviewed by Mendoza co-adjutor archbishop José María Arancibia, who in 1994 conducted a seven-month investigation of Storni at the Vatican's request. Although a local newspaper, Rosario/12, reported the existence of the inquiry in late 1994, the church's determination was not made public, media interest apparently faded, and Storni remained archbishop.

In August 2002, investigative journalist Olga Wornat went public with her book, Nuestra Santa Madre [Our Holy Mother], with detailed accounts of Storni's abuses, Guntern's effort to stop him, and the Vatican probe headed by Arancibia. According to Wornat, some of the victims were as young as 15 or 16. The book triggered immediate reaction. Five priests allied with Storni - including a vicar of the archdiocese - allegedly forced Guntern, still a local priest, to sign a notarized affidavit recanting his 1992 letter. Guntern said that one of the priests told him that if he didn't sign the document, "at any moment, you could die." Guntern signed the document and then quickly reported the five priests to the police. The incident was publicized and parishioners staged rallies in support of Guntern.

In September 2002, criminal authorities announced an investigation of Storni, who submitted his resignation to the Vatican. In 2003, he was charged with aggravated sexual abuse ("abuso sexual agravado"), and in December 2009 he was convicted of abusing Descalzo. Two other charges against him were dismissed because the period of prescription had expired.  He was confined to house arrest, allegedly because of his age and bad health. In 2011, the sentence was nullified by a divided court. Storni lived the remainder of his days supported by a church pension on a church-owned property.

 

 

“Arancibia pidió perdón a los seminaristas abusados”, by Roxana Badaloni, Los Andes, 8.18.2002

Storni, un obispo al borde del desempleo, by Pablo Feldman and Desde Rosario, Página/12, 9.08.2002

Sex Abuse Allegations Rock Bastion of Catholicism, by Leslie Moore, Globe Correspondent, 9.15.2002

Justice Department Opens Criminal Investigation of Archbishop Storni, by José Enrique Bordón, La Nación, 8.28.2002 [Translation] en Español

Dicen que el ex arzobispo de Santa Fe está en el país, by Julio Algañaraz, Clarín, 10.04.2002

Another Priest Sentenced for Sex Abuse, Página/12, 12.30.2009 [Translation] en Español

Ex-Archbishop Sentenced in Argentina over Sex Abuse, BBC, 12.30.2009

“Actuaba con total impunidad”, by Pedro Lipcovich, Página/12, 12.31.2009

Edgardo Storni, Former Archbishop of Santa Fe, Is Dead; He Was Convicted in 2009 of Sex Abuse, Télam (Argentine National News Agency), 2.20.2012 [Translation] en Español

Olga Wornat: la periodista que conoce el lado íntimo del Papa Francisco, by Mandy Fridmann, Huffington Post, 3.14.2013

Nuestra Santa Madre [Our Holy Mother] by Olga Wornat [Storni is covered in Chapter 9]

 
 


 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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