“Abuse Is Present throughout the History of the Catholic Church”
Interview with Jorge Llistosella, Author
September 2, 2012
[Translated into English by BishopAccountability.org. Click below to see original article in Spanish.]
The author of the book, “Sex Abuse in the Catholic Church,” spoke with “Algo por Decir” regarding this polemic, which has affected and continues to affect many boys and girls around the world. He explained that while his book accounts for 9,000 cases, he believes the most emblematic is “Hermano Ángel," a priest from the province of Corrientes who in 1986 was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
On the issue of abusive priests, Jorge Llistosella said that “all that is known about the presence of abuse in the Church shows that it’s spread throughout its history.” He explained that his book documents the last 50 years of such abuse on a global level.
He said that his book is based on official Church documents, encyclicals, testimonials and other works. Within this context, he noted that if one did a synthesis, one of the most emblematic cases would be what occurred in Corrientes with Ángel Tarcisio Acosta, known as “Brother Angel,” who in September 1986, in a trial with 38 witnesses, was sentenced to 18 years of prison for corruption and abuse of minors.
Llistosella recalled that Acosta was in charge of catechesis as well as the game room and library at Instituto Salesiano Pío XI, where he abused the minors. What is more, the rector of the establishment, Father Carlos Rebinsky, was transferred to Fontana (Chaco) and later put in charge of a youth group in Misiones, [giving him a clean record] and burying the abuse at Salesiano.
“This case shows the attitude of the Church, which cares more about the abusers than the victims, whose families the Church tries to convince that it’d be a scandal if these incidents were made public, and transfers the abusers to locales where no one knows their personal history and where they have the opportunity to continue committing abuses,” said Llistosella. “The Church believes these cases constitute a sin by an individual who committed a bad act and can confess to his sins and thus be absolved and purified. But these acts are crimes that have to be brought to justice in the criminal courts.”