Criminal Accusations Reach the Office of the Bishop
By Mariana Carbajal
May 19, 2013
[Translated into English by BishopAccountability.org. Click below to see original article in Spanish.]
Carlos Zermoglio is seventy years old and a clinical psychologist. He began teaching in 1967 at Instituto Vicente Pallotti, in Turdera. In an interview with Página/12, he said he resigned in 1992, after serving as a director, citing his disagreement with the limited wiggle room for managing the educational institution that the German branch of the Pallottine Congregation granted to a committee of laymen that had formed.
Zermoglio hand-delivered on Friday the book The Angel’s Hunt to the bishop of Lomas de Zamora, Jorge Rubén Lugones, who, like Pope Francis, is a Jesuit.
“The personal histories related in the book correspond to individuals affiliated with Instituto Pallotti, in Turdera,” Zermoglio told Página/12.
From the age of 12, Zermoglio grew up surrounded by Pallottines. He said he was well-acquainted with several of the individuals identified as perpetrators in the book, in particular, the priest who served as the school’s rector, adding that he is in anguish for failing to detect what was happening at the institution. Consequently, he decided to take the book to the bishop. Zermoglio and his wife, Susana Fernández, both are deeply committed Catholics.
One of Zermoglio’s sons, who was 20 years old at the time, had an episode with the head of pastoral theology at Paloti (as the Turdera school is known), who sexually assaulted him in a house, unbuttoning his pants and fondling him, despite his resistance. “He unbuttoned my pants twice,” Chueco relates in the book about that encounter with Rubio. Before he could react, he was paralyzed by the sexual advance of the man who had been his pastoral advisor for many years, and who had great influence among the youth. While Chueco was not a minor, the incident threw him into disarray.
“Rubio always sat the kids around him, hugged them, and gave them kisses on the cheek. He’d sometimes sit me on his lap. He’d do the same to the others, and at first I thought it was his way of showing affection. And more of the same. He’d greet you and give you a kiss on the side of the mouth, that is, if you didn’t dodge him first,” says Chueco, who is really Pablo Zermoglio, 39 years old, a musician and teacher in Cipolletti, where he’s lived with his wife for two years. Pablo contacted Página/12 when he learned that the newspaper was planning to publish an article about the book, and wished to reveal his identity in order to reinforce the credibility of the testimonies included in The Angel’s Hunt.
In a conversation with Página/12, Pablo recalled that a year after the incident, in 1994, he told his father what had happened with Rubio. His father and mother went to see Rubio “to demand an explanation,” but Rubio, who was the chief of pastoral theology, told them it was a misunderstanding.
Carlos Zarmoglio told this newspaper that he wrote a letter to a Pallottine official, in which he recounted the incident. At that time, the highest authority was Father Nicolás Dreiling, who Zermoglio had known for many years. “I mailed him the letter signed by me, in which I directly referred to the episode with my son, Rubio. I was notified [that the letter was received], and have his signature as proof. But I never received a response. And there were no changes in the school. Rubio remained in charge of pastoral theology and youth week event planning.”
Lugones wasn’t the first bishop who Zermoglio contacted regarding the incidents at Pallotti. The Cardinal[sic] Agustín Radrizzani, at that time in charge of the Diocese, and presently in charge of the Bishopric of Luján, previously met with Zermoglio and his wife, Graciela Fernández. “We told him what had happened to our son. We had lots of suppressed rage because we knew Rubio was still working at the school,” said Zermoglio.