Self-proclaimed ‘Archangel’ arrested for sex abuse in Sicily


Claire Giangravè

The leader of a Catholic lay organization in Sicily, who proclaimed himself to be an Archangel, was arrested August 1 for sexually abusing at least six underage girls with the help of three female accomplices. The association was founded by renowned exorcist and ‘spiritual son’ of Padre Pio, Father Stefano Cavalli, who died in 2015.

ROME – Sexual abuse scandals have dogged the Catholic Church this summer from Australia to Germany, with the latest coming in the small Italian town of Aci Bonaccorsi on the island of Sicily, where four members of a lay movement were arrested August 1 for conspiring to sexually abuse minors.

The lay movement in question was founded by a legendary local priest, Father Stefano Cavalli, who was a spiritual heir of Padre Pio, the famed 20th century Capuchin stigmatic and healer. So revered is Cavalli in Aci Bonaccorsi that the town’s central square is named for him.

According to the allegations, at least six young female members of the ‘Culture and Environment Catholic Association’ were coaxed into performing personal and sexual favors to its leader and Cavalli’s successor, layman Pietro Alfio Capuana, who claims to be the physical manifestation of an Archangel.

Investigations began after a concerned mother found compromising text messages sent by her 15-year-old daughter to a friend discussing the instances of abuse and later warned local authorities.

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