Religion News Service via National Catholic Reporter
February 21, 2020
By Claire Giangrave
One year after Pope Francis called for a summit of Catholic bishops at the Vatican, abuse survivors flocked to the Eternal City on Feb. 20 to report a lack of progress and accountability in the fight against clergy sex abuse.
Three Argentine deaf abuse survivors of the notorious pedophile priest Nicola Corradi, who in November was convicted and sentenced to prison for the abuse of students at the Provolo Institute for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children, gave a press conference in Rome on Feb. 20 and stood in St. Peter’s Square demanding justice and reparations from the Catholic Church and Francis.
“We demand a law that obligates the Vatican to stop the coverup and change the situation decisively,” said Daniel Sgardelis, one of the Argentine survivors, with the help of an interpreter at the press conference.
“The deaf have always suffered abuse from priests, and we need this to change. That’s enough!” he added.
Another survivor, Ezequiel Villalonga, explained that the group had just returned from a meeting with United Nations officials in Geneva where they accused the Catholic Church of withholding crucial evidence, failing to collaborate with civil authorities and refusing to pay reparations to the 24 victims of Corradi in Argentina.
“In Argentina we haven’t gotten justice,” Villalonga said. “Now we are survivors and we know our rights and we demand for this to stop.”
The deaf victims of Corradi and other members of the Catholic clergy in Argentina were accompanied by their lawyers and representatives from other international survivor networks, Ending Clergy Abuse and bishopaccountability.org.
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