Society of Saint Pius Abuses within a fundamentalist Catholic group revealed by a Swiss newspaper

Actual News Magazine [London England]

January 13, 2024

Sexual, psychological and physical violence took place within the ultraconservative Society of Saint Pius 

The weather after an investigation lasting several months.

This dissident group from the Catholic Church “cannot escape accusations of control, sexual violence and sectarianism,” says the newspaper.

A victim support group estimates the number of “problematic priests” at around sixty, or nearly 10% of the workforce.

Founded in 1970 by controversial French bishop Marcel Lefebvre, the Society of Saint Pius

Its headquarters are located near Menzingen, a village in the Zug region, south of Zurich. It claims to be present in more than 60 countries across six continents, with 590 priests and nearly half a million faithful.

The weather devoted the first six pages of Saturday’s newspaper to his investigation. He claims to have received more than twenty internal documents, including letters signed by senior officials and extracts from internal investigations.

“Our analysis shows that sexual, psychological and physical violence has taken place in the four corners of Europe and the world, since the founding – or thereabouts – of the fraternity and until 2020,” we can read.

A damning story

François de Riedmatten, 41, originally from Sion in Valais, southwest Switzerland, grew up in the Brotherhood after being sent to its boarding school in La Péraudière in France.

He described mistreatment by a supervisor, who he said “took pleasure in causing harm.”

Contacted by The weatherthe current director of the La Péraudière school, François-Joseph Bonnand, says he is “stunned and revolted” upon listening to the testimony of François de Riedmatten.

He claims that the supervisor in question is no longer part of the staff and that violence is no longer carried out in the establishment.

However, the beatings had started for François de Riedmatten before, at Fleurs de Mai, the brotherhood’s primary school in Valais, he said.

“We were beaten in front of other people, with sticks and with our pants down,” he recalls.

“Painful” affairs

According to The weatherthe Brotherhood refused to answer his questions, as it does to all media questions on the subject of religious abuse.

In an email, she specifies that, in these particularly painful cases, “the Brotherhood’s primary concern is for the victims.” “It offers them assistance by supporting them, encouraging them to file complaints with the judicial authorities, guiding them through legal procedures and supporting them in their reconstruction, as far as possible.”

Following this affair, the cantonal authorities of Valais will investigate the Fleurs de Mai school.

It is a question of “seeing if unspeakable practices” are still taking place there, declared a Valais official, Christophe Darbellay, on Swiss television.

The head of the education department is due to visit this school on Monday, accompanied by two inspectors.