Bishop Poli, Linked to “Net of Silence”
August 15, 2012
[Translated into English by BishopAccountability.org. Click below to see original article in Spanish.]
The Bishop of La Pampa [diocese of Santa Rosa], Mario Poli, was mentioned among the priests who intervened to keep under covers a charge of sex abuse committed by a priest at Marianista de Caballito School against a student at the institution.
New details about the case are emerging now that it is just days before the start of the trial.
The allegations were made by Sebastián Quattromo, who was victimized at the Marianista de Caballito School in the early 90s when he was 13 years-old.
Years after leaving the school, he made his complaint: as a student there he was abused by a teacher during an end-of-year camping trip organized by the school at its Buenos Aires headquarters. The accused, Fernando Enrique Picciochi, fled to the United States. Quattromo, who is today 36 years old, helped extradite him. Next week, the trial begins against the ex-priest.
The new details reveal that the School and the Catholic Church attempted to silence everything. One of those who intervened, according to the charges, is the now Bishop of La Pampa.
Quattromo gave an interview to Página 12 that was published in their Sunday edition, revealing that in early 2000, he, together with a peer who suffered the same abuses, were put through a process of mediation, and the institution, in order to avoid a civil case, compensated them $40,000, but not before they signed a confidentiality clause.
Although Quattromo accepted the terms, he ultimately took this imposition of silence to the Legal Council of the City of Buenos Aires, who determined that he was in the right.
“I then went to the Archbishop, where I was attended by a secretary of Monsignor Jorge Bergoglio, a man who identified himself as Martín García Aguirre,” said Quattromo
“I laid out my case to him, along with the measures that the Catholic institution took to silence my ex-classmate and me.” He sent me to the District Vicarage of Flores, where I had two interviews with the man in charge, Father Mario Polo. I once again laid out my case and the measures taken. But I never heard back.”
Poli worked in the City of Buenos Aires alongside Bergoglio until 2009, when he was named as the successor of Rinaldo Fidel Brédice as Bishop of La Pampa.
Picciochi was put in protective custody in 2000, but managed to escape from the country and flee to the United States. He was detained in 2007 and extradited to Argentina in 2010.
The start of his oral argument is set for August 21 at the Federal Criminal Court in Buenos Aires, presided over by the judges Rodolfo Madariaga, Hugo Rocha Degreef and Alfredo Alejandro Sañudo.