ITALY- Italian clergy sex victim detained

ITALY- Italian clergy sex victim detained

Italian clergy sex victim detained

He joins SNAP at news conference

Man tried to give petitions to Vatican

But police held him Friday for two hours

He accuses voting cardinal of hiding predators

Prelate is urged to stay away from papal conclave

SNAP: “Such intimidation & harassment is common

Group says Vatican should launch simple complaint mechanism


Holding signs and childhood photos at a news conference, an Italian clergy sex abuse victim will

--discuss being detained by police on Friday while trying to deliver petitions to the Vatican,

--explain why he thinks an Italian cardinal is complicit and should skip the conclave.

SNAP will

--praise the alleged victim and express solidarity with him,

-- urge church officials to stop intimidating and harassing victims, and

-- publicly push for the creation of a simple Vatican complaint mechanism


TODAY, -----Sunday, March 10 at 3:00 pm


Orange Hotel, 86 Via Crescenzio 00193, Roma +39.06.6868969


An Italian man, Francesco Zanardi ( who was abused as a child in the 1980s by a now-convicted Italian priest (and speaks some English). Joining him are two leaders of the US-based international support group SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (


Zanardi, an alleged clergy sex abuse victim, was detained by police for two hours on Friday after he tried to deliver 12,500 petition signatures to Vatican officials.

He has also gone on a hunger strike walked 350 miles from Savona to Rome in 19 days to dramatize his plight. At age 14, Zanardi says he was repeatedly abused by Fr. Nello Giraudo, who has been convicted of child sex crimes and accused by others.

(See 2011 AP story by Nicole Winfield and

Zanardi accuses Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, one of the 115 papal electors, of hiding Fr. Giraudo and other predator priests. He wants Calcagno to stay home from the conclave, and has gathered 12,500 signatures on a petition about this. (After Fr. Giraudo’s conviction, in Feb. 2012, Calcagno was promoted from bishop to cardinal.)

Al Jazeera’s Claudio Lavagna reports (in English) that Zanardi secretly tape recorded hundreds of talks with church officials (including one in which the alleged predator essentially confesses to abuse and another in which a Savnoa diocesan official admits knowing that Fr. Giraudo is a child molester and “has raped half the town.”

A link to the three minute news report:

A link to three documents about this case in Italian will soon be posted on our website. (Zanardi has many more.)

One is reportedly a 2003 letter from then-Bishop Calcagno to then-Cardinal Ratzinger asking what to do about Fr. Giraudo because of his alleged sexual abuses of Savona children.

Two others are reportedly documents written by Savona church officials about Fr. Giraudo's personal history, and reportedly includes this sentence: "Nulla è trapelato sui giornali e non ci sono denunce in corso," essentially meaning "so far nothing of this case came out in the newspapers and none of the abused have pressed charges."

Zanardi, who says he was abused for several years in the 1980s, has a website is Francesco

The Italian television program ‘Le Iene’ has also covered Zanardi’s case. Here are more articles about the case:

Both Fr. Giraudo and Zanardi live in Savona. (Fr. Giraudo was given a one year suspended sentence.)

SNAP says other victims have been similarly ignored, rebuffed or harassed by Vatican officials. In 2010, four victims holding a news conference near St. Peter's Square were detained by Vatican police.

The Vatican nuncio to Ireland refused to cooperate with a government investigation into clergy sex crimes claiming that the request hadn’t been delivered through the proper diplomatic channels.

And a lawsuit sent to the Vatican officials returned a clergy sex abuse lawsuit to its sender, marking it “unwanted” and “undesirable.”

SNAP will urge the next pope and current Vatican officials (including recently-hired Vatican publicist Greg Burke) to create a simple, prompt complaint and communications mechanism so that clergy sex abuse victims who wish to report to church figures can do so safely without threat of harassment.


(in Italy) David Clohessy's Italian cell 339 215 7504 (, Barbara Dorris' Italian cell 334 791 2239 ( Our hotel: NH Villa Campagna (Via Pio IV, 6) Phone 011 39 06 393731 (Clohessy-Room 220, Dorris-Room 320)


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  • commented 2013-03-11 17:33:23 -0500
    Again, I say to all of those who are trying hard to achieve drastic change in the Catholic Church, specifically regarding pedophile predator priests and prelates;

  • commented 2013-03-11 17:29:30 -0500
    Mr. Verhoff, I do not deny what you’re saying may also be needed. But my inclination and reason for writing on this site is to continue to encourage all the victim’s and supporters of the victim’s rights, all of the members of SNAP and other groups like it, to remember they now have worldwide attention and momentum and for those fighting and struggling there in Rome at Vatican City today, “to strike while the iron is hot”! To use this incredible moment in time, with the help of all who believe in the church’s need to change now; and to remind them and remember for all us to believe in the possibility of the devine intervention of God, the Almighty, Christ and the Holy Spirit, on behalf of both the victims and the heretofore, innocent members of the church, to use this momentum, now! Carpe diem!!! TELL THEM, TELL THEM NOW, TELL THEM OVER AND OVER, AND IF NEEDS BE, OVER AGAIN! TELL ALL OF THE PEOPLE THERE, CATHOLICS AND NON-CATHOLICS ALIKE. PLEASE YELL, SCREAM, CHANT, WHISPER, PRAY, POST SIGNS, GIVE INTERVIEWS, THROW LEAFLETS ON THE GROUND WHERE PEOPLE WALK AND WILL SEE, THAT READ: TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: THE ABUSE OF GOD’S CHILDREN BY PEDOPHILE PRIESTS AND LAITY, MUST CEASE! IT MUST STOP NOW!!!

    If the current majority of Cardinals about to start this conclave are literally and truly too ignorant and narcissistic to yet realize that this church, the Catholic Church of the Twenty-first Century, A.D., NEEDS reformation and healing now, that this church NEEDS to listen to the “least” of its parishoners’ pleas now, maybe God will strike some of them dead on the spot!!?! Younger people have died unexpectedly and perhaps the Holy Trinity has already intervened SOME recently, on behalf of the children and all the victims of pedophile priests, in influencing the Pope to resign, exactly at this time!!! I think we should all believe that this is in fact the time and place to CONTINUE this nearly overwhelming EFFORT. Carpe diem!!! NOW IS THE TIME.
  • commented 2013-03-11 14:23:07 -0500
  • commented 2013-03-11 13:00:43 -0500
  • 2013-03-11 12:26:12 -0500
  • 2013-03-10 19:44:55 -0500
  • 2013-03-10 15:21:41 -0500
  • 2013-03-09 22:43:46 -0600