PRIEST ACCUSED OF ABUSING DEAF ARGENTINE STUDENTS ON TRIAL.

By ALMUDENA CALATRAVA

MENDOZA, Argentina (AP) — Downcast and sitting in a wheelchair as his historic trial began Monday in Argentina, the Rev. Nicola Corradi didn’t look like the man former students at an institute for the deaf say was the force behind years of “indescribable” torment through alleged sexual abuse.

The 83-year-old Italian priest, along with the Rev. Horacio Corbacho, 59, and Armando Gómez, 63, are being tried for 28 cases of alleged abuse against ex-students at the Antonio Próvolo Institute for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children in Mendoza province. They face prison sentences of up to 20 years in some cases, up to 50 years in others.

The alleged abuse took place between 2004 and 2016, and the case gained world attention when it emerged that Corradi had faced similar accusations at the Antonio Próvolo institute in Verona, Italy, and Pope Francis had been notified the Italian priest was running a similar center in Argentina.

Corbacho has pleaded not guilty to the sexual abuse charges, while Corradi and Gómez have not entered pleas. The trial is expected to last more than a month.

As the three accused – Corbacho and Gómez in handcuffs – were led down a long corridor in Mendoza’s Palace of Justice Monday to a court where three judges awaited them, alleged victims and their relatives protested outside, with one sign saying “With Our Hands And Our Voices We Break The Silence,” a reference to sign language.

“I am super-nervous, anxious and I hope for justice; that this ends soon so my son can move on to a new stage because this is very hard,” said Natalia Villalonga, whose 18-year-old son Ezequiel is one of about 20 ex-students at the Próvolo institute who say they were abused.

The AP doesn’t name alleged sexual assault victims unless they make their identities public, which Ezequiel Villalonga did in an interview on the eve of the trial in the headquarters of the human rights group Xumek, which is the plaintiff in the trial.

“Those of us from the Próvolo in Mendoza say: ‘no more fear. We have the power,’” he said.

The first day’s hearing lasted about two hours during which the charges against the men were read. They included rape, sexual touching and corrupting minors since the children were allegedly sometimes forced to watch pornography or perform sex acts among themselves.

It is the first in a series of trials involving other former members of the now-closed school. Others implicated include two nuns who allegedly participated or knew about the abuses, as well as former directors and employees who are accused of knowing about the abuse but taking no action.

Jorge Bordón, an institute employee, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2018 in the case for rape, sexual touching and corrupting minors.
The Vatican has not commented publicly on the trial. The Holy See would be loath to be seen as interfering in a criminal trial, and typically defers all comment, as well as the outcome of its own investigations, until after all investigations by civil law enforcement are completed.

In 2017, it sent two Argentine priests to investigate what happened in Mendoza. Dante Simon, a judicial vicar, told the AP that the acts denounced are “horrible” and “more than plausible.” He said the pontiff expressed his sadness and told him that “he was very worried about this situation and it would be a labor.”
In a report submitted to the Vatican in June of that year, Simon requested the application of the maximum penalty to Corradi and Corbacho, that they be made to “resign directly by the Holy Father.” The report must be reviewed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The case touches close to the Vatican, which is accused of having disregarded the warnings of the alleged Italian victims of Corradi, when just months earlier the pope had promulgated new rules to combat abuse in the church.

Corradi was singled out for similar abuses committed since the 1950s at the Provolo institute in Verona. His name appeared in a letter addressed to the pope in 2014 in which the Italian accusers mentioned several allegedly abusive priests who continued to exercise the ministry and said that Corradi and three other priests were in Argentina.

The Verona diocese sanctioned four of the 24 defendants, but not Corradi. There was no criminal case because of the elapsed time.

Anne Barret Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, told the AP that she does not expect a response from the Vatican and the pope.
Doyle said that when the crimes at the Verona school made world headlines in 2009 and 2010, “the pope was president of the Argentine bishops’ conference. He could have ordered an investigation of the Mendoza and La Plata schools then.”
“And certainly, as pope, he could have acted years ago. He was notified by the Verona victims of Corradi’s presence in Argentina.”

Erica, the sister of a plaintiff who asked that her full name not be used, said the trial “gives me a lot of strength, because it could have never happened” because of the vulnerability of the children, who are poor and deaf or hard of hearing.

“I want to tell her that her word, which has been blocked by many social things, has a lot of value today. So much value that it could bring to justice people who were doing disastrous things for a long time,” she said.

30 thoughts on “PRIEST ACCUSED OF ABUSING DEAF ARGENTINE STUDENTS ON TRIAL.

  1. Cesspit cesspit cesspit.

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    1. MournemanMichael 17th Aug 2019 — 1:31 am

      I understand your feelings Anon 4:05 am. Indeed I share them. But it might be more productive if to expand more through an explanation for your emotive response. Many of us share this response, but the more we articulate the whys and wherefores of what make us feel like this, the more we will be part of diminishing the malign practices and influences now being exposed.
      I have noted your similar previous expressions of dissatisfaction and thought just now to encourage you into more productive articulation of your views.
      We need to “keep ‘er lit”!
      MMM

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  2. What are, the religious, clergy and the hierarchy about?
    Why was and why is this kind of behaviour, tolerated, covered up and hidden?
    What does religious ceremonies, practices, prayers and scriptures mean in terms of relevance to life,
    when this kind of corrupt, criminal behaviour, is so prevalent among so many, ‘men and women of God’?
    Some of these individuals are completely depraved, for all of their religious practices, knowledge and vows.

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    1. The answer is simple: they are thugs and criminals, that’s what they’re about. And the religion they profess means a big fat zero to them beyond a comfy life and and golf club membership.
      This is why priests who come on here saying they’re good and people who point at examples of alleged holiness are wrong. The whole thing is a sham and *anyone* with any moral sense would get out quick.
      I find the doctrine that the church is indefectible interesting, because it implies the church must be somewhere. But if you look for the four signs of the church you don’t see them in the Roman church so they must be somewhere else…

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    2. MournemanMichael 16th Aug 2019 — 9:52 am

      Anon@ 6:50: Your first three sentences question the nature of religion, and the fourth states its observable and characteristic facet. May I reply to the questions as one who has no belief that religious practices has any objective basis in reality?
      Religion is a human concept derived from humankind’s very ancient fears and aspirational wishes for understanding of his environment and obtain some element of control over his life and destiny.
      Over the countless millennia of humankind’s origins and evolvement into recognisable groupings, this common thread became formalised by charismatic leaders and their cult followers from which the many variations modern religion arose, and remain, while earlier strains of religion vanished into antiquity.
      Religious leaders have consequently used and abused humanity’s continuing need for individual significance in various forms of group identity, being led and promoted by these leaders often for their own benefit. In common with all of humanity, membership of those elite religious leaders contains the good, bad, and the indifferent. But the nature of this elite’s common purpose seems to attract a high level of deviance in its leaders, and dependent subservience in its followers.
      The “vulnerable become prey to the vultures.”
      The modern RC church is simply one of these often parasitic institutions, which will continue to evolve, and ultimately perish into oblivion. It is only about 2000 years old, a mere infant in its development in comparison to human evolution.
      MMM

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      1. Ma! Mad! Mad! at 9:52am
        That’s what you think, long after you’re gone and forgotten Our Holy Mother The Church will be here till the end of time. We have God’s word.
        Evviva Maria

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      2. MMM

        I came across somewhere that lefebrve said Catholic Church is not a Christian Church. He gave a speech on that long after he was excommunicated.

        Think Catholic Church don’t care about us re their actions therefore in return we don’t care about them in everything from money to their man made Canon laws.

        As time goes on, Catholic Church becomes less and less relevant and outdated, more evil, more cult like are emerging from inside of the Church still the higher ups from pope Francis downwards curia/cardinals/bishops dioceses et all don’t give a fig about us or abuse problems despite their mealy mouthed fake pious platitudes and apology without emotion. It’s sickening to watch from the outside.

        Re their previous past actions which marked them as somewhat evil, uncaring, careerist dreams, unhealthy obessession with sexuality and morals and denying women’s rights–all male Church with no democracy as we don’t have any say in all of this ranging from bishops to laws. They kept picking thre unelected bishops or cardinals without any say so from Catholics.

        What’s the point of staying with Catholic Church when they gave us two fingers sign re cardinal law and abuses not tackled nor followed up.

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  3. Fly on Th Wall 16th Aug 2019 — 7:41 am

    It’s good these things are happening hi. But now it’s time to ask where is the real Jesus

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    1. I honestly think this clearing out is the work of the Holy Spirit. This time he is using journalists.

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      1. 10:16- To quote a former Taoiseach, ‘a lot done, more to do!’

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      2. MournemanMichael 17th Aug 2019 — 1:43 am

        I have asked before Anon@ 10:16: Who, where, and what is the nature of this “Holy Spirit”, and what is the extent of the evidence for his/her powers, influence or indeed existence? So far, there’s been zero evidence apart from shaky and controversial quotations from a highly controversial collection of middle Eastern much transcribed tracts referring to alleged events for which there is no reliable historical evidence.
        Journalists nowadays are hard headed in reporting events. For legal reasons they need to be. I wonder what may be their understanding of this “Holy Spirit” you refer to.
        MMM

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    2. Morning hi fly.

      A good question hi fly; where is the real Jesus?
      I wonder where is humanity in some of these characters.
      Where is concern compassion and empathy for victims.
      Hearts of stone versus hearts of flesh.

      Bye bye hi fly.

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  4. The Archbishop and the BBC is a good read in the Tablet today.

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    1. Vinny in the shit again. He won’t like it. How dare this journalist rake up old muck ! Vin is very protective of his reputation and his career prospects. Although both have taken a bit of a battering of late. Time to spend more time with the family, perhaps ? But who will take over ? Longley of Birmingham had prospects but has been tarnished by the woeful Birmingham safeguarding failures. Stock of Leeds ? Or the new man in Southwark, Wilson, could be transferred north of the Thames ? But as the Queen said to Boris when he kissed hands, who would possibly want the job ? I suppose there is another ambitious Vin clone somewhere who would give it a go ? Only for it to end in a vale of years.

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      1. “Career” at his age??? Vinny should be preparing for his death and his appearance at the Seat of Judgement!!

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  5. MMM @ 9.52

    Couldn’t agree more with your take on this whole religion farrago. So well put and with the response of Bella being a reflection of his/her thinking and that of his/her fellow religious travellers its no wonder the RCC has rode roughshod over the generations.
    As ever MMM you’re bang on the money- well as much as there will left after the RCC gets its hands on it!

    Anyway sitting here on my nice big comfy chair, coffee to hand and about to have a wee look at the geegees and maybe have a wee flutter later.

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    1. Pat, off-topic, but my phone was broken but I just wanted to thank you for making the trip from Larne to the Ulster Hospital. I’d only spoken to you on the phone years ago, when you were very were very helpful to me and your visit was very helpful and encouraging.

      Your soft, pastoral side is denied by the critics and naysayers on the blog, but I benefited.

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      1. It was a privilege to be able to visit you and celebrate the sacraments with you. Keep in touch. Pat.

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  6. Corradi was filmed in 2017 in Italy by an undercover journalist joking and boasting about abuse at the institute for deaf-mute children in Argentina. All of the victims were minors at the time of abuse.The victims described Corradi and his accomplices as monsters in cassocks who committed abominable crimes against minors.

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  7. Has anyone seen that film titled something like Old Mother Riley Meets the Vampire?
    It stars Arthur Lucan dragged up as Old Mother Riley and Bela Lugosi.
    Just sayin’ like 🤣

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    1. Kitty at 12:36pm
      Oh! Magna’s got anew name Kitty it suits her, she loves, she was in that film, she was Old Mother Riley sucha pity the vampire didn’t get her. We would all have peace from listening to her Rants.
      Evviva Maria!

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  8. Disgusting and revoltin

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  9. The sad fact is that the human race has always produced some very unpleasant characters at all levels of society and in all occupations: teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers, priests, family members. Abuse of the vulnerable has always been around and being pessimistic, probably always will exist to some extent. The sadness is that organisations which should have been promoting the needs of the most vulnerable have become self-serving and corrupt. Cover ups in hospitals, schools, prisons, social care have been widespread; it’s easier than facing the consequences head on. Thank goodness it’s becoming less easy to get away with abuse of any kind or cover it up in more economically developed countries. As many contributors on here have said, it is likely that much more horror is to emerge from countries with less infrastructure to deal with them. The Church is not unique in mishandling such issues but as events in Ireland and Britain have shown even in 2019 (eg testimony to the IICSA) it has been much slower to change and is still mired in issues related to the nature and style of the organisation which are anachronistic and reflect the work of man rather than God. I’d like to hope that some time soon stories such as this would disappear. The clean-up in religious groups where behaviour can be justified by reference to some higher power or a greater “good” is going to be worryingly slow. It is a really depressing indictment.

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    1. 12:51pm
      The ‘ scandal’ in the Church is going on in the public domain for over 30 plus years.
      It is not a ‘scandal’ but rather, an aspect of, or part and parcel of, the culture of the institutional Church.
      The scandal is, what was covered up by clergy and hierarchy for generations, is now out in public.
      Doctors nurses, teachers, social workers, etc, don’t claim to be mediators between God and man,
      or ontologically altered. At the core of this abusive corrupt criminal aspect of culture in the Church
      is blatant hypocrisy, apparently, on all levels.

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  10. MournemanMichael 16th Aug 2019 — 1:32 pm

    Anon@ 12:51: Thank you for your perceptive comments, and to DD too.
    It often strikes me that on this blog, while some comments are innocuous and fairly midstream, there exists a cohort of perceptive, intelligent, broadly educated contributors. Their comments, like yours, evidence this ability.
    On the other hand there is also abundant evidence of unthinking small minded individuals repetitively clinging, in desperation it seems, to voicing mantras of belief in a corrupt self serving decadent institution, its practices, and its “organisers”. The contrast is significant. “By their fruits you will know them.”
    It’s an interesting area to consider why they persist. While childhood conditioning is significant maybe cognitive dissonance plays a part too.
    MMM

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  11. Former jesuit priest said ‘ Catholicism is central power of the anti christ’.

    Black masses were said inside the Vatican.

    Think Catholic Church would be gone when jesus returns 2nd coming as he said where will I find any faith on earth which implies or suggests that all religions including Catholic church would be gone.

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  12. MMM: Your comments today are both arrogantly insulting and condescending. Your argument that those who are “conditioned” (a loaded word!) as children in faith and religious instruction are “simple” and “uneducated” and therefore unable to argue rationally in defense of their religious beliefs is indeed very ignorant. Many of the finest minds I have encountered in my life in education at 3rd level were men and women of deep religious conviction. Indeed, my studies in philosophy and psychology (with theology and religious education) have deepened my sense of faith and religious belief. Yes, I grew up in a religious household (thankfully) but always questioned my faith. I doubt at times, I search, I question but my studies over many years have deepened my religious perspectives and convictions. It is rather arrogant to suggest that it is only the “simple” who have faith…Perhaps you might allow me to finish your argument by saying that in all my years as a priest in education and in parishes, it is the “simple” who respond most in compassion, justice, caring, kindness and charity at all times in responding to various needs, struggles and sufferings. It is they who absorb truly the message of Christ and it is they (the simple ones in your language, the ones who voice mantras, the ones who are child conditioned) who very often are the most truly human, the ones who show us how to live in a self sacrificing way for the good of others and their community. I have met many atheists but strangely haven’t encountered their presence too much in outreach programmes in any community where I’ve worked. That’s their decision. I merely make the observation. I find that you are too sure of your own beliefs which urges you to be condescending to people of faith, whether they are intelligent, educated or “simple”! !!

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    1. MournemanMichael 16th Aug 2019 — 7:50 pm

      Anon@ 7:09: Read my comments @ 1:32 again: slowly and more thoughtfully this time. You may, just may, note that in them I referred to comments on this blog, and not the general public as you infer. Those I refer to in my third paragraph are typified by the commentator at 10:21above, who by now is well recognised as such.
      As for “outreach programmes”, perhaps like yours, I would tend to avoid as they are often proselytising in disguise efforts.
      The drum of contention you beat sounds a hollow cymbal, and symbol.
      MMM

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      1. 7 50: MMM: So you’ve been unsettled by my comment at 7.09. Indeed your essays very carefully and thoughtfully!! What a pathetic excuse you give for your non-involvement in outreach programmes! Just be honest and say you couldn’t be bothered. The thought that you might be proselytizing in disguise is the laziest argument (excuse) I’ve ever heard to explain “indifference and apathy” towards helping others or being involved in your community. How may I ask would you be perceived as “proslytisng in disguise” as an atheist? Your contention is in TRUTH a very hollow cymbal. An argument for nihilism, as if one doesn’t have to care for others, that “my life” is mine and mine alone!! Thank God for the “simple” people who make a significant difference because off their faith, who enrich because of their self-giving, in imitation of Christ. Our communities would be very impoverished without their beautiful presence!! Open your eyes, MMM….

        Like

    2. Excellent reply to the nihilism here.

      Like

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