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 Conclave Cardinal Accused Of Abuse Cover Up

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AmiraTamara



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PostSubject: Conclave Cardinal Accused Of Abuse Cover Up   Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:22 pm



A victim of a paedophile priest has called for an Italian cardinal who will help elect the next Pope to step down, accusing him of covering up abuse.

Francesco Zanardi says he was abused by his local priest, father Nello Giraudo, when he was a young boy and is adamant Catholic Church chiefs knew of the case but failed to act.

At a press conference close to the Vatican, Mr Zanardi showed a letter dated 2003 which was written by the then Bishop of Savona in northwest Italy, Domenico Calcagno, who is now one of the 115 elector cardinals.

In the letter Bishop Calcagno wrote to Joseph Ratzinger, two years before he was elected Pope and while he was head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, outlining the case against Father Giraudo.

He asked Cardinal Ratzinger what he should do with Father Giraudo following numerous allegations of abuse against him, adding that the priest would continue his "pastoral duties".

But Bishop Calcagno went on to say: "As far as possible I intend to avoid him having any responsibilities that would see him in contact with children or adolescents."

Mr Zanardi told the press conference that no response was ever received from Cardinal Ratzinger and Fr Giraudo continued serving as a priest - although last year he was convicted of abusing a child and given a one-year suspended sentence after plea bargaining.

Mr Zanardi, who was 11 when he was abused by Father Giraudo, said: "I'm calling on the Vatican and the College of Cardinals to take responsibility for the actions of this paedophile priest. They need to intervene and deal with this problem.

"Cardinal Calcagno should not be taking part in the election of a new Pope. No-one involved in the Conclave is paying attention to this and they need to assume their responsibilities.

"How can the Catholic Church say it is dealing with this problem when it allows Cardinal Calcagno to take part in the election of a new Pope ? He should not have any involvement.

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