One day in 1980 two priests came to Spotorno, Italy… two young priests. They soon began arranging some activities for children. Francesco Zanardi was among those children who took part in those activities. That is how he started to attend the Spotorno parish church. He liked Father Carlo very much, who was like an actual father to him. Father Carlo provided him with a room in the basement of the parish so Francesco could spend his time there.
Sadly in 1982, a third priest came to Spotorno. His name was Father Nello Giraudo and the children soon noticed that there was something wrong with this person. Francesco experienced his first abuse in the basement of the parish. It happened to him so many times… and to almost 50 other victims in Spotorno. They were all his age and they were all abused over a ten year period. That’s a huge figure since there are 5,000 inhabitants there. It means that Father Nello managed to abuse almost all teenagers there.
Italy is the symbol of the Catholic church. Vatican City, the smallest independent state in the world, is situated right in the heart of Rome. The Holy See is the sovereign of Vatican City and it’s an absolute monarchy under the Pope. Italy is the country which is conditioned more than any other by the presence of the church. Political, social, and economic choices, as well as everything else in Italy, are deeply influenced by the church.
The paedophilia scandal that involved the Catholic clergy in the entire world didn’t really blow up in Italy. One of the major problems is that there’s been a reticence to actually deal with the problem. There’s been a slowness to recognize that there is a problem and there’s also a culture of silence and shame. On the other hand, the clergy is convinced that there is a tendency to belittle the church since it still has a lot of followers. According to them, there is an attempt to scatter the church as much as possible.