Dealing with a Catholic organization that allegedly tortured children may be the easiest of Pope Francis’ challenges as he visits Chile and Peru this week.
What is a boy to do when his spiritual mentor, part of a group that claims it is leading young people on the path of Christ, says that God, working in mysterious ways, wants him to fondle and be fondled, to lie naked with grown men, to be sodomized? Too often and for too long in too many parts of the world, those experiences have been kept as guilty secrets, not by the perpetrators but by the victims.
“I thought I had been selected by the devil to provide sexual services to this man,” as one of those boys explained to investigators.
Only when the press has documented the cases has action been taken to expose some of the perpetrators, although far from all of them.
Such is the situation in Peru and Chile, where Pope Francis is paying a visit this week. However beneficent his reputation, the sordid past of such men and institutions keeps coming back to afflict his papacy like a recurrent, debilitating disease.
Luis Fernando Figari, the 70-year-old founder of Peru’s conservative Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV) Catholic movement used psychological manipulation and sexual torture on young members of his Catholic organization, according to his victims. He and three other men stand accused, though not yet officially charged by Peruvian authorities, of sexually and psychologically assaulting dozens of little boys and young men throughout the ’90s and early 2000s by threatening them with the wrath of God if they didn’t succumb to their wanton pleasures of the flesh.
One of the alleged perpetrators, Jeffrey Daniels Valderrama, now lives in Chicago, where he has told authorities he is innocent of the Peruvian allegations, according to the Chicago Tribune.
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SOURCE: BARBIE LATZA NADEAU