"Information on sexual abuses carried out by the Catholic clergy in Italy is scarce. In the absence of independent investigations and trustworthy journalistic inquiries, once can only rely on the information provided by the website of the no-profit organization ‘Rete L’Abuso’. The organization, founded and chaired by Francesco Zanardi, who was himself a victim of abuse, gathers and collects a multitude of materials on the subject, albeit in a rather chaotic manner. To write this book, its authors spent countless hours consulting and organizing the documents stored on the website, that constitute an essential starting point to any attempt at analysis of this phenomenon in Italy. They also move us to a deep reflection upon the modalities not just of the abuse, but also of its cover-up at the hands of the Church. It has been widely demonstrated, how the Catholic Church’s modus operandi remains the same all over the world: hide and conceal the known cases, show utter indifference toward the victims and protect the alleged abusers at all costs.
The study of particularly significant cases of violence and abuse carried out by the clergy is at odds with the general opinion and the current legal culture, with the approval of new legislation regarding cases of rape and sexual harassment. The distance between the Church’s stance on the matter and that of the surrounding civil society is undoubtably growing wider by the day. This book is, thus, also an appeal to the Church as an institution to effectively intervene and put an end to this established system of cover-ups, starting with the identification and adequate punishment of the perpetrators. Furthermore, it is also an appeal to all Catholics: stop being passive and tolerant about this, don’t feel discouraged or cynical, and take action to save the Church from itself. This is the way to enact a profound change inspired by the teachings of the Gospels."