A former roommate of the alleged victim and alleged witness to the crime, Kamil Jarzembowski, has said in the past that he reported abuse by Martinelli in 2014. Jarzembowski, who is from Poland, was later dismissed from the pre-seminary. It is unknown if Jarzembowski will testify in the trial.
Martinelli claimed that there were deep divisions among students at the seminary, which reflected a conflict between the then rector and vice rector, who disagreed about liturgy and their preferences for the Old or New Rite of the Mass.
Fr. Enrico Radice, 72, the seminary’s former rector, is also a defendant in the same trial on the charge of impeding investigations into the abuse allegation.
Radice was questioned at the last hearing, which took place on Nov. 19, 2020. He said that he never saw or heard of abuse in the pre-seminary.
The former rector maintained in his testimony that Martinelli was “sunny, joyful, on good terms with everyone,” while the alleged victim was “pedantic, presumptuous” and had a “predilection” for the Old Rite of the Mass.
In his testimony, Martinelli denied having been Radice’s protégé or having had a position of power within the youth seminary. He said that he worked with the rector and papal master of ceremonies to choose which seminarians served as altar boys at which Masses and always followed directions “very well.”
“Many people thought I was a jerk, probably also because of my personality. To each his own,” the defendant said.
During the hearing, the court was shown several messages sent on the messaging apps Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp between the defendant and alleged victim, from after they had both left the seminary.
In messages, L.G. accused Martinelli of having a “sexual perversion,” of “being interested only in people’s pains,” and of hurting him and of making him look bad to others.
Martinelli said that L.G. never addressed him verbally or in writing about the accusations and cited messages from 2012 in which the alleged victim asked him for help finding an apartment to rent.
Four anonymous letters sent by the alleged victim accusing Martinelli of abuse were also cited during the trial. The letters had been sent to Radice; Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica since 2005; Bishop Diego Coletti, the retired bishop of Como; and Pope Francis in June 2017.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
The next court hearings, scheduled for Feb. 24-25, will be dedicated to witness testimony.
The alleged abuse victim, L.G., will take the witness stand in mid-March when there will also be a visit to the premises of the youth seminary.
The Feb. 10 hearing, the fourth in the trial, was presided over by Giuseppe Pignatone, president of the Vatican tribunal.