Vatican City, Oct 6, 2021 / 08:00 am
The Vatican tribunal cleared a priest who formerly served as a papal altar boy and the ex-rector of a Vatican-based youth seminary of crimes on Wednesday.
Defendant Fr. Gabriele Martinelli, 29, was acquitted of charges of violent sexual assault alleged to have taken place at the Pius X pre-seminary. The school’s former rector, 72-year-old Fr. Enrico Radice, was cleared of charges of cover-up.
The ruling came at the end of a year-long trial for alleged abuse at the Pius X pre-seminary, a residence in Vatican City for about a dozen boys aged 12 to 18 who serve at papal Masses and other liturgies in St. Peter’s Basilica and are considering the priesthood.
The Vatican announced in May that Pope Francis had decided to move the pre-seminary outside of Vatican City State beginning in September.