The Nov. 19 hearing was the third in the ongoing Vatican trial. Martinelli, who has been charged with using violence and his authority to commit sexual abuse, will be questioned at the next hearing, scheduled to take place on Feb. 4, 2021.
At the around two-hour long hearing, Radice was questioned about his knowledge of allegations of abuse against Martinelli, as well as about the alleged abuser and his alleged victim.
The priest described the boys at the pre-seminary as “serene and calm.” He said the alleged victim, L.G., had a “lively intelligence and was very dedicated to studies,” but over time had become “pedantic, presumptuous.” He said that L.G. had a “predilection” for the Old Rite of the Mass, arguing that this is why he “teamed up” with another student, Kamil Jarzembowski.
Jarzembowski is an alleged witness to the crime and a former roommate of the alleged victim. He 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.
At the Nov. 19 hearing, Radice described Jarzembowski as “withdrawn, estranged.” Radice said that the defendant, Martinelli, was “sunny, joyful, on good terms with everyone.”
Radice said he never saw or heard of abuse in the pre-seminary, that the walls were thin so he would have heard something, and that he checked to make sure the boys were in their rooms at night.
“No one has ever told me about abuse, not the students, not the teachers, not the parents,” the priest said.
Radice claimed that the testimony of alleged witness Jarzembowski was motivated by revenge for having been kicked out of the pre-seminary for “insubordination and because he did not take part in community life.”
The St. Pius X pre-seminary is a residence 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.
Located on Vatican City territory, the pre-seminary is run by a Como-based religious group, the Opera Don Folci.
The defendant Martinelli was an alumnus of the youth seminary and would return as a visitor to tutor and coordinate the students’ activities. He is accused of abusing his authority at the seminary and taking advantage of relationships of trust, as well as using violence and threats, in order to force his alleged victim “to undergo carnal acts, sodomy, masturbation on himself and on the boy.”
The alleged victim, L.G., was born in 1993 and was 13 at the time the alleged abuse began, turning 18 about a year before it ended.
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Martinelli, who is a year older than L.G., was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Como in 2017.
Radice was the youth seminary’s rector for 12 years. He is accused, as rector, of having helped Martinelli “evade investigations, after crimes of sexual assault and lechery.”
Giuseppe Pignatone, president of the Vatican tribunal, asked Radice why he said that Jarzembowski and L.G. were motivated by “economic interests” if Radice had been informed of letters with allegations against Martinelli by Cardinal Angelo Comastri and Bishop Diego Attilio Coletti of Como in 2013, but the allegations were made public only in 2017. Radice said it was his “intuition.”
The priest again praised Martinelli. He “was a leader, he had the makings of a leader, I saw him grow, he did every duty well,” Radice said. He added that Martinelli was “trusted,” but he did not have power or responsibility because ultimately decisions were up to Radice as rector.
During the interrogation of the former rector, it was revealed that the alleged victim L.G. testified that he spoke to Radice about the abuse in 2009 or 2010, and that Radice “responded aggressively” and L.G. “was marginalized.”
L.G. stated in his affidavit that he “continued to be abused” and he was “not the only one to be abused and to speak with Radice.”