Italian Catholic Priest Accused Of Using Exorcisms To Sexually Assault Women

Father Michele Barone with Pope Francis

The Times

“Police have arrested a Catholic priest accused of using exorcism sessions to sexually abuse a number of vulnerable young women, including a girl aged 14.

Maria Antonietta Troncone, the co-ordinating prosecutor, said that Father Michele Barone had allegedly beaten, insulted and threatened the women and subjected them to sexual acts while “liberating” them from demonic possession. They were encouraged to sleep in the nude with him and his mistress, she said, with one woman told that she would be “punished by the Madonna, St Michael and other angels and saints” if she did not perform the sexual acts demanded of her.

Father Barone, who was not authorised to carry out exorcisms, is alleged to have persuaded the women to stop taking prescribed medicines and to adopt a diet of milk, biscuits and glucose solution. He has been suspended from priestly activities for a year.

The parents of the 14-year-old victim have been placed under house arrest for alleged complicity in the abuses, as has Luigi Schettino, a local police officer who is accused of attempting to persuade the girl’s sister to withdraw an official complaint that she had lodged with his office.

The case came to light after the sister reported the alleged abuse to journalists on a satirical television programme.”

Il Secolo (In Italiano) (Translated buy Google Translate)

Sexual violence against minors during exorcisms, arrested priest

“One of the victims, if she had rebelled against sexual violence, “would certainly have been” punished by Our Lady, by Saint Michael and by other Angels and Saints. Another minor, she would have been mistreated several times and forced to eat only milk to “purify the soul” and to suffer violence. Protagonist of the incredible story, according to the Santa Maria Capua Vetere Public Prosecutor’s Office (Caserta), a priest, Fr Michele Barone, who acted with the “conscious and voluntary contribution” of the minor’s parents and the support of a police officer.

The terrible story of abuse and violence led to the arrest in prison of the priest of the Ariosto aversano, 42, and to the domiciliary parents of the minor and the director of Ps, Luigi Schettino. The news of the exorcisms made by the priest on the girl (then 13 years old) had brought a week ago the bishop of the Diocese of Aversa, Monsignor Angelo Spinillo, to suspend the priest for a year from public priestly functions. The exorcisms were carried out without any authorization “and in total disregard of the rules and regulations of the clerical organization”. The Le Iene program was also involved in the case.

The Mobile Squad of the Caserta Police Headquarters, at the disposal of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, has today executed the order issued by the investigating judge. The priest, acting without any authorization from the bishop of the diocese, would have carried out “medieval and brutal exorcist rites whose execution modalities have concretized the realization of the incriminating cases of aggravated sexual violence and of ill-treatment in the family”.

In particular, the priest, engendering in young women the conviction of being possessed by the devil, would have stolen their good faith and subjected them to inhumane treatments and harmful to their dignity.

During the daily rites of “liberation and purification of the soul” the victims – according to the heavy prosecution of the Prosecutor – would have been violently beaten, brutally insulted, threatened and forced to suffer against their will sexual and practical acts particularly degrading to their dignity.

In some cases, on the instructions of the priest, the young women would have been forced to suspend the pharmacological treatments they had previously undergone due to serious illnesses they were suffering from and, by order of the priest, they would have suspended the normal diet and would have nourished for months. with a glucose drip or with milk and biscuits because «San Michele would have said».

The two parents of the minor, according to the prosecutor Maria Antonietta Troncone, have “participated in numerous episodes of ill-treatment, knowingly and voluntarily contributing to the realization of the fierce abuses against her daughter”.

According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the head of the State Police, until recently at the head of the Maddaloni police station, was close to the priest belonging to a congregation of diocesan right.

He would put pressure on the child victim’s sister to withdraw a complaint against the priest and not stop violent actions. The investigations were conducted listening to many people informed about the facts. To frame the priest there would also be videos, which depict violence, and telephone and environmental interceptions.”

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