Pope Francis (Wikimedia Commons)

Pope Francis (Wikimedia Commons)

A Brazilian mother is accusing Pope Francis of directly covering up the sex abuse of her son by a pedophile priest 16 years ago when the pope, then known as Jorge Bergoglio, was the archbishop of Buenos Aires.

Beatriz Varela was employed in a diocesan school when the abuse of her son, Gabriel Ferrini, then 14, took place Aug. 15, 2002 – turning to Bishop Luis Stöcker.

Beatriz Varela

Beatriz Varela

“Initially, he showed consternation, but, as the time went by, he did not take any action,” Varela said. “Instead,” she said, he “tried to minimize the case, saying that I had to be merciful with persons who chose celibacy as a vocation because they have moments of weakness. Bergoglio was aware of this situation [the sex-abuse of her son] because no one can be installed in the Vicar’s House without the authorization of the archbishop. This is Bergoglio’s compromise: He speaks against cases of pedophilia in the Church, but uses hypocrisy, lies and complicity to cover them.”

Varela reportedly told the bishop that she wanted “truth, justice and the guarantee that such a thing would not happen to anyone else.” She says the Bishop then threatened to cut her employment.

“I worked for a school in the diocese,” she said, explaining her difficult situation.

Next, she took her case to the Beatriz had recourse to the Church Tribunal, whose president “refused to accept the denunciation.”

Fifteen days later, she says, she was interviewed by four priests “who submitted me to a humiliating interrogation with lascivious and tendentious questions, as if I were the one who had induced the abuse, when they knew for sure that the abuser had admitted the fact 96 hours after the episode before the bishop, who reprimanded him.”

The case has been reported in foreign media, and, in at least one instance, pulled after publication.

Gabriel Ferrini

Gabriel Ferrini

Journalist Atila Sinke Guimarães backs up Varela’s story, charging a media cover-up is still underway, “probably due to pressure from the Vatican.”

“Marco Tosatti from La Stampa in Turin, Italy, posted an article on his website Stilum Curiae reporting the involvement of Pope Francis in a cover-up for a pedophile priest in Buenos Aires when he was archbishop of that city,” he says. “The article refreshed some little-known old data reported by the Spanish blog Publico. Soon after, however, Tossatti’s article was removed from that site.”

Since then the report has been picked up by at least two other Catholic publications.

Guimarães adds the pope, when he was serving as archbishop of Buenos Aires, hosted “the pedophile priest [who abused Varela’s son] in a comfortable residence under his jurisdiction.” At the same time he was hosting the perpetrator of the crime, Guimarães says Francis “refused to receive her [Varela] and ordered his bodyguards to prevent her from entering his residence.”

The entire original story has been “been transcribed by another Italian website – Acta Apostolicae Sedis. The Brazilian blog Fratres in Unum made the piece accessible in Portuguese.

The new allegations against Pope Francis follow the resignation of two more Chilean bishops caught up in that country’s sexual abuse scandal – bringing to five the number he has accepted so far.

Bishops Alejandro Goic Karmelic of the city of Rancagua and Horacio del Carmen Valenzuela Abarca of the city of Talca would be replaced by commissioners, known as apostolic administrators, a statement said.

Francis accepted the resignations of three other bishops June 11. In May, all of Chile’s 34 bishops offered to resign en masse after a meeting with the pope over allegations of a cover-up of sexual abuse.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.