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Priest accused of abusing orphans

Priest accused of abusing orphans

The Rev Joseph Maurizio Jr, 69, pastor at Our Lady Queen of Angels Church, allegedly travelled to Honduras  to engage in sex with children while promoting missionary work with the poor.

According to this report, the Pennsylvania priest was arrested this week by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

Documents reveal that the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and law enforcement agencies first learned of the allegations five years ago.

Church officials, the Attorney General’s Office and the FBI were all declining to comment Friday.

Maurizio spent two decades working with orphaned children in Central America. Homeland Security investigators say some of those same children were his victims.

Said David Clohessy, national director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

We see this very, very often with child-molesting Catholic clerics. They gravitate toward communities or countries where kids are especially vulnerable.

In July, an investigator interviewed several of Maurizio’s alleged victims in Honduras.

In one case, court records say a victim known as John Doe 3:

Observed Maurizio reach over, place his hand inside a minor boy’s pants, and touch the minor boy’s genital area.

That same victim said he saw:

John Doe 2 and Maurizio engaging in sexual intercourse inside the chapel.

Two weeks ago, authorities searched the rectory of Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in Central City, Somerset County, where Maurizio is pastor, and found multiple images of child pornography.

The allegations against Maurizio first surfaced in 2009, when volunteers reported him to the diocese, the FBI and the state attorney general. But the case apparently floundered until this year.

Maurizio is in jail, awaiting a detention hearing tomorrow morning. He has said abuse allegations against him were a bogus plot by the Honduran government to thwart his charity work.

Maurizio’s attorney, Steven Passarello, said the criminal complaint regurgitates allegations made five years ago after the priest’s charity had a falling out with a local charity. He said children were bribed or coerced into making abuse allegations.

9 responses to “Priest accused of abusing orphans”

  1. Toto says:

    This is not news anymore. The ranks of the pious are riddled with child rapists.

  2. Robster says:

    ” He has said abuse allegations against him were a bogus plot by the Honduran government to thwart his charity work”. Of course they were, the government realises the poor are fine and charity is no longer needed. It’s rather a giggle that these catholic clergy manage to infiltrate vulnerable societies to pursue their sickening fantasies, a veneer of respectability with dog collar and probably a silly hat. All clergy should, in the interests of child safety, be chained up ’til Sunday and then released with oversight to do whatever it is they do, serve up some jesus, turn wafers into the dead deity, lie to the receptive audience and waste another life pursuing nonsense.

  3. Trevor Blake says:

    It takes one clergyman to rape a child, thousands of clergymen to shelter him, and millions of Christians to shrug their shoulders and do nothing about it. One moment of concentrated effort on the part of those millions and reform would happen fast as lightning. One day of refraining from donated funds and labor to the Church, perhaps. Nah, it’s somebody else’s problem. A few raped children is a small price to pay for religious peace of mind – that’s how Christianity looks to me.

  4. barriejohn says:

    Has anyone linked to the following recent story on this site?

    http://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2014/09/popes-former-envoy-under-arrest-over-child-abuse-charges

    He underwent a canonical, as opposed to criminal, trial at the Vatican which concluded he should be defrocked. Nevertheless the well-connected Wesolowski, ordained both as a priest and a bishop by St. John Paul II, was seen in June walking freely in a street in Rome.

    Let’s see what happens now. A criminal trial in the Vatican would, indeed, be “pointless”!

  5. Lon says:

    Let us join hands and sing together all verses of “The Pope Song,”
    “F**k the motherf**ker…”

  6. Paul Cook says:

    That song is by Tim Minchin.

  7. Paul Cook says:

    @Trevor Blake

    That first sentence is very well said. Well done.

    Each time it is beyond belief how mendacious are all these people and the only thing the rcc does is cover up to protect itself.

    It just astonishes me how the millions do shrug their shoulders.
    To them it is unbelievable a priest could rape a child – yet it’s perfectly believable that a man a ghost and a god are one.

  8. Broga says:

    I read that Frankie says Ratzi is his father figure advisor. So, not much to hope for there on tackling the priestly paedo epidemic.

  9. why do i have to share this planet with religious idiots says:

    He looks rather ordinary..one could say pathetic…when he is not clad in his priestly finery.