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Friday, April 23, 2010

To Cardinal Levada, Vatican, From Joe Callander, Survivor, Re Mario Pezzotti, Pedophile Priest, and Church Complicity

Mailed from Boston USA

April 16, 2010

Joseph Callander
Windsor, Vermont
United States of America
(Telephone Number)

William Cardinal Levada, Prefect
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Vatican City

Subject: Fr. Mario Pezzotti, sx

Dear Cardinal Levada,

My name is Joseph Callander. When I was fourteen years old, there was nothing more that I wanted than to become a priest. My family sent me to a minor seminary with the Xaverian Missionary Fathers in Holliston, Massachusetts. Shortly after my arrival, I was routinely raped by Fr. Mario Pezzotti in the middle of the night. I cannot begin to count the number of times I was violated. I tried to get help from the other priests, but no one protected me. Despite witnessing, Fr. Mario confessing the rape to either Fathers Oddo or Signorelli, neither one of them intervened to prevent Fr. Mario from raping me again. I was only fourteen years old! Father Mario received absolution; I received this shame for life. I begged my mother to remove me from the seminary, but she required me to remain there until the end of the school year. Father Mario has left scars on my life, that are so deep; you cannot imagine how difficult it has been.

Throughout my life, I have always been preoccupied with other children that Father Mario could have abused. In 1993, I came forward again, this time to the Order’s American provincial, Father Robert Maloney. I wanted to make sure that Father Mario could no longer have access to innocent children. Father Maloney assured me many times that Father Mario would be kept away from children. I believed him. Not long ago, I discovered recent photos of Father Mario in Brazil, clenching naked Amazonian children. These photos were featured on recent newsletters that were published by both the Xaverian Missionary Fathers in Italy and the Diocese of Brescia. Chills travelled up my spine upon seeing him with these poor children. I trusted the words of Father Maloney who guaranteed me that Father Mario would never be allowed to be near children. I was betrayed once again.

I directed my outrage to the newest American Xaverian leadership, who now assured me that Father Pezzotti would be removed from the missions in Brazil and ordered home to Italy. How can I ever trust this Church to be sincere to their word? I am talking about something simple, protecting innocent children. I have listened to the words of the Holy Father, expressing his sorrow for the thousands of victims of abuse by priests; yet I have never been fully assured that the Church cares enough to take serious measures to never allow this to happen again.

Father Mario enjoys his status as a priest in good standing; and The Xaverian Missionary Order has continued to place the safety of children over their preoccupation of scandal.

Complicity does not protect children, action does. I am now demanding accountability from this Church. Doing nothing is no longer acceptable.

Both Father Mario and the Xaverian Missionary Order must be sanctioned by the Church.

Failure to administer justice undermines the good name of the institution. The Church’s recent promises of reform are meaningless if there is no accountability. This case is by no means unique. Immediate action must be taken globally. The Xaverian Missionaries have been able to act globally by silently transferring known child molesters to unsuspecting countries. This is a crime, that must be stopped. Responsibility now lies with you.

My words in this letter are from my heart. This is not petty gossip. It is time we move beyond the verbiage and address this crisis seriously. The safety of our children are at risk until you act in Rome.


Joseph Callander

Cc: Pope Benedict XVI; Monsignor Sicluna; Cardinal Rode; Rev, Rino Benzoni; Rev Carl Chudy

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