Pietro Gelmini (which news stories also spell Gelimini) founded centers for the homeless and drug addicts. He was prominent, popular, influential, and well connected to the Italian right, including Silvio Berluscone and Rocco Butiglione.

Then the accusations began. Young men said he had sexually abused them. He said that he had kicked them out for stealing, and that the accusations were the work of the Jews: “The truth is that, starting in the United States, a Jewish-radical chic offensive is underway aimed at discrediting the Catholic Church. Paedophiles are everywhere in society “ He then corrected himself. He “had meant to say a Masonic lobby instead of a Jewish one.”   Victorio Messori said that Italy was importing “an American obsession with pedophilia.” Cardinal Bertone said the charges were lies, all lies. 

Gelmini has just resigned from the priesthood so that, he has claimed, he can defend himself better. He has not explained, nor has anyone been able to explain why being voluntarily laicized makes it easier for him to defend himself.

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