ROME — A second alleged victim has filed a complaint against the papal nuncio in France for homosexual abuse after the Paris public prosecutor opened an investigation into charges that the archbishop repeatedly molested a junior mayoral aide sexually during a speech last month.
Archbishop Luigi Ventura now faces a second complaint of sexual assault which he reportedly committed in January 2018, according to reports made public Monday.
The alleged victim, 39-year-old Benjamin G., described a scene similar to that offered by the first complainant, namely that the archbishop had fondled his buttocks during a public ceremony with the Paris mayor a year ago.
“I was then employed by the Paris City Hall,” the alleged victim told Le Monde, “and as such I had specific tasks to perform for the ceremony of greetings to the civil, diplomatic, and religious authorities.”
“I was in the front row, six feet from [mayor] Anne Hidalgo, when someone came up to my left. Busy at work, I did not turn around. He put his left hand on my shoulder and with his right hand, he took my buttocks: an expert gesture, full of confidence, coupled with a big casual smile, as if it were something normal,” he said.
“I was stunned, the ceremony was going on, and so I left. I understood a few days ago that these were habitual predatory actions,” he said.
The first plaintiff, also an employee of the municipality, reported a virtually identical scene, which would have occurred under the same circumstances at City Hall, but a year later, on January 17.
A number of French outlets, including La Croix, France Inter, and the LGBT journal Têtu have published testimonials suggesting that the behavior was customary of the 74-year-old Vatican diplomat.
Archbishop Ventura has served as ambassador for 10 years, proposing candidates for future bishops to the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops. The allegations come amidst a wave of sexual abuse accusations in the clergy as well as a major book by a French journalist alleging a significant presence of actively gay priests and bishops in the Vatican.
The book, titled In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy, asserts that some 80 percent of Vatican prelates are homosexual.
In a statement issued last week, the Vatican press office said that the Holy See had learned of the investigation from media reports and that it “awaits the results of the investigations.”
On Thursday a major Vatican summit on clerical sex abuse will take place with the participation of the heads of the national bishops’ conference from around the world.
A series of recent studies suggest that globally the problem of clerical sex abuse is predominantly homosexual in nature, as some three out of four victims of priestly abuse are male.
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