At an historic press conference yesterday, two groups fighting to end church terror against children formally joined forces and announced the launching of a public campaign commencing in Rome on September 20.
Francesco Zanardi of Rete L'Abuso and Kevin Annett of The International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS) disclosed their joint campaign to Italian reporters and activists at a morning press conference in the northern Italian city of Savona.
"We want to not only prosecute the priests who rape childen but change the laws that let them get away with it" explained Francesco Zanardi, to thunderous applause.
Zanardi is himself a survivor of serial rape during the 1980's by a Catholic priest namd Nello Giraudo, who was protected and aided by Cardinal Domenico Calcagno.
Calcagno is now a prominent official in the Vatican Bank and helped elect the present Pope Francis.
"The Lateran Treaty obligates Italy to help the Vatican commit crime. That Treaty has to go" said Zanardi.
On behalf of the ITCCS, Kevin Annett also spoke at the press conference, and pledged the Tribunal's "total support" to Zanardi and Rete L'Abuso.
Annett presented an authorized letter to Zanardi from the Central Office of the ITCCS that formally affiliated the Tribunal with the Italian group and guaranteed "direct action" throughout Italy in September.
"The Italian government helps a convicted criminal like (former Pope) Joseph Ratzinger evade arrest inside the Vatican, while persecuting a brave and honest man like Francesco Zanardi" said Annett.
"We've written to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and demanded that he abide by international law and extradite Ratzinger from the Vatican to face justice for helping traffic children to priestly rapists".
In a bilingual statement released to the media (see link below), the ITCCS stated that unless the Italian government begins steps to extradite Ratzinger and revoke the Lateran Treaty with the Vatican, civil disobedience actions will begin in Italian catholic churches and four cities on September 20, and will be accompanied by an internationl boycott campaign against Italian goods, trade and tourism.
Citizen groups in Savona, Genoa, Reggio Emilia and Rome have agreed to participate in these actions.
Kevin Annett will return to Italy in mid September to help inaugurate the campaign with Francesco Zanardi and local activists at special events in Rome and Savona on September 20.
See www.itccs.org for more updates and information, and write to this email to contact Francesco Zanardi and Rete L'Abuso.