Priest on trial: accused of breaking confession seal

The ecclesiastical trial for an Italian priest accused of breaking the seal of confession has begun.

Orazio Caputoto is accused of informing members of a controversial lay group Catholic Culture and Environment Association (ACCA) of a police investigation into their leader for sexually abusing minors.

If Caputo is found guilty of breaking the confessional seal, he could be excommunicated according to canon law.

Caputo’s alleged crime occurred after the mother of one of ACCA victims spoke to him during Reconciliation (confession)in 2017.

The mother says she told him of her concerns for her daughter’s safety with the lay-led organisation.

She says she also told Caputo of a police investigation of ACCA’s “Twelve Apostles” – the top officials of the association and its charismatic lay leader, Piero Alfio Capuna.

Capuna’s acolytes thought he was the reincarnation of the Archangel Michael. He has since been charged with sexually abusing 10 underage girls while he headed ACCA.

In addition to his ecclesiastical trial, Caputo is undergoing civil proceedings. He is charged with aiding and abetting a criminal conspiracy.

According to wire-tapped phone conversations obtained by the police, Caputo informed the former president of ACCA and a regional councillor were about the police investigation.

If Caputo is guilty – canonically and civilly – of informing the ACCA leadership of the investigation, his acts would have allegedly allowed Capuna and his associates to hide any proof, documentation and information that could incriminate them.

“I hope that Caputo pays for what he did. First of all because I believed in him, I trusted him, but he betrayed me with the people who abused my daughter. I hope this will go well eventually and help in the civil trial,” the mother says.

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News category: World.

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