(Berne) Mon Père, je vous pardonne ("Father, I forgive you"), is the most recent book by the Swiss Philosopher Daniel Pittet from Freiburg in Üchtland, where he elaborated his experiences, as a child for four years at the hands of his countryman, Capuchin Father Joël Allaz. The preface to the book was written by Pope Francis. Father Joël has been released from the order and dismissed from the clerical state.
"I was alone"
The book on and against the sexual abuse of children by priests, narrated in a very concrete style, has caused a great sensation because the preface was written by no less than Pope Francis. Daniel Potter is now 58 years old. At the age of 8-12, Joël Allaz, the priest of the Oratory, had Mistrewted him. "I was a child, petrified, crying bathtubs of tears, but I could not resist."
"I have forgiven him," is the message of the author. But nothing should be concealed, nothing should be denied or downplayed. It is rather about "healing these wounds" and "making a clean slate." He was a "shy and fragile" child. His family situation was broken.
"I was alone." The Capuchin Father "should have helped me and not been able to take advantage of the situation".
A great aunt finally suspected and took steps to protect the child.
"80 percent pedophiles were raped as children"
Petit, with the help of therapy, has succeedsed in leaving behind this "hell" which he has experienced. It was a long, painful path between repressing, wanting to forget and the search for his place in life. "Sometimes I wonder where I would have been today, if that had not happened to me." He has met many other people since then. It was important to help them. This is due to their human dignity, but also necessary, because otherwise there is the danger that they will do the same to others.
"80 percent of pedophiles were raped as children,"
Pittet said this in an interview with the daily La Repubblica last February. Pittet is not an accuser against the Church:
"90 per cent of the abuses occur in the family environment",
the Freiburg man knows this because of the many encounters with other victims.
Joël Allaz was transferred to France after Pittet's accusation. That was years later. Pittet then learned that the transfer had not changed him. The Capuchin abused other boys as well in the neighboring country.
"He did not apologize"
Daniel Pittet: "Father, I forgive you" appears on 18 August 2017
About a year before the publication of his book, Pittet met the man who had abused him for four years. "He looked at me. I saw his fear. But he neither apologized nor seemed to regret the suffering he had given me. "The Capuchin had also shown himself as an" egoist "at that moment and only spoke of his "suffering." Nevertheless, his victim has forgiven him: "I have seen in him a sick man who has nothing to do with my faith, which remains untouched by it. But I am fighting for the Church to break its silence and expose the pedophiles. "This is the case in Switzerland, but not yet in other countries.
Pittet entered the Benedictine Abbey of Einsiedeln. It has been "four years of happiness and healing" for him, as he says today. He recognizes, however, that he is not called to religious life. He is still looking for his place with its ups and downs:
"I had to decide whether I wanted to keep faith or not. I followed the advice of Cardinal Charles Journet, with whom I had been an altar server. if you are suffering, go to Bürglen [a place of pilgrimage in the south-east of Friburg] nine times. At the ninth time I met a girl in the chapel who was crying. I have entrusted her to the Mother of God and have chosen me for faith."
He has became active in the prayer apostolate, until after a few years his past arose in him. He turned to a canonist at his home diocese and was heard. In fact, something happened. The Order sent the Capuchin to France and declared that he would be treated and no longer have contact with children. In 2002 Pittet had come to realize that this was not true.
"The pope had tears in his eyes"
Pope Francis had met Daniel Pittet in 2015 when he introduced him to another book written by him.
"He asked me, 'Where do you get the strength, for your missionary spirit?' He was never satisfied with my answer. Finally, I told him: Holy Father, I was abused by a priest. He looked at me dumbly and with tears in his eyes and hugged me."
The Pope urged him to testify about this in a book and wrote the preface.
"Strong and courageous words of condemnation against pedophilia and silence that kills," the author said.
It took the preface of Pope Francis, so that something was finally done about Joel Allaz. The Swiss Capuchin Province announced last Friday, June 23rd that Joël Allaz was released from his solemn vows by decision of the Roman Congregation of the Congregation of Faith of May 20th, and was released from the clerical state. In other words, Joël Allaz, meanwhile 76 years old, was suspended and expelled from the Capuchin Order. The statement also states:
"The Capuchins, however, are not simply throwing J. Allaz, who has become sick and frail, in the street. According to the claims of the Gospel, which demands justice and mercy, the Order still grants him shelter in one of their houses."
On 18 August 2017 the book has appeared under the title "Father, I forgive you! Abused, but not broken" in Herder-Verlag in its German edition.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Publisher (Screenshots)
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org