"The Christian faithful (…) have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful". (Code of canon Law Can. 212 §2-3)

"Communication both within the Church community, and between the Church and the world at large, requires openness (…) so as to promote a correctly-informed and discerning public opinion within the Christian community". (Apostolic Letter "The rapid Development" of the Holy Father John Paul II, 2005.1.24 n.12)

It’s time for the truth.

Father Andrea D’Ascanio, founder of the Armata Bianca of our Lady movement, an organization dedicated to the protection of newly-formed life and early childhood, has been forced, by means of a resolution of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Secretary’s Office of the Roman Curia), to suspend his activity as spiritual assistant of the aforementioned movement, which keeps its identity that at the time was approved by the archbishop of L’Aquila, Monsignor Mario Peressin, as well as many other bishops.

The members of the International Committee in favor of Padre Andrea D’Ascanio, have submitted requests to discover the real reasons underlying such suspension decision, but to no avail.

Faced with this silence and taking into account the availability of documents that are public knowledge, they pretend to make use thereof so that the ministry developed by Father Andrea remains unharmed in the hearts and minds of those who have benefited from it.

These actions are to be carried out as an act of thanks to God, in virtue of having allowed this humble capuchin padre to be a missionary of the Love of Jesus and Maria if children, who are the principal victims of all forms of physical and moral violence.


Approval and development of the Movement

The Armata Bianca of our Lady movement was born and developed in L’Aquila; it was approved and sponsored by the deceased Archbishop, his Excellence Monsignor Mario Peressin. Posteriorly, it was implemented in many dioceses around the world, with the approval of local Bishops. The movement continued to grow and carry out its work.


Who is Father Andrea D’Ascanio?

Born on the 15th of February 1935, he was ordained a priest on the 25th of March 1962. He obtained an arts degree and the title of Theologian.

The basis of his activity is prayer and such spirit is communicated to those who surround him. The mainstays of his spiritual direction are the Consecration to God the Father with Mary, for Mary and in Mary; the Communion and the daily Rosary; the Confession every eight, or at the most, every ten days. The fruit of this lineal ministry action are the Christian families and the vocations achieved to the heart of the Armata Bianca.

Since 1973, always with the blessing and consensus of the Superiors and in obedience with the mandate of their spiritual directors, Saint Pio of Pietrelcina and God’s servants, Father Pio Dellepiane, of the Minor Fathers; Father Andrea founded the Armata Bianca of our Lady, with which he has carried out diverse activities, which are summarized in continuation:

  • the consecration of children to the Heavenly Father in the spirit of Fatima (“Children will save the world!”, as Father Pio of Pietrelcina said so many times); to date, more than two million children have been consecrated all overt the world;
  • the children’s Nests of Prayer;
  • the preparation of children for the First Communion, the first use of reason;
  • the organization of a special audience in which his Holiness, John Paul II, received 10,000 children from the Armata Bianca granted in 1989, which took place in the Nervi room of the Vatican: the first time in history due to its size and for children;
  • the realization, in the cemetery of L’Aquila, for the first time in the world, of the burial of children due to practicing of abortions and the installation of a statue of Mary Mother of Unborn Children, which was ordered to be sculpted by him and which, as the topping to the cake, has become a symbol of the defenders of Life, in the cemeteries of the different nations in which unborn children are not born;
  • the organization, since 1989, immediately after the fall of Communism, of the Pilgrimage of Mary (Peregrinatio Mariae) in the countries of Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Rumania, Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Belarus);
  • the establishment of the order of the capuchins in Rumania, from which today’s Province of ???? was born with priests;
  • the finding of the land in Onesti, Rumania, for the building of an Ecumenical house, opened in 1995;
  • the clandestine introduction, on the other side of the Iron Curtain, of complete sets for the installation of seven radiobroadcasters, obtaining from the government of Moscow, through Monsignor Antonimi, a network frequency for the whole of Russia, which was later occupied by the existing Radio Mary Moscow;
  • the filmed interviews of priests and laymen, true martyrs of these times, survivors of the horrors of the concentration camps and of the jails during the Communist regime;
  • the support for the building of a great church, the first dedicated to God the Father, in Zaporoze (Ukraine);
  • - the restructuring of the church of Saint Peter in Assergi (L’Aquila), which was in ruins and was used as an animal rescue center, now it enjoys its new status as a holy site;
  • the restructuring of the Santa Maria delle Buone Novelle (Sant’ Apollonia) complex in L’Aquila, which included a church, parochial house, street and adjacent square;
  • the dissemination of the message, dictated by God the Father and the Mother Eugenia Ravasio, acknowledged as valid by the Church, translated and published in 25 languages;
  • the organization of nighttime prayer nights, on the 6th or 7th every month, in honor of God the Father, such nights are held in several parts of the world;
  • the promotion of retreats, meetings and courses for the realization of spiritual exercises in Italy and abroad, dedicated to the Person of God the Father;
  • the publication of newspapers (Leonessa and its Saint, which has reached its 47th anniversary, The Nests of Prayer of the Armata Bianca. God is the Father), as well as numerous spirituality books and small saint biographies.

For more information about the life and work of Father Andrea D’Ascanio, we suggesting going to the http://armatabianca.org/eng/padre-andrea-dascanio.php website.

How is it possible that this religious man, spiritual son of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina and of God’s Servant, Father Pio Dellepiane; held in such high esteem by a Pope of the importance of John Paul II, who granted his Movement the biggest audience in history just for children; who has carried out so many activities both in Italy and around the world… is suddenly involved in a series of processes in which he is accused of a load of offenses?

Let’s move on to a brief examination of the genesis and conclusion of these processes in order to be able to reach one of our own that answers such question. Firstly, we will review these processes in chronological order:

1. First ecclesiastical process in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1998 – 2002)

2. First and second criminal processes (1999-2003 and 2004-2006)

3. Civil process (2000-2004)

4. Second ecclesiastical process (2003 – 2005)


1. First ecclesiastical process in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1998 – 2002)

His excellence , Monsignor Peressin, ceased his work as Bishop of L’Aquila in the month of May 1998 and on the 6th of June the same year his successor started his Episcopal activity, his excellence Monsignor Giuseppe Molinari.

Only three days after having taken office, he called Father Andrea D’Ascanio to the Curia to hand him notification that a proceeding had been filed against him in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This process has already begun since his arrival at L’Aquila as Coadjutor Bishop in 1996, with the total ignorance thereof by his direct Superior. Such process, which included 9 serious accusations, was concluded on the 16th of April 2002. in continuation is an extract of the judgment passed in such process, with which it was closed:

On the 16th of April 2002, the undersigned justices, decide to pass the following judgment with regards to the new accusations (cfr. canon. 1614), which lead to this process:

  1. Repeated omissions of coercive measures in accordance with the terms of canon 1387 (…)- the Court states that the accused should be acquitted (…)
  2. Acquittal of the accomplice in the committal of a sin made against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue (…) – the Court acquits the accused, because the fact no longer subsists.
  3. Violation of the secrecy of the confessional, in accordance with the provisions of canon 1388 §1. (…) – the Court considers that based on the proceedings, no violation of the secrecy of the confessional can be seen, not even directly, and consequently, the accused is acquitted.
  4. Heresy (…) – this Court acquits the accused of the offense of heresy.
  5. Explicit incitation to despise the Church and against the Holy Father, pursuant to canon 1369 (…)- the Court acquits the accused, because the fact does not subsist.
  6. External sins against the sixth precept of the Decalogue with permanent scandal. – The Court acquits the accused, because the facts no longer subsist.
  7. Celebration of sacraments and of the Eucharist outside of the authorized place (…) – the accused is acquitted (…)
  8. Lines and permanent slander, of a serious nature with injury to the faithful, (…) – the Court acquits the accused, because the facts no longer subsist (…)
  9. Pharisaic and commercial activity. (…) – the Court acquits Father Andrea D’Ascanio, because this offense does not subsist.

On the 27th of September 2002, an explanation of the reasons why Father Andrea had been declared innocent was issued, in which the conspiracy theory was accepted, which had been made by the justices. In continuation, several excerpts of the judgment in question are shown, which list the principal arguments on which the innocence of Father Andrea is based and the “conspiracy” theory prepared against him.

On this date, the 16th of April 2002, the Apostolic Court, called in accordance with canon 1609, in the head offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has judged and resolved the following case (...)

This judicial process formally began with the appointment and searing-in of the members of the Court (26th of May 1998). Anyway, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had been overlooking the case until the month of November 1996, at which time, believing the serious and numerous accusations filed against Father Andrea D’Ascanio, it had adopted several precautionary provisions with regards thereto; although it is true that such decisions were not directly related to the accused (...) Consequently, in virtue of the decision of the holder of the criminal action (the “Administrative” Authority of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [CDF according to its abbreviation in Italian]) to start the judicial process by means of the commission given to the Most Reverend Promoter of Justice to file a complaint, it may appear that this Court only had to “validate” such hard-to-answer accusations in the judicial circle, and, consequently, only to apply the suitable penalties merited by Father Andrea D’Ascanio.

On the contrary, reality turned out to be very different from initial expectations. The CDF, when passing the coercive measures referred to above and in other practices, from the very start of the judicial process, had taken the time to listen to the arguments of the accusers, whose credibility was heavily endorsed by His Excellence Monsignor Giuseppe Molinari, Coadjutor Archbishop of L´Aquila, and friend of one of the principal accusers and, through him, of the others.

The Court, in application of the respect of the right of defense (...) admitted the arguments of Father Andrea D’Ascanio, who (...) submitted abundant documentation (and a numerous list of texts supporting his cause) by means of which he sustains the theory that he is the victim of a conspiracy plotted by the accusers, with the complicity, although not particularly deceitful, of other individuals. The aforementioned defensive material had been submitted, for the most part, to the CDF by His Excellence Monsignor Mario Peressin – to the then Archbishop of L’Aquila (...), without having been taken into account by His Excellence Monsignor Giuseppe Molinari (...).

In reality, the complaint took into account only a part of the preliminary investigation, the part of the “denouncement” (cfr. Minutes of the process, no. 15). However, defense documentation exists in the CDF, submitted by His Excellence Monsignor Mario Peressin, on the 24th of June 1997, documentation which the Court had formal knowledge of in virtue of the testimony of His Excellence Monsignor Mario Peressin (27th of March 1999). On such Date, the Chief Justice gave instructions to the Notary of the Court (...) to incorporate such defensive evidence, of a prejudicial nature, to the records of the judicial criminal process, in order to place them with the documentation that forms the basis of the denouncement resulting from the preliminary investigation (cfr. Minutes of the process, nos. 15 158.1. (...)

The fumus culpae started to crack, due to the fact that, at last, Father Andrea D’Ascanio had a real chance to defend himself, in virtue of his first testimony submitted to this Court. Under such circumstance, after denying all the offenses he was charged with (...), he submitted 20 exhibits in which he presented a profile of the principal accusers, (...), he demonstrated his formal adhesion to the Pontifical Teachings and attempted to demonstrate his theory that there had been a conspiracy against him and against the “Armata Bianca” (27th of November 1998, procedural minute no. 48).

This defensive line of Father Andrea D’Ascanio, that of being the victim of a conspiracy, was adopted from the start of the process in question (November 1996). (...) from this point of view, Father Andrea D’Ascanio has followed a straight and coherent line: all his procedural activity and that of his Patron Saint, has been focused on demonstrating the falsehood of the accusations made against him and on providing the foundations for the theory of a conspiracy against him. Always with conviction and, at the end of this process and with regards to the matter thereof, and in a convincing manner for the Court.

Furthermore, during his first testimony before the Court, Father Andrea D’Ascanio, with a force and spontaneity that would have been very difficult to fake (on the other hand, there are many documents that support the contents of his statements), he spoke of his formal and profound adhesion to Pontific teachings (...), particularly about those moral issues of greater controversy and sensitivity: an intense life of prayer and penitence, frequency turning to the sacrament of the reconciliation, great devotion to the Eucharist and to Mary (...), heart-felt esteem of the Body and teachings of the Holy Father, especially with regards to the operative defense of the right to life and an authentic sense of the exercise (generous and sometimes heroic) of responsible paternity, etc. (...).

Ex actis et probatis (canon 1608 §2) Don Gabriele Nanni can be considered among the principal plotters of the conspiracy against Father Andrea D’Ascanio, for which reason (to avoid possible perjury) the Chief Justice did not ask him to swear a de veritate dicenda oath. (...)

Mr. Domenico Pelliccione has acted in bad faith, has sworn in vain and had induced other to swear in vain. Therefore, it is admissible to speak of a conspiracy, initially (1996) at least against him, Father Andrea D’Ascanio. Additionally, the figure of the wife herself of the aforementioned accuser was incorporated, Mrs. Rosa Pelliccione, as one of the plotters behind the conspiracy. (...) A person, Domenico Pelliccione, who – with a past such as that described by his wife, attends Mass every day and is known to confess frequently, and who is very closely linked to the Archbishop, His Excellence Monsignor Giuseppe Molinari, etc. or who had a profound conversion to God or implements the Sacraments in order to attract the trust of the Ecclesiastical Authority... The lies told by Mr. Domenico Pelliccione (...) have a moral certainty about the fictitious nature of his supposed Christian life, as stated by his wife in her statements 1996-1997 (...).

In reality, as we have already indicated, the first victims of the conspiracy against Father Andrea D’Ascanio were His Excellence Monsignor Giuseppe Molinari and the Authorities of the CDF and other officials of the Roman Curia, who were deceived by the plotters of the conspiracy and by the persons who appeared as accusers (...).

The deceitful explanation made by Mr. Domenico Pelliccione is clearly demonstrated by the extensive evidence, such as the patent falsehoods he swore to, the many intimidations carried out against members of the Armata Bianca (...).

There is a traditional criterion of discernment, with evangelical roots (“or else, believe on account of the works themselves.” Jn 14, 11): “trees are known by their fruits”. The testimony of the Pelliccione spouses (and of the other prosecution witnesses that they presented in the Court) are full of lies and are basically motivated by their hate of Father Andrea D’Ascanio, the two children that were with them have separated from Christian life, the Pelliccione spouses themselves threaten to leave the “Institutional Church”, in the case that the Court does not sentence Father Andrea D’Ascanio, etc. They are not good fruits. On the contrary, the few witnesses of the defense presented by Father Andrea D’Ascanio, deserve great credibility.

Ex actis et probatis (canon 1608 §2) the statements by Father Padre Andrea D’Ascanio are confirmed (...).


2. First and second criminal processes (1999-2003 and 2004-2006)

The International Commission has asked itself why these processes existed.

Before the end of the ecclesiastical process, having seen that such Court foresaw a solution in favor of Father Andrea D’Ascanio, the accusers filed denouncements, notably aggravated and extending them to the whole Movement, before the Courts of L’Aquila.

The filed proceeding excessively attracted the attention of the Italian and foreign mass media, because an arrest warrant was sought against Father Andrea D’Ascanio and another 8 members of the Armata Bianca of Our Lady. The arrest warrant was never issued, only due to the sensible intervention of the Investigating Judge, who acknowledged the absolute lack of substance and did not endorse the petition made in this sense by the Public Prosecutor.

The criminal process before the Italian Court was held in the first and second instances before the Courts of L’Aquila. The two sentences passed (2003 and 2006) denied the committal of acts that could be classified as offenses by the accused (Father Andrea D’Ascanio and his collaborators) and stated that the “facts no longer subsist”. The decision of the Appeal Court is now appeallable because it is a final judgment.

During this proceeding, the Italian Court decided, among other things, to intercept the communications of the Pelliccione family and the transcription thereof exists in the records of the criminal process. From them it can be seen that all the accusations were prepared by Rosa Ciancia and her husband, Domenico Pelliccione, who from his office in the University of L’Aquila, planned, by telephone with his wife, who was at home, who she should contact to act as accusers and what accusations they should submit in writing.

From these telephone taps the existence of a conspiracy can be clearly seen


3. First and second civil processes (2000-2004)

The International Committee has been informed of who filed the civil processes.

In 1993, His Excellence Monsignor Mario Peressin had granted, under gratuitous loan for a period of twenty years to the Armata Bianca of Our Lady, the ruins of the church and parochial house of Santa Maria delle Bone Novelle (Sant’Apollonia) in L’Aquila, so that the Armata Bianca could restore them at its cost and make them its base. In 1998 the restoration work was completed, but in the year 2000, Monsignor Giuseppe Molinari filed a legal action against Father Andrea and the Armata Bianca in order to recover such properties.

The judgment at the end of 2004 confirmed the existence and validity of the gratuitous loan granted by Monsignor Peressin, leaving the premises in the hands of the Armata Bianca until 2013 and declared the testimonies submitted by the Bishop Molinari as being “false and unacceptable” (Rosa Ciancia, Domenico Pelliccione and the Secretary of the Curia, Monsignor Sergio Maggioni).


4. Second ecclesiastical process (2003 – 2005)

After the acquittal obtained in the first instance, and completely unforeseen, the First Instance Promoter of Justice himself, Monsignor Piergiorgio Marcuzzi, notwithstanding having renounced his accusation, as can be seen from the decision passed contained in the first canonic judgment, proposed the filing of an appeal against such judgment, and to this regard it is known that he argued that his appeal had been filed because the first instance judgment “did not please anyone”... as the Chief Justice of the First Collegiate Court had foreseen:

(...) This Collegiate Body reached this judgment because from the start of the process it has only attempted to obtain the truth and do justice, however (...) this Body is aware that an eventual acquittal of Father Andrea D’Ascanio, would hardly be well-received by the different authorities involved in the investigation stage and in the promotion of the criminal process (page 37).

Monsignor Marcuzzi died before the Second Instance Court was established, his place being taken by Don Janusz Kowal, who, after having received his appointment, and even having explicitly stated that he had not read the records of the process, filed his appeal as Promoter of Justice, as contained in the records of the process. Once the investigation was begun, the Justices circumscribed their investigation to the sole testimony of Rosa Ciancia Pelliccione, denying the right to contradict the aforementioned statement. Mrs. Ciancia repeated the accusations made before the Court of L’Aquila, completely deforming her previous statements compared to those she had made before the first instance Ecclesiastical Court, before which she had been summoned to appear on four occasions and before which she had submitted no-less than 11 hours of oral testimony, which as a whole total hundreds and hundreds of pages. Regarding this sole witness for the prosecution, the judgment passed by the first instance Ecclesiastical Court expressed itself as follows:

Objective evidence exists of the falsehood of the serious accusations made by Mrs. Rosa Pelliccione, (...) as she is on her husband’s side and against Father Andrea D’Ascanio. The most serious of all of them is the affirmation she made before the Italian Court, with abundance of detail, (...) (minutes of the process no. 643). On the contrary, on her many appearances before this Court, wishing to harm Father Andrea D’Ascanio, Mrs. Rosa Pelliccione had denied to have suffered the slightly attempt against her chastity. (...) Therefore, it can be seen with clear moral certainty that (...) a conspiracy exists against Father Andrea D’Ascanio, since 1996, headed by Mr. Domenico Pelliccione, with the participation of other persons. (page 89).

IN CONCLUSION, el Court imposed the following canonic sanctions:

  1. Obligation to remain confined in a house of the Order of the Capuchins, decided by the General Minister of the Order, outside of the territory of Abruzzo and of Lacio, with the prohibition to leave the limits of the dioceses in which he resides and without the ability to request leave from the Superior of the site;
  2. Interdiction of the relations of any type, including those of an epistolary nature or telephonic, etc., with the members of the Armata Bianca Association and connected organizations;
  3. Revocation of the power of the accused to hear sacramental confessions;
  4. Prohibition to celebrate the sacrament of the Eucharist in public and, in general, any other sacrament and Liturgy of the Word;
  5. Prohibition to preach and to carry out functions of a spiritual guide.

The Committee ASKS ITSELF, how is it possible that the Second Instance Collegiate Body has been able to pass this CONDEMNING judgment, which HARDLY FALLS UNDER THE LEGAL PROFILE and in any way contrasts with the rules of Canonic Law (canons 1620 to 1628):

1. About the denial of the right of defense

And that is what happened in this case, in virtue of the fact that Father Andrea D’Ascanio was never summoned to appear before the Appeal Court (and therefore never had the formal right to defend himself), and furthermore because he was not allowed to file allegations or exceptions against the statements made by the prosecution witness.

2. About the right of appeal before the High Court

Why was Father Andrea D’Ascanio not allowed to appeal before the High Court of the Apostolic Magistracy, as provided in all legislatures and as contemplated by the constitutional provisions?

In fact, the second instance Court:

  • did not receive the testimony of anyone except that of Mrs. Ciancia, which had already been declared “false and inadmissible” by other Courts;
  • did not ever call Father Andrea D’Ascanio, in virtue of which he was denied any possibility of defense;
  • ignored the instruction and the consequent acquittal ordered by the first instance judges;
  • did not take into account the decision of the Italian judges, in the sense that the facts no longer subsist;
  • disallowed the telephone taps made by the Police of L’Aquila, by order of the Italian Court, which are the most convincing evidence of the conspiracy against Father Andrea D’Ascanio;
  • only extrapolated a few phrases from the testimonies given by certain witnesses from the first process, which had already been analyzed and stigmatized due to their absolute lack of credibility in the previously passed judgment.

The judgment was published on the 16th of July 2005 and consequently the sanctions imposed against Father Andrea D’Ascanio entered into effect. Copia di questa sentenza è stata inviata dalla CDF a numerosissime Curie diocesane e ai Superiori religiosi di varie Nazioni.

In February 2009, the judgment of this process before the second instance canonic body, was sent by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to:

  • all Episcopal Curias;
  • Religious Superiors in several parts of the world;
  • all the parish priests of Lacio;
  • all the printed dissemination bodies of the Church, with the order to publish it with the greatest possible diffusion.


There are many questions and the International Committee has proposed to exhaustively answer each one of them and has achieved this, and in all due time will report them