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Italy victims of sex abuse, including ex-students of school for deaf, urge justice from pope

Italian victims of priestly sex abuse have appealed directly to Pope Francis for justice, calling for a commission of inquiry into the problem in the Vatican's backyard.

In letters and a video posted online Friday, 17 survivors denounce the treatment they have received by the Italian Catholic Church and the Vatican itself. Half of them are former students of a notorious school for the deaf in Verona where hundreds of children are believed to have been sexually assaulted over the years.

The "Abuse Network" organization, one of the most active in Italy, said it sent a copy of the video to the Vatican's deputy secretary of state, Monsignor Angelo Becciu, addressed to the pope. There was no comment Friday from the Vatican on whether it had been received or viewed.