A year long investigation finds the Catholic Church is surreptitiously sending suspected pedophile priests to poor parishes in South America.
A recently released investigative report from the GlobalPost finds the Catholic Church has allowed priests accused of sexually abusing children in the United States and Europe to relocate to poor parishes located in South American countries like Paraguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil and Peru.
In their year long investigation reporters for GlobalPost confronted five priests who had been transferred to South American countries after being accused of raping or sexually assaulting children.
GlobalPost reports that all five priests were able to continue working as priests, despite criminal investigations or cash payouts to alleged victims. All enjoyed the privilege, respect and unfettered access to young people that comes with being a member of the clergy.
More from the disturbing report:
The priests GlobalPost confronted on camera, far from the US and European churches where the sexual abuse allegations occurred, include:
Father Carlos Urrutigoity, accused of sharing beds with and fondling teenage boys in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The bishop of Scranton called him a “serious threat to young people,” but in Paraguay, reporters found him leading Mass in a major church. He had been promoted to second-in-command of the diocese of Ciudad del Este.
Father Francisco “Fredy” Montero, accused of abusing a 4-year-old girl in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He relocated to his native Ecuador, where he was placed in a succession of remote parishes — despite a dossier sent by the Archdiocese of Minneapolis to his new diocese, warning of Montero’s past.
Father Paul Madden, who admitted molesting a 13-year-old boy on a mission trip when he was stationed in Jackson, Mississippi. The diocese paid the victim’s family $50,000 and Madden moved to the diocese of Chimbote, Peru, where he still celebrates Mass each week.
Father Jan Van Dael, accused of molesting several young men in his native Belgium before moving to northeastern Brazil, where he started an orphanage for street kids. Van Dael is under investigation by Belgian and Brazilian authorities after accusations of abuse arose in Brazil, too.
Commenting on the disturbing story, David Clohessy, spokesman for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said:
As developed countries find it tougher to keep predator priests on the job, bishops are increasingly moving them to the developing world where there’s less vigorous law enforcement, less independent media and a greater power differential between priests and parishioners. This is massive, and my suspicion is that it’s becoming more and more pronounced.
In short, despite pledges from Pope Francis to clean up the church, the horror continues, and the Catholic Church continues to protect and enable clergy members who rape and sexually abuse children.
It is no secret that Catholic priests have been sexually abusing children for decades, if not centuries. This most recent report only serves to confirm what many already suspected: nothing has changed – the Catholic Church continues to protect and enable pedophile priests.
As always, it is the children who will suffer.
Watch the report via GlobalPost below: