April 14, 2021

The Bolivian Catholic bishops commit themselves to act against pedophilia

The Bolivian Catholic bishops commit themselves to act against pedophilia



The Bolivian Episcopal Conference expressed its commitment on Tuesday to act "with transparency, justice and charity" towards the victims in cases of sexual abuse by priests in Bolivia.

The secretary general of the Bolivian Episcopal Conference, Monsignor Aurelio Pesoa, read in La Paz a statement from the bishops of Bolivia in which he cited the last of these cases known in the country, the arrest of a priest of the Diocese of Potosí for alleged dishonest abuse of minors.

"In communion with Pope Francis and the bishops of Bolivia, we assure that this type of event must be judged with absolute rigor, respecting rights and punishing whoever is responsible, both in the area of ​​ordinary justice and in the field of Canon Law. ", the statement stressed.

The note recalls that, in addition to being detained in a preventive manner by the ordinary courts, the accused priest will also be prosecuted by canon law, for which he was suspended from his ministry, "being prevented from exercising the priestly office until his situation is defined. legal".

The Bolivian Episcopal Conference stressed that in the Catholic Church of Bolivia "are taking the necessary steps for the creation of a national commission for sexual abuse, which aims to research, prevention and guidance to bishops on possible cases that may arise "

Since 2007 there have been cases of abuses of priests to minors in Bolivia, such as that of a Uruguayan priest who fled the country or that of another religious sentenced to prison who committed suicide in prison.

A religious order is currently investigating an accusation of pedophilia towards a retired religious in Bolivia.

In February of this year, the Vatican held a large meeting with 190 representatives of the Catholic hierarchy, one of them from Bolivia, to address the scourge of abuse of minors by clerics, in which some victims also participated.

Pope Francis promised that the Church will do everything necessary to bring to justice any of its members who have committed abuses of a sexual nature and will never try to cover up or underestimate any case.

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