Thursday, 22 September 2016

Mexican Priests Still Raping Children

"I personally ask for forgiveness for the damage [some priests] have done for having sexually abused children. We will not take one step backward with regards to how we will deal with this problem, and the sanctions that must be imposed".
Catholic Church ACQUITS Mexican priest who admitted to raping 30 young girls | Daily Mail Online

In an extraordinary move, and one which flies in the face of official Vatican pronouncements on the subject of child-abusing Catholic priests, the Archdiocese of Mexico has formally acquitted an HIV carrying priest of any wrongdoing even though he admitted having sex with about 30 girls aged between 5 and 10 over many years.

The assaults were committed on indigenous girls in the southern province of Oaxaca which has a predominantly indigenous population and where the influence of the Catholic Church is very powerful, especially amongst the indigenous people. No criminal charges have yet been brought against the priest, José Ataulfo Garcia, despite his admission, almost certainly due to the Church's political influence in Mexico.

According to the Spanish language online magazine Anonymous Mexico, the mother of one of the victims applied to meet Pope Francis in Rome to discuss the case and asked for the Vatican to investigate the allegations. However the case was referred back to the Archdiocese of Mexico which launched its own investigation. After three months the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of Mexico decided to absolve the priest of all charges.

The announcement of the findings of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of Mexico is all the more puzzling given that, according to the La Silla Rota last July when the allegations emerged, the archbishop of Oaxaca, José Luis Chávez Botello, denied any knowldge of the abusing priest:

Reafirmo no conozco al sacerdote y no hay ninguno que se llame así y pertenece a la diócesis de Oaxaca”, respondió José Luis Chávez Botello al ser cuestionado sobre el párroco Ataulfo García.

Google Translate:
"[R]eaffirm do not know the priest and there is none that call so and belongs to the diocese of Oaxaca", said Jose Luis Chavez Botello when asked about the pastor Ataulfo ​​Garcia.

Despite the Vatican's insistence that these cases are being taken seriously and that local Catholic authorities should not be involved in cover-ups and protecting abusers from legal action, the allegations were never put to the law enforcement authorities in Mexico and no official legal investigation has ever been conducted. José Ataulfo Garcia is free to continue with his priestly duties amongst the indigenous peoples of Oaxaca Province, and indeed anywhere else in the world the Catholic Church might send him.

According to the Spanish laguage website,

Las denuncias contra miembros de la Iglesia católica mexicana por pederastia han sido reclamadas por asociaciones civiles y padres de familia, pero las autoridades no han intervenidos y los responsables no son juzgados.

Ataulfo García es parte de una larga lista de sacerdotes pederastas en México, igual que Gerardo Silvestre Hernández, quien fue detenido en 2013 en agravio a un niño zapoteca, caso por el que se destapó un centenar de abusos cometidos por el religioso.

Lenin López, un joven de 19 años de edad, acusó en julio pasado al ex vicario de la catedral metropolitana de la ciudad de Oaxaca, Carlos Franco Pérez, de haberlo violado dos meses atras, sin embargo, el clérigo fue declarado inocente por falta de pruebas.

Google Translate:
Complaints against members of the Mexican Catholic Church for child abuse have been claimed by civil associations and parents, but authorities have not intervened and the perpetrators are not brought to justice.

Ataulfo ​​Garcia is part of a long list of pedophile priests in Mexico, as Silvestre Gerardo Hernandez, who was arrested in 2013 in detriment to a child zapoteca case for a hundred religious abuses was uncovered.

Lenin Lopez, a 19-year-old accused last July to former vicar of the Metropolitan Cathedral of the city of Oaxaca, Carlos Franco Pérez, of having raped two months ago, however, the cleric was acquitted for lack of tests.

Church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, Oaxaca, Mexico
Opulence amidst grinding poverty.
The Archdiocese of Mexico have a long and illustrious history of covering up and facilitating clerical abuse and sexual exploitation of vulnerable people by priests. In 2004 the Vatican re-opened an investigation into the behaviour of Fr. Marcial Maciel, founder of 'Legion of Christ', prolific fundraiser and close associate of Pope John Paul II. He had been investigated several times and acquitted each time. The 2004 investigation found that he had not only intimidated potential witnesses in the previous investigations but has a history of sexual abuse of minors and had fathered six children by three different women. In 2006 he became the most senior Catholic cleric to be defrocked.

Exposés such as this latest one give the lie to the PR puffs surrounding 'Honest' Pope Francis' protestations of regret over the deluge of clerical child abuse cases that engulfed the Catholic Church, sent its membership into a tail spin and seriously harming its income stream. Publically, the Vatican is committed to reform and a root and branch cleansing to rid itself of paedophile priests and those who facilitate them with cover-ups and protection. It is clear that in Mexico at least, not only is abuse not taken seriously but influence is used to prevent the cases coming to justice.

The latter is of course entirely in line with advice given to bishops in a training guide issued last February telling them that, unless the local law specifically requires it, they are under no obligation to report cases of child abuse to the local law enforcement agencies. This advice was given without the involvement of Pope Francis' much vaunted Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

It is also in line in principle with the Vatican-sanctioned declaration by Italian bishops in April 2014 that Italian priests are under no obligation to report abusive priests if the abuse was learned of in the confessional, quoting a clause in the 1985 treaty between the Vatican and the Italian state. At the time, the Italian Bishops' Conference cited advice from the Vatican's office that handles these sexual abuse allegations as their reason for issuing the declaration.

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