More of the same from the “wonderful” Catholic Church… It’s going to get to the point where people will begin to wonder if being a pedophile is a requirement for the priesthood. I know this sounds ridiculous, and it is, but just how many sick perverts does the Catholic Church employ throughout the world??? TGO
Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press
LA PAZ, Bolivia – A Catholic priest who fled home to Uruguay and was defrocked after a nun accused him of raping three children in Bolivia has been living with his family for more than a year — with the full knowledge of Uruguayan church officials — despite an Interpol warrant for his arrest.
Juan Jose Santana has been a fugitive from justice since being charged in May 2008 with raping three children ages 12 to 17.
Uruguayan church officials were aware that he had returned home — a priest even went to his house to provide counseling — but he has remained free.
It took Uruguay’s La Republica newspaper to revive the case, interviewing Santana in his home in Salto, Uruguay. Asked if allegations that he had abused children are true, the newspaper reported Thursday that Santana said, “It’s true. That’s all I can say. … You know something? I’m dead.”
Bishop Pablo Galimberti, whose diocese in Uruguay includes Salto, confirmed the story.
“Yes, the report is correct,” Galimberti told The Associated Press. “It involves Juan Jose Santana, who I don’t know personally, but yes, he’s accused of abusing minors.
“He lives shut up in his house, and presumably has psychological problems,” Galimberti added. “I recall that a priest in my diocese who knew about the case figured out where he lives and went to see him to offer professional help, but he rejected it.”
Galimberti did not say why neither he nor the priest who visited Santana reported him to the police in Bolivia.
Church authorities in Bolivia expressed frustration Friday with the police investigation, saying they not only promptly reported the alleged rapes to authorities, including that he had confessed to them, but gave Interpol Santana’s picture, as well as the name of the neighborhood in Uruguay where his family lives — everything but his exact address, which they didn’t have.
“His crimes also were reported to the Vatican,” along with details of the decisions taken by the church in Cochabamba, Meriluz Bustamante, who represents the Cochabamba diocese, told the AP.
“After these steps, despite our concern, the prosecutor did not speed up the investigation, and after Santana left the country, she, for reasons we don’t know, suspended the case until now,” Bustamante said.
She also said that Santana confessed to the crimes at the time in May 2008.
Santana allegedly committed the rapes while serving as a priest in a church boarding school in rural Tapacari, Bolivia. After the case was reported to police, Cochabamba Archbishop Tito Solari apologized to the victims and their families in his diocese.
“With profound sadness, I must communicate to the public opinion that one of our priests has committed dishonest abuses against children in one of our boarding schools,” he told a news conference in May 2008.
Bolivian church officials immediately suspended Santana from the priesthood, but both Bustamante and Susana Inch, the legal adviser to Bolivia’s Episcopal Conference, said the church can’t be expected to do more to help police return him to face justice. “It’s up to the government to ask for his arrest,” Inch said.
Bolivia’s Interpol office asked its counterpart in Uruguay in July 2008 to help locate Santana, and was told he might be in that country, but heard nothing after that, Bolivia’s deputy director for Interpol, police Lt. Col. Manuel Zambrana, told the AP.
Bolivian prosecutor Varina Gonzales said Friday that she will seek Santana’s extradition now that he has been located.
“The next step is for me to coordinate with the district prosecutor and the police,” she told the AP.
Associated Press Writer Raul O. Garces in Montevideo, Uruguay, contributed to this report.