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They reveal the identity of 43 priests reported for pedophilia and sexual abuse in Colombia

Posted: Dec 2, 2021 10:51 GMT

The investigation also mentions Archbishop Ricardo Tobón Restrepo, who is accused of “covering up” several of the pedophiles of the Archdiocese of Medellín.

A journalistic investigation led by the Connectas platform and the Vorágine portal revealed for the first time the identity of 43 priests denounced for pedophilia and sexual abuse in Colombia, belonging to the Archdiocese of Medellín.

This independent report, published on November 30, indicates that almost half of those involved continue in exercise and only three have been sentenced by Justice. There are very few known cases, because the ecclesiastical authorities have tried to hide the accusations “without informing the civil authorities” and, in some cases, “paying millionaire sums of money to the victims and their families,” says the document.

The investigation also mentions the Archbishop of Medellín, Monsignor Ricardo Tobón Restrepo, who is accused of “covering up” several of the archdiocese’s pedophiles, among them Roberto Cadavid Arroyave, suspended in 2012 for accusations of sexual abuse, and the telepreacher Carlos Yepes, denounced three times for crimes of the same nature and suspended last year.

Vorágine and Connectas base their complaints on five sources: information from the Archdiocese of Medellín itself, files from the Attorney General’s Office, a protected source, a priest, and testimonies from the survivors. His research originated taking as a reference the work carried out in 2002 by the American newspaper The Boston Globe, taken to the cinema in 2015 under the title of ‘Spotlight’, which uncovered sexual assaults by Catholic priests that lasted for decades in the United States.

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All the members of the Colombian Church mentioned were contacted through different channels and of the thirteen who responded, only one accepted their guilt. At least 19 of the 43 continue “exercising the priesthood and receiving his salary”. Meanwhile, the victims “do not find truth, justice or reparation,” the document emphasizes.

“Bring us evidence”

The first discovery of these journalistic inquiries made the news in March 2018, when they met complaints to 17 priests in Medellín, but only the names of nine of them were revealed. At that time, and around the controversy, Monsignor Tobón denied having protected anyone and, on the contrary, said he was very strict with his clergy.

Recently, when the complaints of pedophilia made the news in Medellín again, the Colombian station Caracol Radio consulted the prelate on Tuesday, who recalled that it was not the first time that he was described as a cover-up and called to show evidence. “I have invited the journalists who make these complaints to bring us evidence (…) If they have concrete elements and evidence, bring them, we will carry out the investigation,” Tobón responded.

“The different complaints that we have received, all have been given due follow-up, due processing. All processes have been conducted in accordance with the regulations of the Holy See. In each case we have proceeded according to truth and justice“added the archbishop.

About the author

Donna Miller

Donna is one of the oldest contributors of Gruntstuff and she has a unique perspective with regards to Science which makes her write news from the Science field. She aims to empower the readers with the delivery of apt factual analysis of various news pieces from Science. Donna has 3.5 years of experience in news-based content creation, and she is now an expert at it. She loves journalism, and that is the reason, she moved from a web content writer to a News writer, and she is loving it. She is a fun-loving woman who has very good connections with every team member. She makes the working environment cheerful which improves the team’s work productivity.

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