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JESUIT priest, Alfonso Pedrajas, above, was exposed as a serial abuser by Spanish newspaper El País back in 2018 when it ran an expose headlined “The Diary of a Paedohile Priest.”
Its report was gleaned from information discovered on Pedrajas’ computer after the Bolivian-based priest’s death in 2009.
But in a new development El País (in Spanish) reported on May 12 that the Bolivian Attorney General’s Office has requested it to collaborate with the office to advance the investigation of the priest known as “Pica”, a Spaniard, and the “systematic cover-up” of his activities.
According to Pedrajas’ 300-page diary he had abused dozens of children and adolescents while he was a teacher and ran different schools in Latin America.
Image via YouTube
The newspaper reported that that it had had been asked by Bolivian Attorney General Wilfredo Chávez, above, to help his with his investigation.
El País launched a probe into pedophilia in the Spanish Church in 2018 and has an updated database with all known cases.
Chavez is reported as saying that although the priest is dead, there is a pressing need to embark on an investigation into how he was allowed to continue as a priest when he was a known paedophile.
Although El País reported that the diary was found by the priest’s nephew, Bolivia.com (in Spanish) said earlier this month that it was his “boyfriend” who discovered the document, entitled “History”, in which Pedrajas detailed his abuse of young kids. But after he revealed the contents of the diary religious authorities took no action.
El País‘ investigation revealed how the priest abused children in Bolivia for several decades, with the knowledge of several national clergymen.
The investigation indicates that in 1971 Pedrajas was appointed deputy director of the Juan XXIII School in Cochabamba. The establishment was a boarding school that was in charge of rescuing children from poverty, so the parish priest was in charge of touring the country in search of children who required help.
Between 1984 and 1989, during his last stage as head of the school, Pedrajas says that he confessed his “sin” to other priests.
A case for scrapping priestly celibacy?
Image via YouTube
The Catholic News Agency reported this week that the Bolivian scandal prompted Eugenio Cóter, above—bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Pando and head of the Communication Commission of the Bolivian Bishops’ Conference—to suggest the possibility of optional celibacy for priests.
Cóter gave an interview to the FM radio station Erbol in which he suggested “changes” must be made in the RCC
Among them was his proposal that celibacy be optional for priests since a relationship allows for “an integration of the affective, sexual, bodily dimension.”
While delving into the possibility of optional celibacy, Cóter alluded to some debates that took place within the framework of the Amazon Synod (2019) and the controversial German Synodal Path, which in March of this year approved measures aimed at allowing the ordination of women as deaconesses, the blessing of homosexual unions, and the normalisation of lay preaching at Mass.
Cóter said that in the event that celibacy would no longer be mandatory, it could be a “helpful element” in preventing sexual abuse by the clergy.
This puts him at odds with catechism and Pope Francis.
On the return flight to Rome from World Youth Day in Panama in 2019, the Pope recalled a phrase from Saint Paul VI: “I prefer to give my life before changing the law of celibacy” and noted that he personally believes that “celibacy is a gift to the Church.”
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