Sexual and Financial Scandals Ignored by Bishop in Colombian Archdiocese

Out of frustration at episcopal inaction, a priest of the Colombian archdiocese of Cali, is writing a book on the ongoing homosexual and financial scandals among priests of the archdiocese.

Father Germán Robledo, former head of the archdiocesan ecclesiastical tribunal, wrote that the third largest diocese of Colombia is rife with active and uncorrected homosexuals and heterosexual priests who prey upon young people, have fathered children and used parish funds to pay off the extortion demands of their boy-lovers and the fees for procurers.

In an interview with the Colombian weekly news magazine Semana, translated into English on the weblog Rorate Caeli, Fr. Robledo, a priest for 45 years who served on the tribunal for 23 years, said that since he first presented his allegations and evidence two years ago of sexual and financial misconduct by priests in the archdiocese, the problems have increased "due to the lack of control and vigilance". He indicated that Archbishop Juan Francisco Sarasti Jaramillo has done nothing to stop the misconduct of his priests.

The book, titled, "Towards a Gay Clergy ," is intended, Fr. Robledo said, to "denounce a tendency which is presenting itself within the Catholic Church".

"In the past 30 years," he said, "the Church has leaned towards priests with profiles with effeminate traces, sweet, obedient, submissive, uncritical, and who always accept the authoritarian role of the bishop and of the other superiors." He asserts that 30 per cent of the archdiocese’s priests are homosexuals.

He denied that the Catholic discipline of priestly celibacy is the problem, saying that the priest’s life gives opportunities to predatory homosexual pedophiles to "lead a double life".

"It is the refuge of those who do not dare face their families. The Catholic Church is the closet of gays."

According to statistics of 2006, the archdiocese of Santiago de Cali, Colombia’s third largest city, serves 2.2 million Catholics out of a total population of 2.6 million.

In 2007, Fr. Robledo, formerly head of the ecclesiastical tribunal for the archdiocese of Cali, made public evidence, including videos, of sexual and financial misconduct among many of the archdiocese’s clergy. Among his allegations were that several priests were conducting ongoing sexual relationships, including with women and young boys. Some priests have secretly fathered children and in two cases have been sued by the mothers for child support.

In a letter to Archbishop Sarasti, made public in the newspapers, Fr. Robledo spoke of "chronic and shameful homosexual conducts of friends and close collaborators" of the archdiocese. In a radio interview, Father Robledo said that Archbishop Sarasti responded to the charges by saying that such acts belong to the priests’ private lives.

Catholic News Service reported at the time that a journalist with El Pais newspaper, Mario Fernando Prado, who broke the story had thought Fr. Robledo’s claims "absurd" until they were confirmed by other members of the Cali clergy.

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  • caporasa

    These are very serious allegations and worthy of an expedited investigation. The damage to souls would be incalculable if even a fraction of the quoted percentage were verified. Christ warned that there would be wolves in sheep’s clothing among us, however shame on us if we are aware of predators and do nothing! This is Christ’s body, our brothers and sisters we are talking about.

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