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News > Bolivia

Bolivia Asks the Vatican for Reports on Pedophilia

  • The sign reads,

    The sign reads, "Priest scoundrel don't touch me." | Photo: Twitter/ @FreddyteleSUR

Published 23 May 2023

"The Bolivian State reserves the right to admit the entry of new foreign priests and religious who have a history of sexual abuse against minors," President Arce announced.

On Monday, the president of Bolivia, Luis Arce, sent a letter to Pope Francis to make him aware of the allegations of sexual abuse and pedophilia against several priests and to ask him for a joint review of the background of foreign religious who entered the country.


Bolivia Investigates Pedophilia Accusations Against Priests

"This situation has caused deep pain, rejection and frustration in the Bolivian population, feelings to which I adhere as the president," Arce wrote in the letter whose content was read to journalists by Maria Prada, the minister of the Presidency.

"I ask that the Bolivian justice system be able to access all the files and information regarding these complaints and acts of sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests and religious in Bolivian territory", he added.

"I come to you, brother Francisco, to request a joint review with our national government of the background of foreign Catholic priests who are currently in Bolivia, since no priest with a background... should be serving as an educator or spiritual guide."

The tweet reads, "During the pedophilia investigations involving the Bolivian Catholic Church, former Jesuit priest Pedro Lima will testify before the Prosecutor's Office not only as a witness but also as a victim of sexual assault by three Jesuit priests."

"The Bolivian State reserves the right to admit the entry of new foreign priests and religious who have a history of sexual abuse against minors, while proceeding with the revision of the agreements and conventions in force," President Arce pointed out.

The current pedophilia scandal in this Andean country occurred after the Spanish media El Pais published an investigation into the late Spanish Jesuit Alfonso Pedrajas, whose personal diary mentions sexual abuses committed against dozens of children when he directed the John XXIII High School in the 1970s.

Bolivian authorities are also currently investigating allegations against the late Jesuit Luis Roma, whom a former member of the Society of Jesus linked to explicit photographs of sexual assault against minors between the ages of 6 and 12.

So far, the Bolivian Public Ministry has received eight complaints for pedophilia against priests. The authorities raided the facilities of the Society of Jesus and ordered the investigation of cases of abuse to be reserved.


Luis Arce
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