Miami Archdiocese Sent Priest for Pedophilia Evaluation
Archdiocese Publicly Defended Priest

NBC 6 [Miami FL]
Downloaded September 14, 2004

The Archdiocese of Miami sent a priest accused of sexually abusing refugee boys for a pedophilia evaluation in the 1980s, even as it defended him publicly and criticized media reports on him as an unfair "inquisition," a newspaper reported Monday.

Former Archbishop Edward McCarthy told the Rev. Ernesto Garcia-Rubio, then on sabbatical in Colombia, that he shouldn't return to Miami because of "possible negative publicity" stemming from his alleged misconduct at a Sweetwater parish.

"I also must insist that following your sabbatical, but prior to your return, you receive a psychiatric evaluation in a setting determined by the archdiocese," McCarthy wrote him on May 11, 1988. "The nature of the complaints definitely warrant the concern I am manifesting."

The evaluation at a Catholic treatment center found "insufficient" evidence of pedophilia, but said results were borderline, according to records obtained by The Miami Herald.

Garcia-Rubio was removed as pastor of Our Lady of Divine Providence in 1988 amid the allegations and later was defrocked. He has repeatedly denied the allegations in the past. Now 67, his whereabouts are unknown.

No criminal charges were filed because none of the teenagers would tell investigators they were sexually abused. The allegations also prompted five negligence lawsuits against the archdiocese -- two of which were settled this year for $75,000 each.

McCarthy is now retired and unavailable for comment because he is in poor health. When the scandal broke, he said media reports "jeopardized the reputation and ministry of a very dedicated and self-sacrificing priest."

Archdiocese spokeswoman Mary Ross Agosta declined comment, saying it would be "inappropriate" because of pending litigation.


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