Seven Tijuana Priests Accused of Abuse of Minors
By Sandra Dibble
UT San Diego
June 18, 2014
Seven priests from Tijuana’s Roman Catholic Archdiocese are under investigation for sexual abuse of minors.
Archbishop Rafael Romo Munoz made the announcement Wednesday, following news reports earlier this week about an investigation into accusations of pedophilia by several Tijuana priests. Though a number of priests were named in the news reports, Romo stressed that “there is no sentence on the part of the Holy See.”
At a news conference responding to the allegations, Romo said church authorities first began investigating the allegations in 2012. The following year, in March, priests from the Archdiocese of Hermosillo were dispatched to Tijuana, on orders of the Vatican, and charged with interviewing the accused priests, their alleged victims and any witnesses to the abuse. Their report was sent to the Vatican, which in turn made recommendations to Romo in April.
Romo said that all of the alleged victims in these cases were in their teens. "There is no case of abuse of children," he said.
Romo said that he has spoken at length with each accused priest. All but two of those accused have been told that they may not conduct Mass, hear confession or perform other ecclesiastical duties. The file has been returned to the Vatican, which has yet to reach a final decision on any of the cases, Romo said.
A bulletin put out Tuesday by the Tijuana Archdiocese issued a call for any victims of abuse or witnesses to step forward and denounce the crime to civil authorities. “The Archdiocese of Tijuana….recognizes that the abuse of minors is an abominable crime, and condemns it for causing harm to the most vulnerable,” the statement said.