Archdiocese of Chicago Responds to Public Sex Arrests in Miami
By Charlie De Mar
September 4, 2018
Two priests tied to an Arlington Heights seminary were arrested in Miami Beach on Monday after allegedly engaging in a sex act inside a parked vehicle.
The priests, Diego L. Berrio, 39; and Edwin M. Cortez, 30, both reside at San Juan Diego Mission on the 2300 block of North Wilke Road. The Archdiocese of Chicago on Tuesday said it had cut ties with both men.
According to arrest reports from the Miami Beach Police Department, someone called police after seeing two men engaged in oral sex inside of a black Volkswagen parked on the 1300 block of Ocean Drive at 3:20 p.m. on Labor Day.
The report notes the vehicle’s windows had no tinting and the sex act was being performed in full view of passerby on the busy street, a popular hotspot for tourists and nightlife.
When the officer approached the car, he reports seeing Berrio sitting in the passenger side of the vehicle performing oral sex on Cortez, who was in the driver’s seat, according to the police report.
Cortez’s pants were unzipped and open and his genitalia was exposed, the report says.
Berrio and Cortez did not notice the police officer right away, and he had to knock on the window.
Both Berrio and Cortez reported their occupations as priests upon their arrests.
The Archdiocese of Chicago acknowledged the charges Tuesday in a statement issued by Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, who said Berrio has since been removed from the ministry.
Cortez, an extern priest from Soacha, Colombia, served St. Aloysius Parish in Chicago for one month this year, from August 1 to August 31, according to the statement. The Archdiocese on Tuesday informed Cortes’ home diocese in Colombia that Cortes will not be granted additional faculties to minister in the Archdiocese of Chicago.
“It is our responsibility to ensure those who serve our people are fit for ministry,” Cupich said in the statement. “We take this matter very seriously and will provide updates as they become available.”
Berrio and Cortez were both charged with lewd and lascivious behavior. Cortez faces a charge of indecent exposure.
Berrio, according to his bio on the San Juan Diego Mission website, was ordained as a priest in 2008 by His Eminence Cardinal Francis George. He has been affiliated with St. Edna in Arlington Heights, Domitilla in Hillside, and the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
*Note: The Miami Police Department spelled the name “Cortez” with a “z.” The Archdiocese spelled his name with an “s.”