BY DEIRDRA FUNCHEON
Update, May 24: Some families are voicing their support for Corces. Miami attorney John DeLeon says, “This anti-Father Corces group at St. Rose has resorted to the worst type of Joe McCarthy-like tactics to further their agenda and achieve their goal of removing the Pastor even at the cost of destroying the parish. As a St. Rose graduate, I find this whole sordid witch hunt embarrassing. I am reminded to be faithful to the merciful message of both Jesus and His messenger Pope Francis. If Father Corces is proven to be human so be it. I won’t, and admit, I am unable to cast the first stone. However, the way this “investigation” took place is disgraceful, shameful, and beneath Christian values.”
Original story, May 23:
The Archdiocese of Miami is probing claims that a priest at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church had improper, intimate relationships with a maintenance worker whom he hired, as well as three others associated with the church’s school.
A group, called Christifidelis, hired a private investigator to compile what it calls a “dossier” on Father Pedro Corces, pastor of St. Rose. The investigator, who is not named in the document, followed Corces for weeks, photographed the priest, went through trash in the church rectory, and compiled 128 pages of alleged evidence of improprieties. The group is asking that Corces be removed from his position as pastor of the church and its associated Catholic school.
“To have an intimate relationship with an employee under your supervision is unethical,” says Miami attorney Rosa Armesto, who is representing Christifidelis. Armesto also has children enrolled at St. Rose, which is located in a well-to-do neighborhood.
Multiple phone calls to St. Rose were not returned Friday or this morning, and the priest did not respond to an email. New Times is choosing not to name the maintenance man, whose name does appear in the document.
Mary Ross Agosta, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Miami, says church officials received a copy of the dossier “and an investigation in accordance with canon law has been initiated.”
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