Priest Accused of Pinning Man during Sex Attack; Coverup Alleged
Group Asks for Alleged Victims to Come Forward

Local 6 [Orlando FL]
January 30, 2007

Allegations that a Catholic priest forcibly held down a 35-year-old man while he was sexually abused by another man has prompted cries of a coverup in Orlando, according to a Local 6 News report.

In November, the Rev. Carlos Bedoya at St. Clair Catholic Church in Deltona, Fla.,was removed as pastor and placed on administrative leave.

Parishioners said they were told that the change was made so Bedoya could deal with personal issues, Local 6 reported.

Rev. Carlos Bedoya

However, recently, church members discovered that Bedoya was being investigated by the state attorney's office on allegations he assisted in the sexual battery of a 35-year-old man.

Critics said Bishop Thomas Wenski of the Dioscese of Orlando should have spoken up, Local 6 reported.

"You have done what dozen of your colleagues have done -- betrayed the trust placed in you by the Catholics and the public," SNAP worker Martha Lorenzo said.

"We at SNAP are very troubled by this turn of events, not strictly the crime, of course but what we consider to be deception on the part of church officials," SNAP National Director David Clohessy said.

A spokesperson refused an interview, but walked out a letter Tuesday.

"In that letter, the Bishop says that while the information is unverified and no criminal charges have been filed, he believes his actions were appropriate," Local 6's Louis Bolden.

"We believe Bishop Wenski has an affirmative moral obligation to go to the parishes where Father Bedoya worked and look the Catholics in the eye and say, 'If you have any information that would prove or disprove these allegations, call 911,'" Clohessy said.

Members of SNAP plan to go to a church where Bedoya once worked and hand out flier, encouraging alleged victims to come forward, Local 6 News reported.

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.


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