Vatican Documents Showing Coverup of Miami Priest to Be Released

Mermelstein & Horowitz
March 29, 2010

FLORIDA -- New Documents Released Show Vatican Involvement in Coverup of Miami Priest Accused of Sexually Abusing Children

Child sexual abuse attorneys Stuart Mermelstein and Jessica Arbour will release never-before seen documents obtained in litigation that reveal an international coverup of Fr. Ernesto Garcia-Rubio's pattern of sexual misconduct. Garcia-Rubio has been accused of sexually abusing multiple boys he came to know through his work in Miami's immigrant and refugee communities. Documents reveal that officials in the Vatican, Archdiocese of Miami, and Garcia-Rubio's Cuban diocese knew he posed a threat to children early in his ministry, yet did nothing to warn parishioners.

The documents reveal that Garcia-Rubio was personally known to several Vatican officials, and began his career in Miami at the request of the Holy See. Less than 5 years after he was ordained, the Vatican warned Miami officials that he had been forced to leave Cuba because of sexual misconduct, and it sought assurance that Garcia-Rubio would be "protected" in Miami. Garcia-Rubio was so well known that Vatican officials even called on him to assist with special projects.

Subsequently, in the 1980s, allegations of sexual abuse were made by multiple child victims of Garcia-Rubio, particularly relating to Garcia-Rubio's ministry with Mariel Boatlift, Nicaraguan, and Salvadoran refugees. Despite knowing of the multiple reports, Miami Archbishop Edward McCarthy allowed Garcia-Rubio to continue in ministry throughout Central and South America.

Attorney Stuart Mermelstein said, "Like the Vatican's response to the reports involving Fr. Lawrence Murphy and his abuse of more than 200 children, the response to the allegations of sexual abuse by Fr. Garcia-Rubio shows a complete disregard for the welfare and interests of children."


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