Peru: Ex-Bishop Accused of Sex Abuse Admitted Acting " Imprudently"
By Rachel Chase
This Week in Peru
September 23, 2013
In a letter to church officials, Ayacucho priest Miranda denied criminal activity but admitted to making mistakes in judgment.
A letter written by former Auxiliary Bishop of Ayacucho, Gabino Miranda is shedding some light on the reasons for his recent removal. Miranda, who was dismissed from his post as auxiliary bishop in the Peruvian city of Ayacucho, has been accused of sexually abusing children. Miranda denies any criminal activity.
At this time, not much is known about the exact nature of the allegations, but a Peruvian church official confirmed to the press that Miranda’s removal was a result of new Pope Francis’s “zero tolerance” policy for sex offenders.
However, a newly revealed letter written by Miranda to church officials in Rome has provided some insight into the case. According to Peru21, the July 1 letter was sent as part of Miranda’s effort to appeal the Vatican’s decision to remove him from his post. In it, Miranda writes “I recognize that in some circumstances I have been imprudent […] but furthermore, I reiterate that in the conscience and presence of God, the supposed offenses cannot be characterized as crimes against the [sixth commandment].” The sixth commandment prohibits sexual activity outside of the bounds of marriage.
As Peru21 reports, Miranda clearly felt that his punishment was unjust. “I’m surprised by the disproportionate sanctions in the [decree], which certainly do not have just cause.” Miranda also claimed that he did not know the “origin of the accusers, the jurisdiction, and the time in which the supposed crimes were committed.”
Authorities in Ayacucho have opened an official investigation into the matter.