Does the Mexican priest who allegedly abused minors even exist?
Catholic News Agency Sept. 22, 2016
Mexico City, Mexico, Sep 21, 2016 / 04:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After the Mexican branch of the “hacktivist” group Anonymous reported that the Archdiocese of Mexico had let off an alleged priest who confessed to having molested 30 girls, the Church in Mexico has denied that the priest even exists, calling the Anonymous report “irresponsible and malicious.”
On Sept. 8 Anonymous Mexico claimed that the Archdiocese of Mexico “decided to let off from any crime and punishment José Ataulfo García, the priest who allegedly confessed to raping more than 30 indigenous girls in the state of Oaxaca.” The report by the hackers group was picked up this weekend by several Spanish-language newspapers, and this week by some English media. Religión Digital posted an article with the headline “Priest with HIV who confessed to molesting 30 girls let off”, but it has since been deleted.
SIAME, the communications office of the Archdiocese of Mexico, has stated that the supposed priest José Ataulfo is not listed in their jurisdiction's records, nor in those of the Archdiocese of Antequera, Oaxaca. “This supposed priest does not belong to the Archdiocese of Mexico – as Anonymous Mexico asserts – much less has he been let off, as the post irresponsibly and maliciously states,” stated Fr. Hugo Valdemar Romero, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Mexico.
SIAME stated the accusations probably originated in “Hablemos de Mexico”, a publication which “several weeks ago, in wake of the opposition of the Catholic Church to the presidential initiatives to legalize so-called 'marriage equality' throughout the country, threatened to publish a supposed list of homosexual priests and bishops which included this personage.”
“However, the existence of such a priest is increasingly doubtful, since according to the information gathered by SIAME, in the dioceses that makes up the Province of Oaxaca, there is no record of such a minister,” the publication of the Archdiocese of Mexico City explained.
Archbishop José Luis Chávez Botello of Antequera, Oaxaca, stated, “I don't know him [Ataulfo], he's not from the archdiocese.” Archbishop Chávez cautioned that the accusations are reactions “from some quarter” which wants to silence the voices calling for peace and recalled that “the Pope has also been attacked by some groups.” “I invite them, as I've already told them, when there's something like that, seriously investigate it, don't just repeat what's being said,” he urged, while assuring that “lies unravel all by themselves.”