The Archdiocese of Mexico reaffirmed its commitment to fighting sexual abuse and expressed its support for the 62-year jail sentence for a priest found guilty of abuse.
The archdiocesan communications office issued a statement March 13 on the sentence imposed on the priest Carlos Lopez Valdés, who was found guilty of molesting Jes√∫s Romero Colín several times between 1994 and 1998.
Lopez Valdés, who is now 72, served at San Agustín de las Cuevas parish in Tlapan, south of Mexico City. Romero was his altar boy, and was abused between the ages of 7 and 11.
Romero filed a complaint against the priest in 2007 and the Archdiocese of Mexico then opened an ecclesiastical trial, which found the priest guilty and dismissed him from the clerical state.
Lopez Valdés was arrested Aug. 27, 2016, in Jiutepec. Morelos State, and sent to the Reclusorio Oriente (prison) in Mexico City.
Romero has also accused former Mexican cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of protecting the priest and concealing the abuse. The now-retired Cardinal Rivera was accused last year by two former priests of failing to report several cases of abuse. The Mexico of Archdiocese at the time denied any failure to act on the part of the cardinal.
Romero sent a letter to Pope Francis in 2013. The Holy Father replied expressing his “pain” and “shame” for what had happened and asked for “forgiveness in the name of the Church.”
In their March 13 statement, the archdiocese expressed its “complete readiness to cooperate with the authorities to procure justice in society.”
“We express our solidarity with the victim and his family. We deeply regret what happened. This terrible behavior causes us pain and shame and confirms us in our commitment to do everything necessary to address the root cause of these situations,” they continued.
“We will not be satisfied until this evil is extirpated. As Pope Francis has recently said, this is one of the priorities of the Church in our time.”
The archdiocese also reiterated that “our standard is 'zero tolerance' in face of these situations,” and acknowledged “the need to report, recognize the evil and ask forgiveness.”
This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.