The Chilean province of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary reported Monday that a preliminary investigation is underway on Fr. Juan Andrés Peretiatkowicz Valdés, accused of sexual abuse and the abuse of power.
According to a June 18 statement, the case involves accusations of acts which “allegedly began at the end of the 1980s.” According to the congregation the priest has had no pastoral responsibilities for five years for health reasons.
“We express our will and commitment to thoroughly and rigorously investigate these acts and resolutely fight against the culture of abuse and cover up,” the congregation stated.
Provincial Superior René Cabezón Yáñez received the information in early May and “immediately began a preliminary investigation.”
The congregation welcomes this investigation “as a desperate cry in search of truth and justice which obliges us as Church to leave behind the poor and overdue job of listening. We believe this is the only way of reparation for those who have been violated or abused.”
They are also working on the review and implemntation of "new practices, procedures, and protocols which consolidate not only transparency in accusations but also provide healthy and protected environments in our pastoral ministries and our communities especially where children and young people are participating."
“We entrust ourselves to the hearts of Jesus and Mary to help us in this task which the laity and civil society demand of us and we humbly undertake as something we owe them,” the statement concludes.
This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.