By Ana Lopez
The Dominican Conference of Bishops have asked for pardon from the persons affected by alleged abuses committed by representatives of the Catholic Church in a series of new scandals of pederasty.
The scandals affect several priests and in a separate case to Monsignor Josef Wesolowski, a 65-year-old Pole, that was fired in his post of Papal Nuncio in Santo Domingo due to “missteps” related to accusations of pederasty.
According to he Dominican newspapers, Monsignor Wesolowski had sex for money with underage boys in the “Zona colonial,” the historic center of Santo Domingo.
Catholic Church scandals
John Paul II appointed him nuncio to Bolivia in his first posting. Wesolowski was ordained in 1972 by the then archbishop of Krakow, cardinal Karol Wojtyla, who later became pope John Paul II.
He also worked in several countries in Central Asia and was appointed as Papal Nuncio to the Dominican Republic by Benedict XVI in 2008.
Pope Francis has vowed to crack down against abuse in the Catholic Church, reiterating the zero-tolerance approach eventually taken up by his predecessor Benedict XVI following a wave of revelations.
Accusations of raping boys and girls
At the same time, the priest Juan Manuel Mota de Jesus, “Father Johnny,” was accused in Jarabacoa, La Vega, of raping young girls. In May, clergyman Wojciech Gil (Alberto) was accused of raping some 14 boys in a community of Santiago.
The Bishop of La Vega, Monsignor Antonio Camilo Gonzalez, asked for pardon from the persons affected by alleged abuses committed by representatives of the Catholic Church.
“We ask for forgiveness from the persons affected, from their families, society and the people themselves for the times that with a bad example and the lack of a coherent testimony, as servants of Jesus Christ, we have offended,” said Monsignor Antonio Camilo Gonzalez.
The Dominican Bishops asked the Justice Department to continue the investigations of the cases reported “in order that the truth prevails and that action is taken in accordance with the dictates of the Law.” “They have to investigate the incidents in which sons of the Church’s family have been involved,” noted the Dominican Catholic Church.
The Archbishop of Santo Domingo, Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez, asked for the Dominican justice system to act firmly and clearly, against those members of the clergy of the Catholic Church that are involved in scandals such as pederasty.
After a call to purify the Church in order to get rid of those who act contemptibly and who do not deserve to be called priests, Cardinal Lopez Rodriguez said that anyone that has acted badly should face the consequences of his acts.
“To ask for forgiveness from the victims of the callous people who have abused them and their families. This plea for pardon I extend to the community of the Catholic Church that feels humiliated with these unspeakable abuses,” said the Cardinal.
“God forbid justification of what cannot have justification,” he claimed, while at the same time recognizing that an indeterminate number of those that are preparing for priesthood do not have an authentic vocation.
A formal investigation by the Attorney General
The Attorney General of the Republic, Francisco Dominguez Brito, announced that an investigation was begun with regard to the scandal cause by the alleged practice of pederasty in the country by the fired Papal Nuncio, Josef Wesolowski.
During a press conference, he announced the appointment of the Deputy Attorney General Bolivar Sanchez as the head of the investigation.
“We have initiated the investigative process in order to determine responsibilities in accordance with the regulations of both national and international law, given his condition as a diplomat,” said Dominguez Brito according the newspaper DiarioLibre.
He warned that the citizenry can be sure that the Justice Department will not allow anyone to hide behind the well earned reputation of the Catholic Church or other religious institutions, in order to commit illegal acts and pretend to go unpunished.
He said that in relation to the priest in Constanza there is an investigation underway and they have completed the interviews of two plaintiffs.
Likewise, he said that the general prosecutor of the Court of La Vega, Victor Gonzalez, is responsible for that investigation. He revealed that a request to declare the priest Alberto Gil in contempt of court was rejected by a judge in Santiago. The idea was to create an order for an international arrest warrant.
“We have had the backing and cooperation of the Catholic Church so that truth and justice prevail, which are the real keys for human coexistence,” he added.