Three Brazil priests face abuse claims
March 17, 2010 - 6:59AM
Child sex scandals roiling the Roman Catholic church spread to Brazil
on Tuesday after the Vatican said three priests were under
investigation following allegations of child abuse.
The Vatican's acknowledgment takes controversies that have rocked the
church in the United States and more recently in Europe to the country
with the largest Catholic population in world. About 74 per cent of
Brazil's 140 million people identify as Catholics.
SBT television last week aired video from a hidden camera showing
father Marques Barbosa, 82, having sex with a 19-year-old boy in the
northeastern state of Alagoas.
After the act, the priest's face is identified as he looks toward the
camera and says "Who's there?" "Who is it?"
The report on the program Conexao Reporter also included charges by
three former altar boys that they too had been sexually abused by local
After the show was aired, Alagoas bishop Valerio Breda ordered the
removal from church work of priests Luiz Marques Barbosa, Edilson
Duarte and Raimundo Gomes.
"One was removed from his parish and faces charges in the civil justice
system," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told AFP, adding that the
other two had been suspended from their duties pending an investigation.
Graphic video of Marques Barbosa's abuse last year with a victim
identified as Fabiano is being sold on the streets of the town of
Arapiraca, website Alagoas 24 horas reported.
Elsewhere in Latin America, a Spanish religious instructor was reported
to have been jailed in Chile for possession of pornographic images of
A prosecutor said the priest, Jose Arregui, 53, would be tried for
child pornography possession on March 24, the newspaper La Tercera's
Paedophile priest scandals have rocked several churches in Europe since
the Irish government released two explosive reports in November.
Revelations followed in Switzerland, The Netherlands, Austria and
Germany - the homeland of Pope Benedict XVI.
Both the pope and his older brother Georg Ratzinger were caught up in
the spiralling scandal in Germany.
The pope's former diocese of Munich confirmed a report that, as
Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger in 1980, he had approved housing so that a
known paedophile priest could seek therapy, while Georg directed a boys
choir whose members later suffered abuse.
Vatican spokesman Lombardi charged at the weekend that there had been a
"dogged focus" on the Ratzinger brothers in a bid "to personally
implicate the Holy Father in questions of abuse."
"It is clear that these efforts have failed," he added.