Father Carlos Urrutigoity glides into the sanctuary, his ivory and scarlet robes swishing between the pews. Revered by his flock in the unruly diocese of eastern Paraguay’s Ciudad del Este, the priest will deliver his sermon to hundreds of worshippers. They will later clamor outside the church to meet the man, to receive his benediction.
“This is a man who’s been described by bishops from Switzerland to Pennsylvania as ‘dangerous,’ ‘abnormal’ and ‘a serious threat to young people.’
“He has spent two decades flitting from diocese to diocese, always one step ahead of church and legal authorities, before landing in this lawless, remote corner of South America. Here, in the pirate-laden jungle near the Iguacu falls, he has risen to a position of power.
“Today, despite warnings from the bishop of Scranton, Pennsylvania, where in 2002 Urrutigoity was accused of molesting a teenage boy and sleeping with and touching other young men, this priest leads a starry-eyed cadre of young male seminarians. Despite once being accused of running what a fellow priest called a ‘homosexual cult’ in the hills of Pennsylvania, Urrutigoity now graces the diocese website here, advertising seminars for budding young Catholics.
“Urrutigoity’s voyage from his native Argentina to Pennsylvania and back to South America represents a new chapter in the shocking story of abuse in the Catholic Church.
“It illustrates the church’s seeming inability to prevent a priest accused of illegal acts in the United States from fleeing to a remote developing country — even one on the doorstep of Pope Francis’ homeland — and remaking himself into a powerful religious leader.”
By Will Carless, GlobalPost — Click here to read the rest of this story.
After U.S. Sex Abuse Scandals, an Accused Priest Rises again in Paraguay / GlobalPost