El Salvador condemns bishop accused of raping girl
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – A "well-loved" senior bishop in El Salvador who is also a prominent Church historian was Friday, November 27, condemned by government officials and a rights organization after being accused of repeatedly raping a girl in the 1980s.
Bishop Jesus Delgado, 77, was on Thursday suspended from his functions as number three in the country's archdiocese after the alleged victim, today a 42-year-old woman, came forward with her account.
She told authorities and church officials that Delgado started raping her when she was a nine-year-old girl and continued until she was 17.
El Salvador's government expressed solidarity with the woman and offered assistance.
"We regret and condemn the case of pedophilia for which the clergyman Jesus Delgado has been suspended of all his priestly, pastoral and administrative functions," said a statement issued by the presidency.
A coordinator for the Human Rights Commission of El Salvador, Miguel Montenegro, told Agence France-Presse that the news had a "big impact" in the country.
"It's a reprehensible act that has shocked people because it has to do with a priest who was well loved by parishioners," he said.
"Even though he has accepted his responsibility, it's important that the matter is made clear and that the church opens up so that there is no repeat of this type of repugnant act," Montenegro said.
Delgado was holed up in a Catholic center but so far no legal complaint or charge has been filed against him.
El Salvador's archbishop, Jose Luis Escobar, was to make a pronouncement about the case on Sunday.
Delgado, who was ordained in 1962, was a prominent man of God in El Salvador.
He notably wrote a biography of a Salvadoran archbishop who was murdered during mass in 1980, Oscar Arnulfo Romero, and was in the front row at the Vatican a month ago to thank the pope for beatifying Romero earlier this year. – Rappler.com