A Catholic Priest has been absolved by the church after he admitted to raping almost 30 young girls, all between 5 and 10 years of age.
Fr. Jose Garcia Ataulfo is still in good standing with the church and not facing any criminal charges, despite knowing he was HIV-positive when he raped more than two dozen children.
A mother of one of the victims sent a letter to the Pope asking that they meet to discuss the issue, but the Vatican declined her request, stating that “the matter is closed.”
Ataulfo confessed that he sexually assaulted 30 children. Many of the victims were young girls indigenous to Oaxaca, a state in southern Mexico.
Due to the immense amount of influence the Catholic Church maintains in Mexico, the priest will not see a jail cell.
The news site Urgente24.com were the first to publish a report on the situation. According to them, the the Archdiocese of Mexico cleared Ataulfo of all wrongdoings.
The site also reported that only two out of thirty rape victims have come forward to condemn this decision.
In recent months, Pope Francis announced that the church would be minimizing the penalties for pedophile priests by moving them to a different church and providing them with support rather than punishing them.
The Pope said that the controversial measures were designed to create a “more merciful church.”
According to The Daily Mail, sexual abuse of minors by priests – and the ensuing cover-ups by Church officials – have been rampant in many countries, including the United States.
The issue was pushed into the national spotlight in 2002 when the Boston Globe showed the extent to which the local archdiocese protected abusive priests from being aired out to the public even though it knew they were a threat to young parishioners.
The Globe exposé, which described abuse cases that numbered in the thousands over a span of several decades, inspired other victims to come forward, leading to a myriad of lawsuits and criminal prosecutions.
Not only did this occur in the US, but the Catholic Church was also forced to tackle cases in other countries, including Mexico.