Argentine diocese apologizes for actions of abusive priest

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The diocese of San Isidro publicly apologized for the actions of Fr. Jose Mercau, a priest sentenced to 14 years in jail in 2006 for sexually abusing of four children.

“The San Isidro diocesan community, and especially the bishop and priests, publicly apologize to the young victims who were affected by the conduct of a priest within our diocese, Father Jose Mercau, when he was a priest at St. John the Baptist Church,” said the document signed by Bishop Oscar Ojea and read at diocesan Masses Dec. 14-15.

The priest ran a group home for homeless and runaway youths and, in his 2005 trial, admitted he abused the boys.

The document said the “trauma that sexual abuse caused in the future of these children and young men cannot be measured. … The conduct of the abuser also hurts Christ and undermines the community’s confidence.”

Local media have reported that the diocese is willing to pay reparation to the four youths and to do so may have to sell some church property.

The document said that, with this gesture, the diocese hoped to promote a “culture of taking care of our children and youth,” as requested by Pope Francis on numerous occasions.

Pope Francis has publicly spoken against abuses being committed by priests and has indicated his willingness to fight clergy sexual abuse.

About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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