A Colombian cardinal on Monday called for all perpetrators of sexual abuse committed within the Catholic Church to be denounced to the civil authorities for criminal prosecution.
“The position of the church in regards to pedophilia committed by priests and members of the church is perfectly clear: zero tolerance,” said the cardinal Ruben Salazar at a press conference after a story was published in Semana documenting the alleged sexual abuses of a boy perpetrated over the course of 16 years by two Catholic priests in Colombia.
The request is that those who know of these cases to denounce them to the civil authorities.”
In addition to calling for the denunciation of crimes committed by those affiliated with the church, Salazar expanded his call to include all of Colombia.
“We have to denounce not only these cases in the church but also all those present in Colombian society,” said Salazar. “Unfortunately in Colombia there is a lack of knowledge on the rights of children and young people, and in regards to sexual abuse cases, that is something truly lamentable.”
Salazar’s comment followed a scandal involving a priest-turned-congressman who is facing accusations of sexual abuse of a minor.