The Bishop of Quilmes Is Obligated to Pay Compensation for Pedophile Priest
The abuse took place in 2002 in a parish of Berazategui
April 29, 2013
[Translated into English by BishopAccountability.org. Click below to see original article in Spanish.]
In a landmark decision, the Court of Appeals of Quilmes ruled that the Office of the Bishop of Quilmes must pay 155,000 pesos to a young man who, as a boy, was abused by a priest. Today, the victim called on those who have suffered similar abuses to present themselves to the Justice System, because, he said, “keeping quiet is being complicit.” He said that, in Córdoba, “there are priests who continue to abuse minors.”
“We wanted the ruling to be favorable because it sets a very important precedent for other similar cases, for other victims to obtain favorable rulings and have justice served,” said the victim, whose name is Gabriel, in declarations to the local television channel Todo Noticias (TN) of Berazategui, in Buenos Aires Province.
The Court of Appeals of Quilmes confirmed the ruling of the Civil and Commercial Court N2, by which the Office of the Bishop of Quilmes is obligated to pay compensatory damages of more than 155,000 pesos, after a 10-year court battle fought by Beatriz Varela, the mother of the victim.
Gabriel, now 25 years old, said he “was the victim of abuse by a pedophile priest,” and warned that in the diocese of Quilmes “they knew this priest wasn’t fulfilling his vow of celibacy.”
The young man related that the incident occurred on August 15, 2002, when he was 15, in the Seminary House of Formation of the Catholic Church of Berazategui.
“My mother is a widow, my dad died when I was very young. During my adolescence, my mom believed it was best for me to have a father figure to discuss things that are typical of a boy my age, that I couldn’t take up with her,” said Gabriel.
He said it was in this context that his mother put him in contact with the priest, Rubén Pardo, a man in his fifties. After a conversation, Father Pardo invited Gabriel to spend the night at his home. “That night he tried to abuse me, and when he fell asleep, I had the instinct to react and managed to escape.”
He emphasized his “courage” to be able to confess what had happened to his mother, and said: “what came afterwards was the most difficult: going through the trial and making the formal complaints.”
“There are many cases that aren’t known about because the families don’t believe the victims are telling the truth or don’t have the courage to speak out. It’s very important that, in this instances, the formal accusations are made in order that justice is served,” he said.
He pointed out that his mother had several meetings with Monsignor Luis Stockler, former Bishop of Quilmes, who she accused of “obstructing justice” and attempting “to cover up for” the pedophile priest.
“He told my mom that she ought to be considerate toward people who choose celibacy because they have moments of weakness, which he called an act as horribly degenerate as pedophilia,” said Gabriel. On marching orders from his superiors, Pardo was transferred to the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Flores, where “he taught sacramental confession at the primary school.”
“It was like a mockery to our face in light of what had happened,” reflecting “the impunity with which the institution operates,” he said.
Gabriel acknowledged it was “terrible to have gone through this,” but stressed that “it is good to see justice served,” and that he and his family “did their important part” so that other victims can make denunciations.
In this regard, he said “these incidents continue happening,” and mentioned a 4-year-old girl in Córdoba who affirmed that she was the victim of abuse by a priest. He indicated that those accused in her case “were transferred from the diocese of Quilmes to Córdoba,” where they held positions at a school and “continue abusing minors.”
He called on those who have suffered similar abuses to present themselves to the Justice System, because, he said, “keeping quiet is being complicit.”