They denounce the Superior of the Jesuits of Bolivia for cases of abuse for "institutional responsibility", which includes the Pope

A group of former students of the John XXIII school, in the City of Cochabamba, filed a complaint against the provincial superior of the Jesuits, Bernardo Mercado, considering that the Catholic congregation had an "institutional" responsibility in the cases in which they accuse nine Jesuits for pedophilia.

Jesuit of the modernist school

In addition, there are eight ex-provincials who, according to the complainants, were aware of the abuses committed by the Jesuits and who must respond as "accomplices and accessories."

The complaint is based on the "constitutionality block" which considers that the members of the religious organization committed "systematic violations" towards a specific population and are considered "against humanity", therefore, which are therefore not time-limited.

The Society of Jesus in Bolivia has responded to the complaint with a statement denying any type of institutional responsibility.

They assure in the note that they have assumed for several years, "their institutional responsibility to avoid any type of violence and sexual abuse, working on the development of prevention policies and protocols and ensuring the validity of healthy and safe spaces in all the works to be carried out." 

Furthermore, they emphasize that they are "actively supporting the victims of cases of alleged or credible pedophilia committed in past decades by members of the institution, caring for them through their Listening and Care Center; which has provided and continues to offer psychological and therapeutic support to the victims who have contacted this body, also supporting them with legal advice that has resulted in the presentation of 5 formal complaints before the Public Ministry, 3 against Jesuits and 2 against others clerics.

The Society of Jesus maintains that they have demonstrated at all times "a policy of absolute transparency and collaboration with the investigations conducted by the Public Ministry, directly presenting 3 documented complaints, in addition to encouraging and accompanying victims of abuse to present theirs, as mentioned in the previous point.

That is why they reaffirm that their institutional duty "is being fulfilled and guaranteed, with the priority that the victims find justice."

"As for the reported crimes, as established by our laws, they are of a personal nature and these individual responsibilities must be investigated, determined and sanctioned by Justice in accordance with the rule of law and the legal system of the country," they add in the note. .

The statement from the Bolivian Jesuits concludes by assuring that "the crimes that some Jesuits may have committed are entirely their own responsibility and the Society of Jesus in Bolivia will be the first to ensure that the possible sanctions they deserve are applied without any type of privilege".


Background on the Pope's knowledge of the case


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