José Leonardo Araujo, a Venezuelan victim of clerical pedophilia by a Pauline priest, said that to have made John Paul II a saint in such a short time after his death was “a rudeness, a slap in the face for us victims of abuse“, as he pointed out that” he covered up many pedophile priests. ”
The now lawyer of Venezuelan origin said that the media are the only ones who believe in the victims when they decide to speak, however, he pointed out that the Catholic Church does not act with the necessary speed in cases of clerical pedophilia.
“To have made John Paul II a saint is rude, it is a slap in the face for us, the victims of abuse, he allowed the priests to be transferred from one place to another, John Paul II covered up many pedophile priests“said José Leonardo Araujo, a victim of abuse.
In a press conference, Araujo explained that his abuser, the priest of Mexican origin, Juan Huerta Ibarra, fled from Mérida, Venezuela, where the abuses occurred, to Mexico and confirmed that the religious is in the provincial house of the Pauline fathers located in Iztapalapa.
He announced that the case continues to be investigated in a civil manner in Venezuela, The prosecutor in charge will present the final data to start the trial against priest Huerta Ibarra.
The victim detailed that lhe abuses against him began in 2001 when he was 13 years old and his perpetrator was 46, Meanwhile, the minor was attending the “Reina de los Apóstoles” community, house of formation for aspiring priests of the Pauline congregation in Mérida, Venezuela.
The abuses continued until March 2002, when he stopped attending the training house for aspirants, however it was until March 22, 2019, when José Leonardo handed over to the Cardinal of Venezuela, Baltazar Porras Cardozo, the complaint for “Continued Lewd Acts”.
During 2019, José Leonardo officially denounced Juan Ibarra before the Superior General of the Paulines in Rome, Valdir José de Castro, and before the provincial in Mexico-Cuba, José Faustino Hernández Esteves, as well as before the apostolic nunciature of Venezuela.
Faced with the promise that “the case would be thoroughly investigated,” Faustino Hernández transferred priest Juan Huerta Ibarra to Chicago, United States, with visits to Havana, Cuba and later to Mexico.
By August 2019, Huerta Ibarra was in Mexico and actively participated in pastoral activitiessThis despite the fact that the congregation of the Paulines had knowledge of the ecclesial and civil complaints presented by José Leonardo.
That same month, the ecclesiastical authorities appointed the Jesuit priest Arturo Peraza Célis to investigate the events, but incurred a series of irregularities during the investigation. In January 2020, it was announced that the case it would be archived until the victim presented witnesses and “more precise” evidence.
In December 2019, José Leonardo sent emails to the Conference of the Mexican Episcopate and the Apostolic Nuncio Franco Coppola to request their collaboration in the investigation, since eHuerta Ibarra was in Mexico.
In June 2020, the Mexican nunciature informed José Leonardo that his case would be referred to the Archdiocese of Mexico as this is the Metropolitan Ecclesiastical Court.
The Archdiocese of Mexico, for its part, reported that on November 20, 2020, they met with the judicial vicar of the provincial superiors of the Society of San Pablo to inform him of the investigation that was being carried out.
In January of this year, they reported that the case will be handled by the judicial vicar José María Romero Rodríguez. In May 2021, a psychologist assigned by the Archdiocese of Mexico applied psychological tests to José Leonardo as part of the investigation protocol of the case.
On June 30, 2021, José Leonardo testified for six hours before the Canonical Court of the Archdiocese of Caracas.
From May 24 to July 26, 2021, the courts of the Archdioceses of Caracas and Mérida, Venezuela, took testimonies from José Leonardo’s witnesses.
July 11, 2021. José Leonardo gave the Archdiocese of Caracas a letter written by his mother, in which she demands justice and explains the mechanism of abuse of trust that Huerta used within the Araujo Araque family.
He detailed that the Public Ministry of Venezuela spoke with the clerical superior of the Catholic congregation of the Paulines, and he said that he had nothing to say, “that if they wanted to know something they had to call their lawyers.”
Araujo revealed that the priest involved tried to reach an economic agreement with him so as not to continue with the judicial process. Therefore, they asked the Mexican authorities to Help to extradite Huerta Ibarra to Venezuela to continue the process against him.
He ended by saying that there are two other victims who assured that they had suffered abuse by Huerta IbarraHowever, they decided not to file a complaint, so they want their complaint to encourage the other two people to make their complaint.