Priest accused of sexual abuse during alleged healing and exorcism rites expelled

Priest accused of sexual abuse during alleged healing and exorcism rites expelled
Priest accused of sexual abuse during alleged healing and exorcism rites expelled

What happened?

The Archbishopric of Concepción, in the Biobío region, communicated the expulsion of priest Roberto Valderrama Bastidasreported by sexual abuse when he performed supposed healing and exorcism rites.

In June 2022, the Church concluded that the priest was guilty of the crime of which he was accused, for which he was suspended and the case was transferred to the Vatican for its corresponding sanction.

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What did the Archbishopric of Concepción say?

The Archbishopric of Concepción reported that on Tuesday Valderrama was notified “of the end of the criminal administrative process against him, which has determined his responsibility in the crimes investigated.”

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Through a statement, he maintained that “the penalty of expulsion from the clerical state was ruled, for crimes reserved to the jurisdiction of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith.”

According to the letter, the resolution had been communicated to victims and the accused had up to 10 days to file a revocation of the sentence.

What is known about allegations of sexual abuse?

The case dates back to 2021, when Roberto Valderrama, 43, was accused of sexual abuse by a family member. Subsequently, other victims joined the complaint.

The crimes would have occurred while he was serving as a priest in the El Sagrario de Concepción parish, during some rituals of healing and exorcism of which he claimed to be a specialist.

In addition, the accused was a member of the council for the prevention of abuse and support for victims, and chancellor secretary of the Archbishopric.

According to Radio Cooperativa, the family of one of the victims issued a statement this Wednesday, highlighting that “the first complainant in this case was his cousinwho suffered sexual assaults inside the Parroquia del Sagrario in Concepción.”

The incident occurred “while she was participating in one of the exorcism rites carried out by the aforementioned priest. She made her complaint to the Catholic Church and through social networks, which motivated more women to report the abuses suffered,” they added.

Complaint

If you are a victim or witness of violence against women, the guidance number provided by the National Service for Women and Gender Equality (SernamEG) is 1455.

The number can be dialed either landline as in cell phone and from there they provide guidance to help victims of abuse or guide you with the mechanisms to make a report.

 
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