.- As cases of sexual abuse by clergy and religious within the European Church have manifested themselves in five different countries, news of more abuses has come to light in South America. Three priests have been suspended for their involvement in alleged homosexual activities in a diocese of eastern Brazil.
Investigations were acknowledged on Tuesday when Holy See spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, released a statement through Vatican Radio affirming concretely that no bishops were involved in the cases.
Reports from Brazil had mistakenly tied the activities to bishops, as they also carry the title of "monsignor" there.
The situation was made public in the Latin American nation this week when a video was run on Brazil's SBT Television Station that allegedly shows 82-year old Monsignor Luiz Marques Barbosa involved in sexual relations with a 19-year old man.
According to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, after the show was aired, he and two other priests from the Diocese of Penedo, Msgr. Raimundo Gomes and Fr. Edilson Duarte, were suspended by Bishop Valerio Breda for possible homosexual acts.
The AP reported Fr. Lombardi as having said that two of the priests had been suspended and the third has been removed from his parish and is facing civil charges.
Italy's La Stampa newspaper cited Church and police sources explaining that the three had been under investigation by the local police for having abused children in a choir over the course of many years. In an article on Thursday, they reported that the video was taken by a 21-year old who claims that he was abused by Msgr. Marques Barbosa when he was 12.