ACI Prensa Staff, May 15, 2023 / 07:51 am
Following the consternation in Bolivia following the revelation of serial sexual abuse of minors committed by a deceased Jesuit, the bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Pando and head of the Communication Commission of the Bolivian Bishops’ Conference, Eugenio Cóter, considered the possibility of optional celibacy for priests.
The scandal came to light when the nephew of the deceased Spanish Jesuit priest, Alfonso Pedrajas Moreno who served in Bolivia, found a diary among his personal effects that reveals that the priest had sexually abused as many as 89 minors and that the Jesuit authorities were aware of the abuse and covered it up.
The nephew informed the John XXIII school where the priest was principal; the Spanish prosecutor’s office; the Jesuits; and finally the Spanish newspaper El Pais, which broke the story April 29, shocking Bolivians and sending reverberations throughout the Catholic Church.
In this context, Cóter gave an interview to the FM radio station Erbol in which he referred to "changes that must be made" in the Church. Among them, was his proposal that celibacy be optional for priests since a relationship allows for "an integration of the affective, sexual, bodily dimension."