Costa Rican police raid Church offices after priests accused of sex abuse

The Metropolitan Cathedral in San Jose Costa Rica Credit Bas van den Heuvel Shutterstock The Metropolitan Cathedral in San Jose, Costa Rica. | Bas van den Heuvel/Shutterstock.

The offices of the Archdiocese of San José and the Costa Rican bishops' conference were raided by police Thursday as part of an investigation of two priests accused of sex abuse.

The Judiciary Investigation Department confiscated computers and files March 7 in search of information regarding Fathers Manuel Antonio Guevara Fonseca and Mauricio Viquez Lizano, and proof of potential cover-up by Archbishop José Rafael Quiros Quiros of San Jose, according to the AP.

Viquez, 54, has been dismissed from the clerical state, the San José archdiocese announced March 4. Nine canonical complaints of sexual abuse of altar boys had been filed against him. He had been teaching at a local university, but he fled Costa Rica Jan. 7, and prosecutors in the country have issued an international arrest warrant.

Guevara, 52, was arrested earlier this month for one allegation of sexual abuse against a minor. He has been released from prison, but has strict regulations to follow and is suspended from his work at Santo Domingo de Heredia parish.

The 52 year-old priest was only kept in prison for one night, but he must check in with civil authorities once a month, cannot change addresses, and has surrendered his passport. He is also forbidden from any form of contact with the victim.

The Costa Rican bishops' conference issued a statement a day after his arrest, seeking forgiveness for a lack of an appropriate response in other sex abuse cases, according to Q Costa Rica.

"We humbly acknowledge our mistakes and ask forgiveness for the faults that have been painfully committed by some members of our church," the bishops said.

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