And Now the 82-Year-Old Brazilian Monsignor Is Caught on Tape Having Sex With an Altar BoySAO PAULO — Brazilian police have detained an 83-year-old priest after a congressional hearing produced allegations he molested boys as young as 12, fueling a growing scandal involving Roman Catholic clergy across Latin America.
The pedophilia allegations against Msgr. Luiz Marques Barbosa are the most lurid of sexual scandals to hit the church in one of its most powerful centers recently, driven home by a TV station broadcast of a sex tape of him in bed with a 19-year-old widely distributed on the Internet.
Sen. Magno Malta, the Brazilian lawmaker leading the legislature's sexual abuse probe, said Barbosa's detention late Sunday was a milestone in the fight against child abuse in Brazil.
He said the investigation is not an attack on the church, but on child abuse.
But Barbosa's detention came amid a cascade of accusations of abuse against Latin American priests for alleged sexual abuse of minors, and a controversial declaration last week in Chile by Pope Benedict XVI's second-in-command that homosexuality and not celibacy was the primary reason for the abuse – even though Latin American girls and women also say they have been abused by priests.
The scandals have made huge headlines throughout Brazil, which has more Roman Catholics than any other nation in the world, and where media attention has been intense on sexual activity by priests in Europe and the U.S., plus accusations against them throughout Latin America.
Just this month, church officials in Uruguay confirmed they had not revealed the whereabouts to police of a defrocked priest who fled home to his family in Uruguay after a nun accused him of raping three children in Bolivia. And a priest in Chile was charged with eight cases of sexually abusing minors, including a girl he had fathered.
A Mexican woman in March charged that the deceased, scandal-tainted founder of a conservative Catholic religious order abused one of the two sons she said he fathered with her. The Legionaries of Christ, the order founded by the Rev. Marcial Maciel, had acknowledged a little over a year earlier in a separate case that Maciel had molested seminarians.
Around the globe, The Associated Press reported last week that reporters had found 30 cases of priests accused of abuse who were transferred or moved abroad by the church and some escaped police investigations. Many had access to children in other countries, and some abused again. The probe spanned 21 nations across six continents.