MIAMI, March 30 (UPI) -- The Archdiocese of Miami and the Vatican knew a South Florida priest had "serious difficulties of a moral nature," lawyers for alleged abuse victims say.
Jessica Arbour and Stuart Mermelstein are representing men who say they were abused as children by the Rev. Ernesto Garcia-Rubio, The Miami Herald reports. They say Luigi Raimondi, then the apostolic delegate to Washington, warned Archbishop Coleman Carroll in a secret letter in 1968 that Garcia-Rubio had been "forced to leave Cuba because of serious difficulties of a moral nature," or homosexuality.
"It was a longstanding and well-known secret that the Vatican and Archdiocese of Miami knew exactly what Ernesto Garcia-Rubio was capable of," Arbour said Monday.
Garcia-Rubio, who served as pastor of Our Lady of Divine Providence in Sweetwater, Fla., from 1975 to 1988, was praised for his work with young Cuban and Central-American refugee boys.
Pope Benedict XVI has come under fire in recent weeks because of allegations that as archbishop of Munich and, from 1981 to 2005, as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith he allowed priests to be quietly transferred after allegations of child sexual abuse.