Brazilian Jesuits Under Fire For Sexual Abuse

A new association of abuse survivors in Bolivia, created in the wake of revelations last May of more than 80 cases of abuse perpetrated by a Jesuit priest over four decades, has filed a lawsuit against the Society of Jesus.

“The Jesuits tried to cover-up the cases for many years. They had information on what was going on and failed to take it to the authorities. We consider that they committed crimes in a systematic way and now they have to take responsibility for them,” said Wilder Flores, president of the new association and himself an abuse survivor.

On Oct. 10, the Bolivian court system accepted the lawsuit and opened a case against the Society of Jesus. An inquiry presently is being carried out. A spokesman for the Jesuits told Crux the order is committed to solidarity with survivors, and is cooperating fully with both criminal and civil investigations.

The new survivors’ association in Bolivia was legally formed by 25 victims, but it claims to bring together more than 100 survivors. In turn, those people say they’re in touch with an even larger number of victims who haven’t decided yet to join the group, but who’ve been providing information.

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