Deceased Jesuit Priest Accused of Abusing ‘Hundreds’ of Indigenous Girls

A Spanish Jesuit has been discovered to have documented his abuse of hundreds of Indigenous girls while serving as a missionary in rural Bolivia — atrocities which the Society of Jesus has known about since at least 2019 and did not immediately report to the civil authorities.

Jesuit Father Luis María Roma wrote in a diary of abusing girls, whom he often lured to a river and photographed inappropriately, according to the Spanish newspaper El País. The Jesuit province in Bolivia compiled a report on Roma’s acts in 2019, but withheld it from prosecutors, according to El País, which obtained a copy of the priest’s diary and the Jesuit’s investigation.

Roma died in August 2019, shortly before the report’s completion. El País published a notarized confession by the priest signed in May 2019, which read, “I got carried away, in some situations, by libidinous acts, inappropriate for a religious person, with girls from eight to 11 years old.”

In a June 16 statement, the Jesuits expressed “deep regret” that “those who were in charge of addressing the complaints of sexual abuse from girls, boys and adolescents and acting on behalf of the victims were negligent, indolent and disastrous, without putting victims at the center of their attention. Those who acted in this way must be held responsible for their actions in handling such situations, as established by the Bolivian justice system within the framework of due process.”

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