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Former Seminarians Allege Sexual Misconduct by Honduran Bishop

Image: Former Seminarians Allege Sexual Misconduct by Honduran Bishop

Honduran Archbishop Juan Jose Pineda, holds an image of the Suyapa Virgin, patron of Honduras, in Suyapa, in the east of Tegucigalpa, on Feb. 2, 2010. (Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 05 Mar 2018 10:28 AM

Two former seminarians are alleging sexual misconduct by Honduran Bishop Juan José Pineda Fasquelle and have testified that the events allegedly took place earlier this decade at an archdiocesan seminary.

The testimonies come amid concerns about Bishop Pineda's conduct, which have been magnified by previously known allegations of sexual misconduct and other sensitive information that was revealed to the National Catholic Register by sources within Honduras.

Questions are now being raised as to why Pope Francis is yet to act against Bishop Pineda, who took charge of the archdiocese in January, despite knowing about the report since last May.

Bishop Pineda came under fire last year after a report by Italian newspaper L'Espresso brought to light an investigation into the inappropriate behavior of Cardinal Maradiaga, who was accused of financial mismanagement, and Pineda, who faced allegations of sexual misconduct.

The report centered around claims that Maradiaga was receiving an excessively large salary, which he denied to the Catholic News Agency.

However, Maradiaga did not directly address the accusations against Pineda but noted that his auxiliary bishop had "asked the Holy Father for an apostolic visit, in order to clear his name," The National Catholic Register noted.

The two testimonies presented by former seminarians once again bring the allegations against Bishop Pineda to the forefront.

One of the accusers alleged that Bishop Pineda "attempted to have sexual relations … without my authorization, during the period I was in service with him," according to The National Catholic Register noted.

"In the night he came close to me and touched my intimate parts and chest, I tried to stop him, on several occasions I got out of bed and went out. Sometimes I went to the Blessed Sacrament to pray to ask God that that should stop happening."

The second accuser claimed to have witnessed an improper relationship take place between Bishop Pineda and a third seminarian.

"One night we worked until late the bishop invited me to sleep with them," the former seminarian testified, per The National Catholic Register.

"I was expecting it to be in a separate room, however we slept in the same room. In the night the bishop behaved in a strange way ... When it was early morning he tried to abuse me, he wanted to put his leg on me and his hand also. I immediately reacted and pushed him away. The next day everything was normal for him, pretending that he had done that last night while asleep."

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Honduran Bishop Juan José Pineda Fasquelle faces allegations of sexual misconduct lodged by two former seminarians.
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Monday, 05 Mar 2018 10:28 AM
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