Bolivian Bishops’ Conference criticizes 5-hour interrogation of fellow bishop in abuse case

During its plenary assembly, the Bolivian Bishops’ Conference expressed its solidarity and closeness to the bishop of San Ignacio de Velasco, Robert Flock, saying he “was a victim of excesses” by prosecutors who interrogated him as witness in a case against a priest.

The bishop was summoned to testify as a witness in the case of a priest of the diocese who is under investigation for alleged rape, “and he found himself in an irregular interrogation of more than five hours, by other prosecutors, as if he were supposedly guilty,” the bishops said in a statement.

The statement was read Nov. 13 by the secretary general of the conference, Bishop Giovani Arana, and the deputy secretary general, Father Diego Pla, at Cardenal Maurer House in Cochabamba, where the 113th Assembly of Bishops is taking place.

The case involves Father Erick Palomino Fuentes, who was suspended from priestly ministry at his own request after pornographic images of him were found on his cellphone, which he had left behind in a taxi, were posted on social media. In addition, he has been accused of raping an adult man.

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