The former managing director of the Latin America aid organization Adveniat and Bishop Emil Stehle (1926-2017) is said to have taken in abusers in his diocese in Ecuador.
In 1990, for example, Stehle had a priest from the Spanish Archdiocese of Barcelona, against whom serious allegations of abuse were made, work in his diocese of Santo Domingo de los Colorados in Ecuador and later appointed him his private secretary.
This is the result of joint research by the ARD political magazine “report Munich” and the Spanish daily newspaper “El País”, which will be broadcast on Tuesday evening as a television report and previously published as a text on the news website “tagesschau.de”. In another case, Stehle is said to have included a priest from the Archdiocese of Cali in Colombia in his diocese.
An independent investigation is currently under way into Stehle’s time as Adveniat managing director (1977-1988) and head of the “Fidei Donum” office of the German Bishops’ Conference (1972-1984). In this function, the future bishop is said to have enabled priests who had allegedly committed abuse in Germany to flee to Latin American countries.
According to ARD, under the aegis of the current bishop of Santo Domingo de los Colorados, Bertram Wick, the diocese in Ecuador is also currently working on ten old cases of sexual abuse in the diocese that date back to Stehle and his successor. The work has been going on since 2016, according to the legal vicar of the diocese, Padre Jorge Apolo.
At the request of the internet portal catholic.de, a spokesman for Adveniat said that the cases of foreign priests were not included in the investigation. For the study, the information on the German Fidei Donum priests would be evaluated.
The office “Fidei Donum” (Gift of Faith) was responsible for coordinating the foreign missions of the clergy sent from German dioceses to Latin America. The Latin name refers to a missionary encyclical by Pope Pius XII. in 1957, in which he called for priests to be sent to Africa, Asia and South America to fill the shortage of priests there.
Adveniat announced in May that the results of the investigation will be published later this year. The dioceses to which the priests concerned belonged would then be informed, since that is where the personal files would be located.