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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Three Jesuit priests with ties to a Downtown Miami church have “credible sex abuse allegations involving minors or a vulnerable adult” raised against them.
Friday, the Jesuits of the U.S. Central and Southern province released a list of 42 priests accused of sexual misconduct.
The province will not release how long three of them were assigned in Miami and whether the allegations came from the historical church in downtown. The province told CBS 4 not releasing locations will help protect survivors.
“It’s something that needs to be dealt with.” Church member Joshua Hernandez said.
Hernandez and his wife, Vida, and are faithful members of Gesu Parish Catholic Church.
“This is a church of Christ. It will be cleaned up. It needs to be cleaned up,” Joshua Hernandez said.
Since these are decades-old abuse claims, members want higher-ups to come clean about anything else to move forward.
“The anger is kind of fizzling out and I think that’s what people high-up in the church that are covering these things up want to happen,” Vida Hernandez said.
Thomas Hidding’s allegation is from the 1980s. He was then removed from the ministry in 2002 and died three years later.
J. Donald Pearce has allegations from the 1960s and retired from the ministry in 2003 because of poor health and died two years ago.
Austin Park was accused of abuse in the 1960s and left the ministry because of dementia before the allegations surfaced. He then died in 2013.
“We are faithful Catholics. As faithful Catholics, we are not going to turn a blind eye.” Joshua Hernandez said.
They want this dark cloud taken care of to continue to show light on what churches are doing to help neighbors.
“We have a very strong beautiful community,” Joshua Hernandez said.
A spokesperson with The Archdiocese of Miami told CBS 4 over the phone they were not aware of the allegations since the Jesuit priests answered to the province.
They didn’t comment any further.