Two Catholic priests have been arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious behavior after being caught engaging in oral sex “in full view of the public passing by on Ocean Drive” in Miami, Florida. One of the priests, a spiritual director for a youth group, has also been charged with indecent exposure because “his genitalia was fully exposed.”
“Yesterday at 3:20 p.m., our officers responded to a 911 call reporting that two males were performing a sexual act inside a car in the 1300 block of Ocean Drive,” said Ernesto Rodriguez, a Miami Beach Police spokesperson. “Officers approached the car and observed the reported conduct occurring inside the car.”
The responding police officer was wearing a body camera, which caught the two Archdiocese of Chicago priests in the act.
The police report says: “The [sexual] act was occurring in full view of the public passing by on Ocean Drive and the sidewalk. It should be noted that the vehicle’s windows were completely clear (no tints/sunscreening material.)”
Father Diego Berrio, 39, was engaged in the sexual act with Father Edwin M. Giraldo-Cortez, 30, who was sitting in the driver’s seat. Giraldo Cortez faces an additional charge of indecent exposure because his genitalia was fully exposed, according to police.
Father Edwin M. Giraldo-Cortez, an extern priest from Colombia who is resident in Chicago, is the “spiritual director and canonical adviser” for a youth group called Iskali. According to its website, 35 percent of its members are between the ages of 15 and 18. Iskali runs “faith awakening retreats” where teenage boys spend the night away from their parental home, according to its website.
The priests “did not immediately notice my presence,” the police officer who responded to the 911 call wrote in his report. “To get their attention, I was forced to knock on the window.”
They were arrested “without incident,” according to the police report. The charges they face are misdemeanors.
According to LifeSiteNews, both police reports indicate that Berrio and Giraldo-Cortez are “in custody.” Berrio and Giraldo-Cortez are both listed as inmates at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. Berrio’s bail is set at $250; Giraldo-Cortez’s is set at $1,500.
UPDATE, September 5, 2018 at 6:26 a.m. EST: The Archdiocese of Chicago announced it has removed Fr. Berrio from ministry and suspended his priestly faculties. Archdiocese representatives have been in contact with Fr. Cortes’ (whose name is spelt differently on the police report) home diocese of Soacha, Colombia and informed them that Fr. Cortes will not be granted additional faculties to minister in the Archdiocese of Chicago.