Two catholic priests arrested in Miami for performing sexual act in a car

By : Melanie Ararat
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ABOVE: Diego Berrio and Edwin Giraldo Cortez were arrested in Miami after allegedly performing sexual acts in a parked car, reports said. Photo courtesy of Miami Beach Police Department

Two Catholic priests from Chicago were arrested in Miami on Sept. 3 for allegedly performing a sexual act in a car parked on a Miami Beach Street.

“This is in broad daylight, 13th Street and Ocean Drive,”  Miami Beach Police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez says. “There are no tints on the window.”

Diego Berrio, the pastor of Mission San Juan Diego in Chicago, and Edwin Giraldo Cortez, an extern priest from Colombia, were performing oral sex in the front seat of the car in full view of the public on Ocean Drive, according to the police report.

“I observed defendant Berrio in the passenger seat, performing oral sex on defendant Giraldo who was seated in the driver’s seat,” the police report says. “Giraldo’s pants were unzipped and his genitals exposed.”

Berrio and Giraldo Cortez are being charged with misdemeanor counts of lewd and lascivious behavior and Giraldo Cortez was also charged with indecent exposure.

“Their profession is irrelevant; in fact our trouble with this is that this is broad daylight, for anyone to see including children,” Miami Beach Police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez says.  “There’s a time and a place for everything and this certainly was not the time and place.”

The Archdiocese of Chicago released a statement Sept. 4.

“Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, has removed Fr. Berrio from ministry and withdrawn his faculties to minister in the Archdiocese of Chicago, effective immediately,” The Archdiocese of Chicago says. “Archdiocese representatives have been in contact with Fr. Cortes’ home diocese of Soacha, Colombia and informed them that Fr. Cortes will not be granted additional faculties to minister in the Archdiocese of Chicago.”

It is the Archdiocese of Chicago’s responsibility to make sure those who serve their people are fit for ministry and they will continue updating people on the situation, according the Archdiocese  of Chicago.

Police noted that there is a children’s playground nearby. Candice Parker was with her son at the playground.

“The fact that they are priests is above and beyond shocking,” she says. “I don’t understand this kind of behavior. They’re supposed to be leading good example and they’re doing exactly the opposite.”

The two priests have been released on bond.

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