Fact Check: Stories About Pedophile Priest With HIV Who Raped 30 Children Then 'Forgiven By Church' NOT Real

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Stories About Pedophile Priest With HIV Who Raped 30 Children Then 'Forgiven By Church' NOT Real Does Not Exist

Did the Catholic Church forgive a pedophile priest with HIV who raped 30 children? No, that's not true: There is no evidence the priest the story claims was HIV-positive, raped 30 children and was forgiven by the Catholic church ever existed. The situation and person accused of raping children and being absolved by the church appears to be completely fabricated.

The story appeared in an article (archived here) where it was published by Social-Consciousness.com under the title "Forgiven By Church: Pedophile Priest With HIV Who Raped 30 Children." It opened:

A pedophile priest with HIV, who admitted to raping 30 young girls between the ages of 5 and 10 years old, has been absolved by the Roman Catholic Church and will not face criminal charges. Spanish-language news site Urgente 24 reports

The story about a rapist priest who was forgiven by the Catholic Church remains viral online, but there is no evidence that the man accused of the crime ever existed, was a priest or abused children and was absolved by the church according to Social-Consciousness.com

Here are the gruesome claims of the assaults and the callous way the church ignored the crimes and forgave the predatory priest:

The priest Jose Ataulfo Garcia was acquitted of any crime by the Archdiocese Primada de México after confessing to have sexually abused dozens of girls in the indigenous community of Oaxaca, reports the platform 'Anonymous' of Mexico. The crime of abuse and rape of 30 girls between the ages of 5 and 10, admitted by the cleric himself, adds to the fact that Garcia is a carrier of HIV.

Neither the State of Mexico nor any organization defending the rights of children has spoken about this acquittal, probably due to the respect that the Catholic Church inspires in indigenous areas. In addition, this religious institution has a great influence in Mexican institutions: of the large number of victims, only 2 dared to officially denounce.

The article notes that this case is similar to the sexual abuse inflicted upon children by Catholic priests around the world.

One of the victim's mother wrote a letter to the Pope asking to speak to him, but she was shunned by the Vatican ant old "the matter is closed." Only two out of the thirty rape victims have stepped forward to decry the acquittal. Pope Francis says these kinds of actions by the church are designed to make a "more merciful church." Sadly, what it does is create a soft environment for pedophiles to breed and rape more children. The Roman Catholic Church has had a long history of pedophilia and sodomy across the globe, including the US. Jay Greenburg references The Boston Globe in his commentary on what the church has engaged in.

The story was reported in 2017 and went viral after being reported on Spanish language site. Urgente24.com, found here.

Urgente24.com's text was translated into English via Google Translate and was recited verbatim in Social-Consciouness.com.

Apparently the Archdiocese decided to acquit Ataulfo García of any crime and punishment, despite the evidence that came to public opinion in July. The priest José Ataulfo García was acquitted of any crime by the Primacy Archdiocese of Mexico after confessing to having sexually abused dozens of girls in the indigenous community of Oaxaca, according to the 'Anonymous' platform in Mexico. Adding to the crime of abuse and rape of some 30 girls between 5 and 10 years old, admitted by the clergyman himself, is the fact that García is a carrier of HIV.

However, as of May 15, Urgente24.com notes that the story may be "fake new" in an update at the top of the article.

The article explains what subsequent reporting determined.

However, after publishing it on 09/18/2016, with the title "They absolve a priest with HIV who confessed to abusing 30 girls", Religión Digital deleted the article.

The Information System of the Archdiocese of Mexico (SIAME) revealed that the alleged priest José Ataulfo does not appear in the records of his jurisdiction or in those of the Archdiocese of Antequera-Oaxaca.

In statements collected by SIAME, the spokesman for the Archdiocese of Mexico, Hugo Valdemar Romero, stated that "this alleged priest does not belong to the Archdiocese of Mexico - as Anonymous-Mexico affirms - much less has he been acquitted, as he irresponsibly claims and malicious the publication."

SIAME explained that the accusations would originate in the publication Let's Talk about Mexico, which "a few weeks ago, after opposition from the Catholic Church to presidential initiatives to approve the so-called 'equal marriage' throughout the country, threatened to publish an alleged list of homosexual priests and bishops in which this character appeared."

"However, the existence of such a priest is increasingly doubtful, because according to information collected by SIAME, in the dioceses that make up the Province of Oaxaca there is no record of such a minister," explained the publication of the Archdiocese of Mexico.

In the following weeks, Anonymous de México stopped updating its website and did not spread other news on the subject.

The article was widely picked after Urgente24.com published the story in 2016, especially by the Daily Mail, a British tabloid and the story is still on the site as of May 15, 2020.

The story has not been updated with the claims from the Archdiocese that the priest does not exist in their records.

The Daily Mail is the most read publication in the English-speaking world.

According to Catholic News Agency, there isn't any proof that a priest named José Ataulfo was HIV positive and abused children even exists. The agency contacted the Archdiocese of Mexico after the article and received the response that there are no records of a priest with that name, no records of a case involving an HIV-positive priest raping children nor a record of the Catholic Church forgiving him for the sins.

SIAME, the communications office of the Archdiocese of Mexico, has stated that the supposed priest José Ataulfo is not listed in their jurisdiction's records, nor in those of the Archdiocese of Antequera, Oaxaca.

"This supposed priest does not belong to the Archdiocese of Mexico - as Anonymous Mexico asserts - much less has he been let off, as the post irresponsibly and maliciously states," stated Fr. Hugo Valdemar Romero, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Mexico.

"However, the existence of such a priest is increasingly doubtful, since according to the information gathered by SIAME, in the dioceses that makes up the Province of Oaxaca, there is no record of such a minister," the publication of the Archdiocese of Mexico City explained.

Archbishop José Luis Chávez Botello of Antequera, Oaxaca, stated, "I don't know him [Ataulfo], he's not from the archdiocese."

LeadStories.com reached out to the Archdiocese in Oxaca, Mexico and will update the story if we receive a response.

The accusation of the pedophile priest being forgiven for raping 30 children was attributed to "Anonymous Mexico" in the story and by the Archdiocese of Mexico after the story was published.

The story has been debunked by the Associated Press, the Catholic News Agency and Snopes.com.

Snopes.com debunked the story after it morphed into a claim that a priest who was acquitted of raping children was crucified after the crime was discovered.

The noted the story was published by NeonNettle.com, a site they called "disreputable."

NeonNettle.com posted a gruesome image of a priest in religious vestments in front of a man in a blood-spattered white shirt tied up and hanging by both arms.

Snopes claims the image uses a digitally altered photograph of a real priest on CourageousPriest.com and an image of a real man murdered by Al Qaeda in 2014. The Daily Mail also published these photos and the picture used with the priest has the image flipped.

The Associated Press included the claim in an article titled "Here's the AP's Look At What Didn't Happen This Week in February 2018.

■Not Real: Pedophile Priest With HIV Who Raped 30 Children, Found Crucified Outside Church

The Facts: A report that a priest was found dead outside his church in Oaxaca, Mexico, after the church exonerated him in the assaults of young girls went viral in recent weeks. The story of the priest, Jose Garcia Ataulfo, was published by a conspiracy site known for false accounts. Mexico's archdiocese has no record of the priest at the archdiocese.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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