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Feb 20, 2019

The Attorney General Says No Priest is Above the Law

The scandal involving well-known Catholic priest Oliver Smalls has taken many by surprise, including those in his flock who attend service at La Inmaculada Parish in Orange Walk.  Smalls is facing allegations of sexual abuse of minors in the U.S.  While the disgraced minister has reportedly left the country, the debate rages on as to whether there should be tighter controls and background checks on priests entering the country for work by the Office of the Attorney General.  Today, Michael Peyrefitte told the media that while his office will not go about arbitrarily requesting records on priests, it will not turn a blind eye once allegations are being made against them in Belize.

 

Michael Peyrefitte

Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General

“A crime is a crime is a crime, it doesn’t matter who has committed it.  Whether it’s a priest or whether it’s whoever within any organization.  When you commit a crime in Belize, you commit a crime as far as the state is concerned, against the people of Belize and it doesn’t matter.  However, we can’t just speculate and just require the revelation of records that we have nothing to do with.  The question would be, did this alleged crime occur in Belize?  If it did not occur in Belize, unfortunately it’s not within our jurisdiction and whatever the church decides to do with one of their priest that’s the church’s decision, that has nothing to do with the government.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Nonetheless, in a system where there is the church and the state and kids are exposed to some of these priests because of the church/state system, wouldn’t the government be in a position to…”

 

Michael Peyrefitte

“If we have evidence, if we have evidence that any priest has assaulted any minor in this country, it would not matter if it’s a priest, a crime is a crime.  It doesn’t matter who commits it, we would go after anybody who commits any crime, however, like everybody else, we can’t just recklessly and irresponsibly cast aspersions on people for whom we have no evidence that they’ve committed a crime.  But I assure you, if anybody, including a priest, were to commit a crime of any kind in this country, it wouldn’t matter that that person is a priest.”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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No Responses for “The Attorney General Says No Priest is Above the Law”

  1. spotfire says:

    He speaks so well, and yet talks so much crap… “A crime is a crime is a crime…” tell that to Penner. Don’t believe this man says!

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