February 18, 2005

Miami Archdiocese suit prompts priests to retire

Bradenton Herald

Knight Ridder Tribune News Service

FORT LAUDERDALE - A suspended South Florida Catholic priest unexpectedly retired last week and a second one said Wednesday he also plans to retire following the latest sexual misconduct lawsuit to hit the Archdiocese of Miami.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, a 40-year-old man identified only as John Doe No. 20, claims at least seven Catholic priests and a church cook sexually abused him during the 1980s. The man claims he was also locked and sexually abused inside of an Atlanta church basement by a different priest he went to seeking refuge.

The lawsuit names the Rev. Ricardo Castellanos, former pastor of San Isidro Church in Pompano Beach as one of the abusers. The archdiocese placed Castellanos on administrative leave in 2002 following multiple sexual misconduct allegations against him in different cases.

Castellanos, who was awaiting a church tribunal, turned in his resignation last week, said his attorney, James Nosich.

Posted by kshaw at February 18, 2005 04:08 AM