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Costa Rican Catholic Church to pay damages to those abused by former priest

The Costa Rican Bishops’ Conference and the Archdiocese of San José revealed that an agreement was reached to compensate the victims of sexual abuse by ex-priest Mauricio Víquez Lizano.

“To conclude these proceedings, an agreement has been reached taking into account the procedural possibilities given by the law and which is satisfactory to all parties,” the Church indicated in a press release issued on February 1.

Four victims filed civil lawsuits and spoke of the acts perpetrated by the now ex-priest.

“According to what is established in this instrument, the content of this agreement is subject to a confidentiality clause, so no statements will be made in this regard,” the Costa Rican Bishops’ Conference said.

In August 2022, a court ruled against San José Archbishop José Rafael Quirós and the Temporal Assets of the Archdiocese of San José for covering up Viquez’s sexual abuse.

At the time, The Church indicated that it would appeal the sentence, but, in the end, an agreement was reached with the victims.

Víquez was also accused of “29 counts of non-penetrating sexual abuse; 22 for sexual abuse of a minor; one for attempted rape; three for rape; five for the dissemination of pornography; and one for aggravated corruption of a minor involving sexual practices,” as reported by CNA.

He escaped to Mexico, where he was captured on August 18, 2019. Interpol had issued an international arrest warrant, and following his capture, he was extradited to Costa Rica.

“The problem of the sexual abuse of minors is a dramatic situation in society. The Church regrets that cases have occurred in ecclesial circles and works to prevent this and provide safe environments,” the Catholic Church concluded.

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