The following Letter was submitted to Catholic News World on Monday, August 6, 2018. We have deleted the names in order to be discrete. The Church has undergone many abuses; we are publishing this letter to prevent future abuses. We cannot verify this testimony, however, in light of recent cover-ups in the Church of actual abuse, we feel the publication of this letter is necessary for justice. This situation allegedly occurred in the USA. Please pray for this former seminarian and all victims of abuse. Also, please pray for the Church and for an end to abuse.
My name is Andrei Castrillon and here are some details of what happened at Seminary XXX in XXX, XXX when I was a seminarian for the Diocese of XXX until last February.Before going to the retreat in XXX last October, in one of the many times that I shook the hand of the XXX Father XXXX at the exit of the seminary's chapel, I answered to his salute with the phrase "I am very well father" and he pulled my hand and as a reprimand he said: I didn't ask how are you, I said nice to see you. Aware of my distraction, I felt that I should apologize for not paying due attention, in that sense at the first opportunity I had, after mass in the chapel of the XXX Retreat Center in XXX, I waited for my classmates to finish greeting the XXX, to approach him and apologize for my distraction, and then he who was on my right, first grabbed my shoulders and said: "Don't worry, let's worry about what is important," and then he grabbed my butt before climbing the steps on the way out. After this incident, the XXX Father XXX on several occasions during the usual greetings at the exit of the seminary's chapel, by way of intimidation, he didn't want to let go of my hand. In the same way, the day after my departure from the seminary, on February 20th I received a consolation email from Cardinal XXX's lawyer, Mr XXX. In the email this person showed solidarity with me for the terrible mistreatment suffered at the seminary, and asked for my phone number. A few days later he called me to insult and threaten me. While I was in the seminary I spoke about this sexual assault with my father and my spiritual director Father XXX, and sent cryptic messages to other seminarians as well. Somehow these messages arrived to the ears of the XXX and he asked the Bishop of XXX XXX XXX to remove me from the seminary. A seminarian from XXX and former classmate once told me he had sex with the XXX. I must point out that shortly before leaving the seminary, I spoke with three members of the Faculty, and all of them expressed their surprise for my expulsion, since the faculty was never consulted about my dismissal neither my spiritual director. Everything was done very quickly and without scruples, it was necessary to get me out quickly, not only from the seminary, but also from the country as now I am living in Romania. The Archdiocese of XXX and the XXX are aware of my situation but they remain silent. I should say that this terrible experience has shaken my faith in general and the confidence once I had in the Church. And I was very disappointed about Cardinal XXX response to this issue.
(Please Note: This is and remains a Testimony Letter to the Editor, we cannot verify any of the statements made...however, significant abuse has occurred in the past, so please keep the Church and its leaders in prayer. For this reason none of the people accused have been named.)