The Archdiocese of Miami put two priests on administrative leave pending an internal investigation into allegations they held orgies with teen-age boys in the 1970s.
The Revs. Ricardo Castellanos and Alvaro Guichard are named in a lawsuit filed this week by a former altar boy accusing them of forcing him to participate in orgies with the priests and the other boys at Church of the Little Flower in Miami.
Jose Albino Currais Jr.’s lawsuit also names the Vatican (news – web sites) and the Miami archdiocese. He said the abuse took place from 1971 to 1974.
The archdiocese said in a statement Wednesday that the priests were on temporary leave. Archdiocese officials did not return a call seeking further comment.
Guichard, pastor of St. Francis de Sales Church in Miami Beach, denied the allegations Wednesday. He said he only met with Currais two or three times when Currais was a teen-ager as part of an after-school religious group. He denied ever having any sexual encounter with him.
Castellanos, the pastor of San Isidro Church in Pompano Beach, did not return a call seeking comment.
Guichard accused Currais of conspiring to denigrate the church.
“This is an agenda against the Catholic Church,” Guichard said. “When a (Protestant) minister is caught having sex in a van with a 17-year-old, he’s in the news for one day. If that had been a priest, we wouldn’t have seen the end of it.”
Currais’ attorney, Jeffrey Herman, scoffed at the priest’s claims and denial of allegations that he had meetings of a sexual nature with Currais.