A Chicago-area Roman Catholic priest has been removed from a pastoral position after being arrested on charges of engaging in public sex with another priest in Miami Beach, Fla.
Miami Beach police said the Rev. Diego Berrio, 39, and the Rev. Edwin Giraldo Cortes, 30, were caught performing oral sex on each other in a parked car on Ocean Drive Monday afternoon, the Miami Herald reports. Both were charged with lewd and lascivious behavior, and Cortes was additionally charged with public indecency, according to the paper. Both men were still in jail Tuesday afternoon.
"I parked my vehicle and approached the passenger side of the vehicle on foot," an officer wrote in arrest report quoted by the Miami Herald. "I observed defendant Berrio in the passenger seat, performing oral sex on defendant Giraldo who was seated in the driver's seat. Giraldo's pants were unzipped and his genitals exposed. "This act was occurring in full view of the public passing by on Ocean Drive and the sidewalk."
Now Berrio has been removed as pastor of Mision San Juan Diego, a Catholic church in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights, Ill., reports the Chicago area's Daily Herald. Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, head of the Archdiocese of Chicago, issued a statement to that effect today and said further action would depend on the results of the police investigation. "It is our responsibility to ensure those who serve our people are fit for ministry," the statement read. "We take this matter very seriously and will provide updates as they become available." An administrator will be appointed for the parish, Cupich added.
Cortes is a priest from Colombia who served at St. Aloysius Parish in Chicago for the month of August. "Archdiocese representatives have been in contact with Fr. Cortes' home diocese of Soacha, Colombia, and informed them that Fr. Cortes will not be granted additional faculties to minister in the Archdiocese of Chicago," Cupich's statement noted.
Watch a report on the incident from CBS Miami below: