Evangelism Exposed

“Jesus wept.” Joh 11:35

Cape priest accused of sexual assault


A Brazilian priest who ministered at St. Francis Xavier Church in Hyannis and other Cape churches has been placed on leave after being accused of sexual assault on a minor in Connecticut.

Father Jose Afonso Lima was placed on temporary leave Wednesday after the Connecticut allegations came to light, Diocese of Fall River spokesman John Kearns said today.

There have been no accusations brought against Lima on Cape Cod where he has worked for the past 10 years, Kearns said.

Lima, 46, left for Brazil after being notified by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families that the allegation against him was substantiated.

Connecticut authorities had not contacted Lima before or since to speak to him about the accusation, Kearns said. Lima, who lived in South Yarmouth, has returned to Brazil, but the leader of his mission has been in touch with him to convince him to return, according to Kearns.

Lima was part of a Missio, priests organized and sponsored by Brazilian bishops to pastor Brazilian Catholics who now live in the United States.

“At this point we don’t know all that much,” Kearns said.

It is uncommon for priests to be placed on leave, Kearns said. The diocese policy is to place accused priests on leave to facilitate the investigation, he said.

Lima has denied the allegations against him, Kearns said.

August 19, 2008 - Posted by | Brazil, Sex Abuse

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