Chicago-Area Priest Removed From Ministry After Florida Arrest

A Chicago-area priest has been removed from ministry after he and another priest with ties to Chicago were arrested for allegedly performing sexual acts on each other in broad daylight in Miami Beach, officials said. 

Cardinal Blase Cupich said Tuesday Rev. Diego Berrio, pastor of Mision San Juan Diego in Arlington Heights, was removed from ministry and has "withdrawn his faculties to minister in the Archdiocese of chicago, effective immediately." 

A second priest from Colombia, who served at St. Aloysius Parish in Chicago for one month in August, will no longer be granted "faculties to minister in the Archdiocese of Chicago," Cupich said in a statement. 

According to police, Florida officers received a call of lewd and lascivious behavior on Monday at 3:20 p.m. on the 1300 block of Ocean Drive.

When police arrived, they found Edwin Giraldo-Cortez, 30, and Berrio, 39, performing sex acts on each other. An officer asked the passenger to lower his window when he noticed one of the passengers had his penis exposed.

Police said the acts were happening in full view of the public passing by on Ocean Drive, and the car did not have tinted windows. 

The two men were arrested, authorities and the archdiocese confirmed. Berrio was charged with lewd and lascivious behavior. Giraldo-Cortez was charged with indecent exposure and lewd and lascivious behavior. 

"It is our responsibility to ensure those who serve our people are fit for ministry," Cupich said in a statement. "We take this matter very seriously and will provide updates as they become available."

The archdiocese is expected to appoint an administrator for the Mision San Juan Diego "as soon as possible." 

Contact Us