The Bigamous Bishop on Peruvian TV

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The story of the Bigamous Bishop of Peru Jorge Aguilar that broke last July has now made it onto one of Peru’s most well known current affairs programmes, Noticias. Last week they broadcast 2 segments on 28 & 29 September. Here are the reports with an English translation of the audio.

Special Report: The Sins of an Anglican Bishop Who Confessed to Being a Bigamist

Aguilar: In my heart, I have treasured your words so as not to sin against you. I am a sinner who has been redeemed.

Reporter: A dark and sordid past haunts the highest representative of the Anglican Church in Peru, a former Catholic priest, who chose the path of God but ended up biting the forbidden fruit, a temptation that led him to fall into the sin of being civilly married, to two different women for eight years.

Aguilar: It is the month of September, the month of the Bible. Read your Bible.

Reporter: Many years before becoming president and primate of the Anglican Church of Peru, Bishop Jorge Luis Aguilar Ocampo was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest. He was even blessed by Pope John Paul II, as shown in these photographs. Despite his vows of chastity, the clergyman impregnated a seventeen-year-old, with whom he had a forbidden love affair.

Lawyer: At that time, he left the church because he impregnated a minor and had to marry her.

Aguilar:  Afterward, with your words in my heart, Lord, I will not sin against you. I will not sin against my neighbour,

Reporter: But the bishop committed a sin a sin that led him to withdraw from the Catholic Church so that months later he could marry the young woman who was carrying his daughter in her womb. After abandoning his vows, Jorge Luis Aguilar Ocampo decides to join the Anglican Church of Peru; the largest Christian church in the world after the Catholic and Orthodox. Unlike Catholics, Anglican priests do not take a vow of celibacy and can marry and have children.

Aguilar: I am a sinner who has been redeemed.

Reporter: This is the civil marriage certificate between Jorge Luis Aguilar Ocampo and his first wife with the initial ‘E’. The ceremony was conducted by the municipality of San Martín de Porres in the year one thousand nine hundred and ninety-two. But fourteen years later, Father Aguilar Ocampo entered into marriage with another woman, aged twenty-eight, with the initial ‘S’.

In the civil marriage record of the municipality of San Juan de Miraflores for the year two thousand six, the groom states that he is single even though he was still married to his first wife with the initial ‘E’ when he married this person when the other marriage was still in effect, still in force, which would constitute a crime.

Lawyer: Bigamy in Peru is a crime punishable by imprisonment.

Reporter: According to Article one hundred and thirty-nine of the Penal Code, the married person who enters into marriage will be punished with a term of imprisonment of not less than one nor more than four years. A law that was overlooked by the clergyman for almost a decade, until in two thousand fourteen, Jorge Luis Aguilar decided to divorce his first wife. As stated in this resolution from the municipality of Barranco, with the initial ‘E’.

Lawyer: Christian principles have a very important moral component, not telling the truth and then committing crimes.

Reporter: The Public Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation against Jorge Luis Aguilar Ocampo for the alleged offense against the family in the form of bigamy.

In August of last year, the first Provincial Corporate Criminal Prosecutor’s Office of San Juan de Miraflores decided to close the case, arguing that the offense had prescribed. In the following report, we will hear the repentance of Bishop Jorge Luis Aguilar, who seeks redemption before God and the members of his Church.

Bishop who committed bigamy confessed to having impregnated a 17-year-old girl

Aguilar: I am a sinner who has been redeemed;

Reporter: His past sins continue to haunt him.

Aguilar: In my heart, I have treasured your words so as not to sin against you.

Reporter: Now transformed into the highest representative of the Anglican Church in Peru, Bishop Jorge Luis Aguilar claims to be repentant. The clergyman decided to break his silence and speak for the first time in front of a television camera about his alleged bigamous marriage and his departure from the Catholic Church after impregnating a minor.

Aguilar: I have followed a path of repentance, I have asked for forgiveness from my church and my authorities.

Reporter: When he’s not officiating a religious ceremony at the Anglican Cathedral of Peru, Jorge Luis Aguilar Ocampo resides in this house in San Juan de Miraflores with his second wife and their children. There we found him.

During the interview, the clergyman admitted to impregnating a 17-year-old when he was still a Catholic priest.

Aguilar: It’s entirely true. I won’t resort to the famous law of 14 or 15 years old, I won’t do that. I’m aware of it, but we were very much in love.

Reporter: Were you a priest at the time?

Aguilar: Exactly, I was a Catholic priest. We fell in love.

Reporter: The Bishop stated that it was love that led him to break his vows of celibacy and chastity as a minor while being a priest. As a result of this sin, a daughter was born.

Aguilar: That first look sounds horrible, it sounds unjust. It’s my sin. We fell in love and took a step, rather, it wasn’t something forced, it wasn’t something against.

Reporter: Jorge Luis Aguilar stated that after this episode, he decided to leave the Catholic Church and join the Anglican Church. Shortly after, he was able to marry the mother of his daughter, whose name begins with an ‘E’, in a civil ceremony. The clergyman explained why, years later, he married another woman without having divorced his first wife.

Do you acknowledge that you committed bigamy?

Aguilar: I acknowledge that I didn’t do the right thing. It’s entirely true. I was separated, separated for a long time, practically separated for about five or six years already. But that divorce, of course, that’s what was missing, to conclude it. It’s entirely true.

Reporter:  Why did you marry again when you hadn’t divorced your first wife, Bishop?

Aguilar: That’s a good question, it’s a good question. I’ve settled it not only with my superiors but also with everyone.

Reporter: The Bishop admitted that he not only committed an immoral and accursed act in the eyes of God and the church, but also outside the law.

Aguilar: In religious terms, we have asked for forgiveness for the church. Then, with the statute of limitations, the state has given us the opportunity to move forward.

Reporter: A dark past that was rejected by a group of members of the Anglican Cathedral of Good Shepherd.

Lawyer: However, the representatives we contacted expressed complete indignation and full rejection of how this case is being handled and the importance being given to a person who does not have the moral standing for it. Someone with such a background cannot be a person with decision-making power and influence in the association’s decisions.

Reporter: Although these facts are well-known in the Anglican community in Peru, they claim that Jorge Aguilar has the support of the Bishop’s Council. We reached out to the president of the Council of the Good Shepherd Anglican Cathedral, and this is what he replied:

We wanted to know what the position of the Good Shepherd Council is regarding Bishop Jorge Luis Aguilar. Do you support him or not?

Botts: Yes, we fully support him. He’s our bishop.

Reporter: Some members of the Good Shepherd Association filed a lawsuit to request a meeting to evaluate the exclusion of Bishop Aguilar from the Board of Directors.

Lawyer: What we are basically pointing out is a question of immorality and lack of authority for the purposes of exercising a position as such and for him to be a member of the association.

Reporter: A long-buried dark secret that comes to light today and involves one of the main pillars of the historic Anglican church in South America.

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