Priest In Hot Water For Calling Colombians Drug Dealers and Criminals

(Credit: Our Lady of Assumption East Boston / Facebook)

BOSTON, MA (WBZ-AM) –  There is some controversy at an East Boston Church after a priest there made some comments that offended some parishioners.

It was during a Mother’s Day service at Our Lady of The Assumption Church when Father Urubiel Moreno, a vicar at the parish,  made disparaging comments toward Colombians.  

Moreno apparently implied that Columbian look like criminals and drug dealers.  While some people thought it was in joking jest, it raised concerns among the community in Boston and even back in Columbia.

State Representative Adrian Madarao who represents the area says he heard from his constituents about Moreno’s comments.

“They are decisive there are no place for comments like that,” Madarao said.

Even Yudy Marcela Peña Correa, the mayor of Don Matías, the municipality a number of Colombians in East Boston are from, sent a letter to the Boston Archdiocese to complain About Moreno’s remarks.

In the letter to the Cardinal Sean O’Malley, it states that even though that they far away they are still concerned for their constituents living in Eastie.

Claudia Sierra, President of the Boston Colombian Committee and whose husband and father-in-law are from Don Matías, says there is no place for comments like this but certainly not at church.

“We can’t generalize that  because a country that has been stigmatized for a drug war that happened in the 80’s,. that every single citizen from that country is like that,” she said “It’s the same way that we thought that every priest from the catholic church was pedophile or a child abuser because of what happened in the catholic church,” Sierra said.

She also said she hopes that this may be able to open up a dialogue of understanding.

According to the Archdiocese, they were very concerned about the comments and it was addressed immediately.  

In a statement they said.

“It is regrettable that Fr. Urubiel Moreno’s comments caused pain and hurt for the community. The archdiocese addressed this as soon as we became informed. Fr. Urubiel has been contrite realizing his comments were wrong. He has apologized at the parish and plans to apologize at Mass this coming weekend. We appreciate Fr. Urubiel’s willingness to make amends and seek the forgiveness of the community. “

Father Moreno has apologized to his parish and plans to do so again at mass this weekend and did not respond to WBZ NewsRadio1030's requests for comment.

WBZ NewsRadio1030's Ben Parker reports.

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