“Pastors are supposed to be the good guys, the people you can trust,” KPNX reporter Dee Dee Gatton breathlessly declares. “But Pastor Jose Vincente Morales apparently led a double life.”
According to KPNX:
‘A Phoenix pastor is accused of sex crimes against at least five victims, some who were relatives or members of his church. According to court documents, 49-year-old Jose Vicente Morales has been molesting or engaging in sexual contact with minors for years.’
The appalling abuses of the Iglesia Impacto de Fe’s pastor came to light when a distraught mother told police her teenage daughter was cutting herself. Why? Because their pastor sexually abused her when she was 12 years old.
And then there’s the victim who told police Jose Vincente Morales Morales repeatedly molested her from ages 7 to 12…Including one time while the two of them were in a swimming pool. Another church member, who is now 18, came forward to say the pastor “lured her and then sexually assaulted her in a home.”
But wait, this story keeps getting worse. Would you like to know how Pastor Jose Vincente Morales met his wife? ABC 15 reports he started “dating” her when he was 19 and she was 8 years old — 8 years old! — and married her in Mexico at age 10. He then got his new “wife” pregnant when she was only 13.
And here’s a photo with their delightful family now.
According to the church website (translated from the original Spanish):
‘Pastors Jose and Yesenia Morales were chosen by God to carry out this vision and be bearers of your dream: the dream of the Father. The Lord chose, separated and brought to this city, in order to raise a generation of men and women of the Kingdom, with a pure and obedient heart.’
ABC15 adds that Jose Vincente Morales was taken into custody on September 9 and is charged with sexual abuse, child molestation, and sexual conduct with a minor. Given the nature of his crimes, the court did not allow him to post bail. Meanwhile, neither ABC15 nor KPNX managed to reach anyone at the church for comment.
So what’s up with these evangelical “Christian” church leaders and sexual abuse against children? Don R. Selter, a SNAP volunteer told KPNX he hears stories like this “all the time.”
‘They play on their spiritual position to accomplish that, which I think is just disgusting. [They’re] using their place and authority to overwhelm the child with their own intelligence, power, and spirituality.’
Libby Anne, a blogger on Patheos who grew up in an evangelical Christian family writes: “The community in which I grew up is not a safe place for children.” Not only is sexual abuse common in the evangelical community, so is covering it up.
‘A particularly problematic set of beliefs contributes to evangelicals’ frequent inability to properly address sexual abuse. Evangelical teachings about forgiveness and redemption make it incredibly easy for child predators to convince those around them that they have changed, and that they should be allowed to resume their ministry positions and their access to children. Evangelical modesty teachings also make it far too easy to blame women and children for their own assaults.’
Worst of all, for Libby Anne, is the book of Proverbs warning, “beware the wayward woman.” Churches like the one Pastor Jose Vincente Morales runs see females — especially teenage girls — as voracious sexual predators.
Watch: Pastor Jose Vincente Morales charged with child sex crimes.
Featured image: Video screen grab KPNX.