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An accused molester had a talk with the father of one of his alleged victims while behind bars, and that conversation is now raising questions about the Archdiocese of Miami.
On May 18, an exchange between inmate Miguel Cala and an alleged victim's father was videotaped inside a Broward County jail.
"For their healing," said the family's attorney, Jeff Herman, "they wanted to go to the jail to talk to Cala to understand how this all happened."
Cala, a former St. Andrews Catholic School music teacher, stands accused of sexually abusing children during private music lessons.
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During the May conversation, Cala, who attended seminary in Venezuela and Miami, told the father of one of his alleged victims that he confessed to his superiors about pleasuring himself and other emotional struggles he faced. "I gotta go to confession, because of demons making me do this," Cala said.
The father replied, "This is up here in Miami, too?"
Cala: "Well at the seminary, yes, because we had priests 24/7 there for confession."
Alleged victim's father: "That was the first time you confided in someone about the pedophilia [in Venezuela]?"
Cala: "As I said, it wasn't that particular name that I gave it, you know? Because it wasn't just with that particular age."
Alleged victim's father: "But it included part of that age?"
Cala: "It included, yeah, but it wasn't, like I said, that only ... I confessed so many times to so many priests."
The family of one of Cala's alleged victims is now wondering what the Archdiocese in Miami knew about Cala's confessions.
Officials did ask Cala to leave the seminary and urged him to seek counseling to deal with anxiety. However, he was hired at St. Andrews around the same time that he left the seminary.
On Thursday, the Archdiocese will ask a judge to prevent the family from visiting Cala. Herman said, "To them, it's another slap in the face."
In June though, the alleged victim's father expressed concern about the man accused of abusing his son. "Thank you for coming," Cala said. "I haven't been doing well. It's an ongoing thing, the whole, I don't know."
The alleged victim's father replied, "Maybe at some point, part of their healing process might be coming to see you at some point when they're adults. I think you need to be around for that. I think you owe that to them."
A spokeswoman with the archdiocese said they will allow the judicial system to decide if the family can continue to visit Cala. She added, however, that priests are not allowed to discuss confessions.
Cala has not yet answered to the charges he faces in criminal court.
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