Fugitive Fathers: How the Vatican’s alleged sex abusers hide and preach in South America (VIDEO)

Catholic priests sexually preying on boys and girls — the scale of rape, abuse and cover-up is well known.

But now, GlobalPost has investigated a disturbing new chapter to the story.

The Catholic Church has allowed priests accused of sexually abusing children in the United States and Europe to escape their pasts by moving to parishes in the poor, remote corners of the developing world. This despite ongoing pledges from a new pope to clean up the church's record on abuse.

We spent the last year tracking down some of these fugitive fathers across South America — not far from the pope's homeland. All but one of the men we found continue to work as priests, enjoying the privilege, respect and unfettered access to young people that comes with being a member of the clergy.

One of the priests admitted to GlobalPost that he had molested a 13-year-old boy, and acknowledged that he can never work again in the US. He continues to preach in a small Peruvian fishing village. Another is currently under investigation by authorities in Brazil for a string of alleged molestations, including accusations in the poor neighborhoods where for two decades he ran a home for street children — with the support of the Catholic Church.