Las Cruces Diocese releases files, identifies 13 more accused priests (El Paso Times)

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    Las Cruces Diocese releases files, identifies 13 more accused priests – El Paso Times Staff (El Paso Times) / Feb 11 2019

    ALBUQUERQUE – The Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces is releasing thousands of pages of files involving 28 priests who face credible allegations of sexually abusing children.

    The diocese said that it has voluntarily shared personnel files with the New Mexico attorney general’s office.

    Diocese officials also identified 13 other priests who have been the subject of credible allegations while serving in another diocese.

    The diocese released the parishes in the Las Cruces Diocese — which covers the majority of southern New Mexico — in which those accused priests served, but not the dates they served. Nor, in most cases, did the officials release whether the accused priests served in the Las Cruces Diocese prior or after the alleged incidents at other dioceses. However, information is available for some of the named priests in a database the diocese cited as a reference, at www.BishopsAccountability.org. Two of the priests named Monday, however, are not included in the database.

    Additionally, the diocese named a former volunteer teacher at Saint Mary’s High School in Las Cruces, Gary Vau, who pleaded guilty in 2016 to engaging in sexual relations with a 17-year-old student.

    Bishop Gerald Kicanas addressed the matter at a 9 a.m. news conference at the Pastoral Center in Las Cruces.

    The New Mexico Attorney General’s Office said in September it wanted Roman Catholic church officials around the state to allow it to review personnel records for any material that might be related to past or present allegations of sexual abuse.

    The diocese redacted the documents, Kicanas said, “because the Attorney General had said in his communication requesting the transfer of files that they could be made public. We have a serious concern about protecting the identity of victims because it’s difficult for victims to come forward, and if they have any sense that their names would become public, this would be tragic and make them more hesitant to come forward.”

    The bishop said the diocese had sought a confidentiality agreement with the Attorney General’s Office, but no such agreement had been reached Monday morning.

    In response to a query from the Sun-News, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas did not respond directly to the diocese’s concerns about confidentiality.

    Instead, Balderas responded: “In September of 2018, the Diocese should have immediately turned over all criminal records and personnel files related to Lucas Galvan who was previously convicted of sexual abuse in Colorado and still allowed to be around children while working as a priest in Las Cruces.”

    ‘We’ve made some serious mistakes’
    The bishop was questioned at the news conference about Galvan. As reported in the Denver Post, Galvan pleaded guilty in 1989 to sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl.

    “The diocese has not always managed these issues well,” Kicanas said. “We’ve made some serious mistakes … We thought that people who had abused possibly could be re-mediated, they could be reconciled, they could not do this again … Today, any priest who has sexually abused a minor is not able ever, ever to serve as a priest again. We have what is known now as zero tolerance.”

    Kicanas said the Roman Catholic Church has made progress in addressing sexual abuse within the church, stating the church has seen “very little allegations of sexual misconduct” that have taken place since new protocols were put in place by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002.

    “Many sexual misconducts from the past have come forward recently,” Kicanas said, “but they are events that took place well in the past.”

    Nonetheless, Kicanas said a review board established by the diocese to investigate allegations of misconduct by priests currently has “five or six” accused priests under review. The priests named in the allegations are all on suspension while the investigation is in process.

    Deacon Jim Windler said none of these accusations involve minors.

    “We have much to seek repentance for,” Kicanas said. “I know that our people here and the diocese itself is fully committed to address what has happened in the past and what is most important for victims: to make sure that this never, never happens again.”

    This story has been updated with a comment by New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas.

    Priests added to list
    Here are the 13 priests who were accused while serving in another diocese and also once served in the Las Cruces Diocese. Las Cruces diocesan leaders say they have not received complaints, but encourage anyone who has information to contact local authorities first and then contact Margarita Martinez, the victim’s assistance coordinator for the diocese at 575-523-7577 or mmaritnez@rcdlc.org.

    Joseph Angeli
    Las Cruces Diocese: San Jose, La Mesa OL Guadalupe, Tortugas
    Listed by: Diocese of San Antonio

    Alphonse Boardway
    Las Cruces Diocese: Holy Cross Retreat Center
    Listed by: Diocese of Lubbock

    Lucas Galvan
    Las Cruces Diocese: St. Genevieve
    Criminal conviction in: Colorado

    Sabine Griego
    Las Cruces Diocese: St. Eleanor, Ruidoso
    Listed by: Archdiocese of Santa Fe

    James B. Hay
    Las Cruces Diocese: ICC, Alamogordo
    Listed by: Diocese of El Paso

    Austin Keegan
    Las Cruces Diocese: Peter Infant Jesus, Hurley
    Listed by: Diocese of Santa Rosa

    Robert Kirsch
    Las Cruces Diocese: St. Eleanor, Ruidoso
    Listed by: Archdiocese of Santa Fe

    Clive Lynn
    Las Cruces Diocese: St. Rita, Carrizozo
    Listed by: Archdiocese of Santa Fe

    Richard Nesome
    Las Cruces Diocese: OL Purification
    Listed by: Diocese of El Paso

    James Porter
    Las Cruces Diocese: OL Perpetual Help, Truth or Consequences
    Listed by: Archdiocese of Santa Fe

    Emilio Roure
    Las Cruces Diocese: OL Guadalupe, Tortugas
    Listed by: Diocese of El Paso

    Lawrence Schreiber
    Las Cruces Diocese: St. Peter, Roswell
    Listed by: Diocese of Gallup

    Robert Trevino
    Las Cruces Diocese: Holloman Air Force Base
    Listed by: Diocese of Corpus Christi

    This story includes additional reporting by Algernon D’Ammassa of the Las Cruces Sun-News.

     

    https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/local/2019/02/11/las-cruces-diocese-identify-more-accused-priests/2837070002/

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