CA--Victims blast bishop for putting accused priest back to work
For immediate release: Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016
We are deeply troubled that Stockton Catholic officials are putting a suspended, accused predator priest back on the job. This is a very reckless and callous move.
After a year of being suspended, Bishop Stephen Blaire is restoring Fr. Editho Mascardo to ministry. Blaire has been very secretive about the accusations from the outset. He claims his hand-picked abuse panel “did not conclude that sexual abuse occurred.”
Blaire should have been more forthcoming from the start. He should have done aggressive outreach to look for others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by Fr. Mascardo. Through parish bulletins, church websites, personal visits and pulpit announcements, Blaire should have begged anyone who might know anything that could help prove or disprove the accusations to come forward. Had he done this, we might have more faith in his so-called internal investigation. Instead, he chose the most personally comfortable and advantageous course: doing and disclosing the absolute bare minimum. Shame on him.
We strongly urge all current and former Stockton Catholic employees to search their consciences, summon some courage and do the outreach Blaire and his staff refused to do.
It all boils down to this simple question: Why take the risk with vulnerable parishioners? Bishops have promised, for a decade now, ‘one strike and you’re out.’ But all across the country, we’re seeing more and more bishops putting sexually troubled priests back on the job, now that public attention has waned and bishops know they won’t ever be disciplined, denounced, demoted or defrocked by the Vatican, no matter how irresponsibly they act.
We are grateful this brave victim for speaking up. But we are appalled at Bishop Blaire’s irresponsible decision.
A few years ago, Joliet Illinois Catholic Bishop Daniel Conlon made a similar decision to re-instate a suspended, accused predator priest but quickly changed his mind. We hope Blaire does likewise.
Now more than ever, it’s crucial that anyone with information or suspicions – no matter how old, small or seemingly insignificant – about this priest speak up. It’s crucial to call independent, experienced professionals in law enforcement, not biased, self-serving employees in church headquarters.
No matter what church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
NOTE – A photo of the priest is available at BishopAccountability.org. Among other places, Fr. Mascado worked at these churches: St. George's, Stockton 1996-99; St. Mary of Assumption 1999-2006; St. Anthony's, Hughson 2006-11; St. Patrick's, Sonora and Holy Family, Modesto. He also was a chaplain for Stanislaus County.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Modesto Priest Placed on Leave over Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Modesto Bee - July 11, 2015
A priest in residence at Modesto’s Holy Family Catholic Church has been placed on administrative leave due to allegations of inappropriate conduct with a minor occurring years ago.
In a statement released Friday, the Most Rev. Stephen Blaire, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Stockton, said the allegations against Father Editho Mascardo have been reported to the Stockton Police Department.
No further information about the accusation, including . . .
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
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