We are grateful that Fr. Garcia has been suspended. We are appalled that it has taken years. Wenski owes his flock and explanation and St. Agatha parishioners an apology.
Among many other questions, the most troubling is this: why does it take four lawsuits and two settlements to get Fr. Rolando Garcia ousted from his job?
This is the latest - and most egregious - example of how many bishops are violating their pledges of reform.
Archdiocesan officials settled two cases against Garcia years ago. Now, Wenski claims that no case against him is 'credible?' We hope Wenski's flock will demand to know why their church officials are apparently paying money to victims who they deem "not credible."
Yesterday, one of Wenski’s public relations staffers declared the latest Garcia victim “not credible” before she even saw his lawsuit. She attacked the victim’s past, hoping (we suspect) that such viciousness will scare other victims into staying silent. We, on the other hand, hope that it spurs other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers into saying "enough" and stepping forward.
Wenski postures as a reformer but is essentially Favalora on steroids. With Fr. Garcia, for months, Wenski unilaterally and inexplicably changed the church's purported policy of "one strike and you're out" to a practice of "four strikes and you're still in."
Finally, grudgingly, Wenski has taken a bare minimum step toward making kids safer. But he owes Catholics and citizens a real explanation for his recalcitrance and reckless.
We urge Wenski to personally visit every parish where Garcia worked, and beg others who saw, suspected or suffered Garcia’s crimes to come forward, call police, get help, expose wrongdoing, safeguard kids and start healing.