NJ--Newark priest investigated for possible theft; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015
A Newark priest is being investigated for allegedly taking more than $250,000 from elderly parishioners, evidence of even more corruption that’s happening on the watch of Archbishop John Myers and Archbishop Bernard Hebda.
Fr. Alex Orozco's manipulation and deceit are what happens when top Catholic officials tolerate corruption at the top. When Archbishop Myers lavishly spends parishioners’ donations on his already huge and ostentatious mansion, it’s easy to see why his priests feel they can rip off the flock as well.
Shame on Myers and Hebda for keeping these serious allegations secret, which may have enabled Orozco to keep manipulating elderly women for more personal gain. And shame on Juancho Munoz Montoya, a former seminarian at Seton Hall University, for his secrecy as well.
Our hearts ache for current and former members and staff at St. Rose of Lima Church in Short Hills, the Church of the Nativity in Midland Park and the entire archdiocese. We hope that anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered misdeeds by Newark area clergy – whether financial or sexual – will call police, expose wrongdoers and deter other priests from exploiting parishioners.
(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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine(312-399-4747, email@example.com), Mark Crawford (732 632 7687, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Priest took more than $250K from 'grandmas' at wealthy church, authorities say
Mark Mueller | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, October 01, 2015 at 8:43 AM, updated October 01, 2015 at 9:10 AM
He called them his grandmas.
The Rev. Alex Orozco befriended the elderly women shortly after his assignment to St. Rose of Lima parish in Short Hills.
Orozco was a new priest, charming and kind and afire with enthusiasm. And always, it seemed, willing to accept money, parishioners said.
For a car. For a big-screen TV. For a house in the Poconos. For another house in his native Colombia. For credit card bills. For a second car. For plane tickets. For furniture. For dental work.
From 2013 through the end of last year, Orozco allegedly . . .
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.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.