This story is a sad reminder of how often “more of the same” is perpetuated nationwide by church officials. It is beyond disappointing that a decade after top church officials pledged to be open and honest about clergy sex crimes, we continue to find out how bishops use retreat centers and other parishes to hide priests who are suspected child predators.
When the first step should be for church officials to call police, they instead secret the priests out of town and later claim no knowledge when these predators have victimized another child. Shame on them. The bishops of these two dioceses (El Paso and Las Cruces) who were in charge at the time Fr. Santiago and Br. Samuel Martinez were abusing children should do everything possible now to reach out to their victims and urging them to call law enforcement
We applaud these three brave victims for coming forward. We hope that taking legal steps will help bring them the peace they deserve. Through their actions today, they have greatly helped protect other children from predators not only in New Mexico and Texas, but across the country.