The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Ex Bay Area pedophile priest is suspended
Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA, SNAP Western Regional Director (949) 322-7434 cell
This is a sad, familiar pattern. A credibly accused predator priest is sent to a new country and essentially given a new batch of victims, while church officials stay silent and act helpless. Only when victims are persistent and media coverage happens is the pedophile removed, and even then, only temporarily.
Let’s hope that every single adult and child who saw, suspected of suffered this cleric’s crimes – whether in the US or Mexico – finds the courage to step forward. Only when we call police, expose predators, and take action can we find healing and protect others.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We've been around for 22 years and have more than 9,000 members across the globe. 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)
Contacts: David Clohessy (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Mark Serrano (703-727-4940), Peter Isely (414-429-7259), Barbara Dorris (314 503 0003)
Church in Mexico relieves priest of duties years after woman alleges abuse
Roman Catholic Church officials in Mexico have temporarily relieved a priest of his parish duties pending further investigation of long-standing allegations that he sexually abused a girl in San Francisco during the 1960s and early 1970s, according to a press release issued Monday in Spanish by the Archdiocese of Yucatan.
The priest, the Rev. Teodoro Baquedano Pech, 70, who has denied engaging in abuse, had been ministering in several rural hamlets near Yucatan's state capital, Merida.
A recent Washington Post article described how for 12 years Baquedano's alleged victim, Sylvia Chavez, now 54, and top church officials in San Francisco repeatedly warned church leaders in Yucatan about the priest. In 2003 a top deputy of Emilio Carlos Berlie Belaunzarán, the archbishop of Yucatan, responded in a letter that "we have taken all precautions to restrict Father Baquedano's access to children." Baquedano was never removed from ministry, however.
The news release issued Monday said: "Although we received warnings about an alleged victim, we did not have official documentation as a basis to initiate a canon trial . . . nor have we received any complaint [against Baquedano] during his years in Yucatan. . . . Notwithstanding this, the Archbishop has decided as a cautionary measure to provisionally remove Father Baquedano from his duties until a thorough investigation can be done."
Reached at her home in San Francisco, Chavez said that if Berlie is serious about uncovering the truth about Baquedano, he will ask to speak to her. "They need to hear from his victim this time."
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests