Advocates call for change after sexual misconduct allegations made against two Valley priests

By: Sarah Cervera, Channel 5, Rio Grande Valley, Texas

April 23, 2024 10:34 AM

Half a dozen advocates gathered in front of the San Juan Basilica on Monday to call for change.

As Channel 5 News has reported, in the last two months, two Catholic priests were accused of sexual misconduct.

"We wanted to give voice to the survivors that are here and make sure people understand why it's so hard for them to come forward," Patricia Koo said.

Koo is the SNAP San Antonio Chapter Leader. SNAP stands for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Priest Fernando Gonzalez Ortega was arrested in February. He is facing five sex crime charges and is currently out on bond.

Monsignor Gustavo Barrera is facing two sexual misconduct allegations. One of those allegations allegedly took place over 35 years ago.

Koo says it's hard for a victim to come forward.

"We have had people shut out completely by their family for speaking out. The big reason is shame and self blame," Koo said. "I think it's very important that we report, no matter how old it is."

Koo says they want more transparency from the diocese.

Watch the video and read the rest of the story here.

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