Resignation of Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Accused of Abuse Accepted
The resignation of an auxiliary bishop with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has been accepted by the Pope today following a review board’s recommendation that “he not be allowed to minister because of an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor in the 1990s.”
Bishop Alexander Salazar is now the fourth prelate in the United States to have stepped down over the past six months. The others are Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of DC, Bishop Michael Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston and Auxiliary Bishop John Jenik of New York.
We are hopeful that this will lead to future action against other bishops who have minimized, concealed, or perpetrated sex crimes. According to a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer and Boston Globe, that number could be as high as 130 bishops.
Still, we are perplexed and dismayed by the actions of the archdiocese in this case. According to Archbishop Jose Gomez, the Archdiocese has been aware of the allegation against Bishop Salazar since 2005. That means they allowed him to work around children and vulnerable adults for at least thirteen years before taking action. This is indefensible.
Yes, Archdiocese of LA reported the allegation for investigation. However, that investigation was an internal one, conducted by church officials and the Vatican. Given the church’s history of minimizing crimes and protecting reputations over survivors, such a probe is not something that members of the public can have faith in. Only independent investigations by law enforcement professionals can determine the facts, and we believe such an investigation is sorely needed in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)