Nashville Catholic priest removed; SNAP calls for more information as well extensive Diocesan outreach
For immediate release: January 8, 2024
A Catholic priest from a parish in Franklin, Tennessee, has been removed from ministry following accusations that he "improperly touched" a teen. SNAP now calls on Catholic officials in the Diocese of Nashville to provide additional information on the accusations, as well as to do extensive outreach ensuring parishioners at every parish where this man worked are informed about the allegations. The outreach should urge those who experienced, witnessed, or suspected abuse to come forward and make a report to local law enforcement.
Fr. Juan Carlos Garcia had only worked as the associate pastor at St. Philip Catholic Church in Franklin since 2022. The cleric, who was ordained in 2020, was previously the associate pastor at St. Rose of Lima in Murfreesboro. Clearly, despite constant and repeated rhetoric from Catholic officials, abuse within the Church is not just a thing of the past.
We also ask the Diocese to explain why, if the accusation was brought to them in November, Fr. Garcia apparently remained in ministry until recently. We hope that no children were injured because the priest was allowed to continue in his position of authority.
Anyone with pertinent information about Father Garcia should contact Detective Andrea Clark with the Franklin Police Department's Special Victims Unit at 615-476-2809. While delayed disclosure of child sexual abuse is common, we hope that the fact that this brave young person has already spoken out will encourage others to report to law enforcement as well. There is no reason to suffer alone and in silence when there are people who will believe and support you.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 35+ years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)