Philadelphia Priest Arrested for Child Sexual Abuse, SNAP Responds
A priest in Philadelphia who has been accused of raping a minor was arrested today. We are grateful to law enforcement officials for pursuing these allegations and taking the alleged abuser into custody.
According to reports, Fr. Armand Garcia allegedly committed the sex crimes between 2014 and 2017 while he was the pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Philadelphia. We are incredibly grateful to and proud of the brave survivor who came forward with these allegations to police and are hopeful that they will get a chance to have their day in court. By coming forward, this survivor has helped make children in Philadelphia safer.
We call on Archbishop Charles Chaput to personally visit each parish that Fr. Garcia worked at and urge victims, witnesses, and whistle blowers who may have knowledge about clergy sex crimes to come forward and make a report to police.
We also hope that law enforcement officials will make Fr. Garcia surrender his passport as this case continues to work its way through the legal system. It is better to be safe than sorry and risk endangering children in another country, as recently happened with an allegedly abusive priest in California.
“I am grateful to law enforcement for thoroughly investigating Fr. Armand Garcia and bringing charges,” said SNAP Philadelphia Leader Mike McDonnell. “And to the courageous victim who remained focused on justice, you are a hero. Fr. Garcia's assignment history and personal leave raises questions. We hope that if there are other victims in previous years they find the courage and strength to come forward.”
(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)