Priest with History of Abuse in Columbia Removed from Ministry in Texas
In a step forward for child protection, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston today suspended one of their priests who allegedly abused children in his native Colombia before coming to the United States. The media report says that this abuse may have resulted in the birth of children.
We are grateful to Church officials at the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston for responding quickly to the allegations against Fr. Jesus Suarez. The Archdiocese was informed of the allegations against Fr. Suarez last week and took action to remove him from ministry on Friday.
While we remain perplexed as to how Fr. Suarez was able transfer to Texas in 1994 without any apparent background checks, we are happy that he has been removed from ministry now. The most pressing questions at this time is whether Fr. Suarez hurt any children during his time in the United States.
We hope that Cardinal DiNardo will personally visit each parish where Fr. Suarez served or spent time and beg any victims, witnesses, or whistle blowers to come forward and report to local police and prosecutors. We also hope that law enforcement officials in Texas will reach out to their counterparts in Columbia, so that Fr. Suarez’s victims there can find justice and healing as well.
(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)