Yes, it's another Catholic priest:
The lawsuit describes a relationship between a then-16-year-old and Fiala, starting at a basketball game in 2007. It says Fiala lavished gifts on the boy, including a laptop computer, cell phone, MP3 player, money and later a Chrysler Sebring.
He provided alcohol and manipulated the teen into private catechism classes on church grounds where the alleged sexual abuse took place up to twice a month, the suit says.
It also claims Fiala gave the teen a ride in a church truck to Big Spring for the teen to visit his girlfriend but stopped at a San Angelo Motel 6. There, he raped the teen at gunpoint in a room and said, “If you tell anyone what happened, I will hurt you and your family,” according to the suit.
On other occasions, the priest manipulated the teen into performing oral sex, once by leveraging his gift of a car and another time pulling a revolver on him, according to the suit.
The teen eventually ran away from home and attempted suicide, the suit says. A school counselor learned of the alleged abuse and contacted the Sheriff’s Office.
But what makes this case explosive is that it happened very recently - 2008 - and that the archbishop involved, José Gomez, is accused in the suit of concealing the matter. That archbishop, an Opus Dei member, has just been appointed the archbishop (and presumably future Cardinal) in the Los Angeles archdiocese.
Recently, moreover, his spokesman claimed that:
only a couple allegations of sex abuse by priests had surfaced during Gomez’s tenure. He said they involved claims from 20 and 30 years ago and were made public at Gomez’s request and in keeping with the standards of transparency codified by bishops in the aftermath of an explosion of sex abuse allegations earlier this decade. “In the last five years, we’re blessed to not have had any allegations of new abuse,” Leopold said, reasserting programs and policies to protect from such abuse.
From the report, I do not see any evidence that Gomez tried to cover this up. But I have not read the full lawsuit and the statement above seems factually inaccurate.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.