Parish Predators: Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Agrees to Settlement in Abuse Case

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has settled with four men who accused the archdiocese of negligently handling a seminarian who abused the men, when they were boys, in 1995. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed. A trial had been scheduled in Houston for February 25.

In a press release issued today, plaintiffs’ lawyer Tahira Kahn-Merritt stated, “No amount of money can adequately compensate my clients for the loss of their childhood innocence, nor save them from the demons they will contend with for the rest of their lives without the support of, and faith in, the Catholic Church.”

Filed in 2004, the case revolved around Juan Carlos Patino-Arango, a seminarian at St. Frances de Sales parish who admitted to his superiors that he had molested at least one of the boys during individual “counseling” sessions. The Archdiocese responded by paying for Patino-Arango’s ticket back to his home in Columbia, where he found a teaching gig at a school in Medellin. Columbia has no extradition agreement with the United States.

For more on that case, as well as another boy-lovin’ church notable chillin’ in Costa Rica, go here. -- Craig Malisow

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