Church Report Accuses Former Archbishop of Covering Up for Priests

While he was not named as one of the dozens of priests and deacons in the San Antonio Archdiocese who has been credibly accused of sexual misconduct which children, activists say the stunning report released Thursday by Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller includes one individual who was not named but who bears much of the responsibility for the failure of the Archdiocese to act in cases of pedophile priests--the late Archbishop Patrick Flores.

Patti Koo, who heads the Survivor Network of those abused by priests, tells 1200 WOAI News that in one of the cases, Flores, who died in 2017, actually wrote a letter of recommendation for a priest he knew was involved in sexual misconduct.

"If I were a victim and all this happened my my brother or somebody else in my family, I would not trust that system," she said.

The Archdiocesan report released yesterday does mention Flores by name as actively covering up sexual misconduct:

"The Archdiocese acknowledges that Archbishop Patrick F. Flores had access to a prior

seminary report which indicated in relation to Ortiz-Dietz: “The following are among the more

serious personality traits that were found: marked sexual conflict, hypocrisy, defense

mechanisms, desires of appearing different than he really is, puritanical attitudes, distortion of

reality, obsessive manias, pronounced paranoid characteristics, delusions of grandeur, vanity and

narcissism.”

The priest mentioned is Father Javier Ortiz-Dietz, who was named in 16 'credible allegations.' Ortiz-Dietz was a priest in the seventies and eighties in churches in Camp Wood, Rocksprings, Yoakum, and at St. Gregory in San Antonio. In 1993, Ortiz-Dietz was convicted and sentencesd to twenty years in prison for abusing three boys over a two year period, and in 2005, while still in prison, he was defrocked. Ortiz-Dietz was released from prison in 2014 and was deported to Mexico.

Flores, who was the first Mexican-American Archbishop of the San Antonio Archdiocese, was a beloved figure in the local church and in the local community. He is best known for welcoming Pope John Paul II to San Antonio in 1987.

The report indicates that Flores ignored or actively covered up several other instances of misconduct by priests.

Koo says she is afraid that the fact that Archbishop Flores openly ignored evidence of misconduct will not encourage more victims of abuse by priests to come forward.

"People are going to look at this and say, holy cow, I'm not going to report mine, it's not going to go anyehre," she said. "But they are saying, we're going to do things differently now."

In fact, Archbishop Garcia-Siller pointed out that there were only two cases of sexual misconduct by priests in the Archdiocese in the decade of the 2000, and none at all in the current decade.

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