The Texas Supreme Court will hear the Diocese of Lubbock's appeal of a legal decision allowing a former deacon to sue the diocese for defamation for including his name on a list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse. That is true even when the warning goes beyond the four walls of the church building.
Lower courts have sided with the deacon's lawsuit. Because local media broadcast the list beyond the confines of the Church, the diocese had no legal defense, the courts said. Legal briefs filed by Becket on behalf of the diocese argue that lower courts' decisions violate the principle that civil courts may not adjudicate matters of theology, Church discipline, ecclesiastical government, and compliance with Church moral teaching.
The former deacon has the right to restore his reputation under the law of the Church, said the briefs. The former deacon, Jesus Guerrero, 76, has filed a lawsuit that rejected claims he had ever been accused of sex abuse or misconduct. The lawsuit described him as "a faithful servant of God in the Catholic Church his entire life. The Diocese of Lubbock released its list Jan. The diocese said Guerrero had been credibly accused of "sexual abuse of a minor. The deacon charged that the diocese committed libel and defamation against him.
His lawsuit said his reputation was destroyed and he has become the object of contempt and ridicule. The plaintiff's brief said he suffered severe anxiety and stress after the diocese listed him as credibly accused of abuse. This stress and anxiety in part led to a stroke, the lawsuit charged. Quinn said that while matters of Church discipline are ecclesiastical and outside the jurisdiction of civil courts, the diocese "placed the controversy in the realm of Caesar or the secular world by opting to leave the confines of the church.
According to Quinn, statements from the diocese acknowledge that the issue goes beyond the Church, such as statements like "our dioceses are serious about ending the cycle of abuse in the church and in society at large. His accuser was in her 40s and said Guerrero did not abuse her, his attorney Nick Olguin said, according to United Press International.
Two witnesses claimed to have seen Guerrero leaving the same room as the woman while adjusting his clothes. Guerrero denies ever abusing anyone.
After the lawsuit was filed, the Lubbock diocese on April 10, said the alleged accuser is a person who "habitually lacks the use of reason" and is considered equivalent to a minor under canon law. It said the diocese has "no information of a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor below the age of eighteen 18 by Jesus Guerrero.
The Diocese of Lubbock regrets any misunderstanding that may have arisen from the Jan. Olguin questioned whether the woman is a vulnerable adult. In a brief, he said she lives independently and has never been found incompetent, UPI reports. The plaintiff's brief cited a Catholic spokesperson who in a television interview said a credible allegation means the accused admits to it, the accused is found guilty in court, or someone who witnessed abuse testified about it.
Olguin said none of these apply. However, in the material accompanying the Lubbock diocese's January list, the diocese said a name "only appears on the list if the diocese possesses in its files evidence of a credible allegation. With the diocese's clarification, Olguin argued, "the church continued its assault on Jesus by claiming that he has sexually abused a vulnerable adult without any credible evidence whatsoever.
According to Olguin, "the Diocese of Lubbock told me that they would not apologize and threatened to disparage his name even more if we filed a suit. At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith.
We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time. Will Haun, an attorney at Becket, said that while Guerrero might think the diocese acted innapropriately, civil courts can't intervene in Church matters. Doing so would entangle courts in deciding whether a church's religious laws are true, and second-guess a church applying its religious laws to clergy behavior," the lawyer said.
Deacon Guerrero is aware of the evidence against him, the diocese's review process, and the religious laws to which he is subject. Disagreeing with a diocese's conclusions does not create an exception to the First Amendment," Haun added. The legal group said briefs in support of the diocese have come from Jewish and Protestant leaders, state legislators, and legal scholars.
The diocese said Guerrero was ased to Our Lady of Grace parish in Lubbock from tosuspended for unstated reasons inthen ased to San Ramon parish in Woodrow from to He was permanently removed from ministry the next year. The Lubbock diocese covers 25 counties in west Texas, with 63 parishes serving more thanCatholics, the diocese website says.
As of January, three priests named as credibly accused of sexual abuse by the Diocese of Corpus Christi had filed defamation lawsuits against their diocese. A fourth priest's lawsuit was dismissed, the Caller Times reports. Your monthly donation will help our team continue reporting the truth, with fairness, integrity, and fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Church.
Three priests have filed suits against the Diocese of Corpus Christi and its bishop, claiming that they were wrongfully included in a list of clerics credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor within the diocese. The man suspected in the March shooting death of a former priest who was credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors had responded to a Craigslist ad looking for young men to wrestle, according to Nevada police. Texas Supreme Court to hear case of former deacon suing diocese for abuse claim. By Kevin J. More in US.
Police identify suspect in Denver cathedral vandalism Read article. Subscribe to our daily newsletter At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith.
Texas legislators, and prominent legal scholars, filed briefs supporting the diocese. The Lubbock case is not the only lawsuit against a Catholic diocese in Texas. Kevin J. Jones is a senior staff writer with Catholic News Agency. Our mission is the truth.
us! You may also like.
Three priests sue Corpus Christi diocese for inclusion in credibly accused list Jun 22, Three priests have filed suits against the Diocese of Corpus Christi and its bishop, claiming that they were wrongfully included in a list of clerics credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor within the diocese. Suspect in shooting death of former New Jersey priest answered a Craigslist ad Jun 7, The man suspected in the March shooting death of a former priest who was credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors had responded to a Craigslist ad looking for young men to wrestle, according to Nevada police.
ZIP: 79406 79423 79424 79416 79412 79413 79410 79411 79414 79404 79407 79401 79403 79415 79402 79408 79409 79430 79452 79453 79457 79464 79490 79491 79493 79499