Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Archdiocese of Santa Fe: A Conspiracy of Silence?

In the last couple weeks two victims of sexual abuse by Archdiocese of Santa Fe priests have filed claims that provide further insight into the culture that facilitated decades of abuse. In the case of Sabine Griego, his elevated status with the Archdiocese and his close relationship with the late Archbishop Robert Sanchez allowed him to act with no fear of retribution from the Archdiocese and, as a consequence, no fear of criminal prosecution from civil authorities. His methods involved targeting boys who came from families that were deeply rooted in the Catholic faith and using alcohol and other substances to gain control of their wills and their bodies. He knew that either because of fear, embarrassment, or pure disgust, these boys would not tell their parents and even if they did, it would be their word against the priest who to their families was considered the direct carnal representative of Jesus on earth.

Given all that has been revealed and so much more that should be revealed, it is clear that there was conspiracy of silence among so many in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. I doubt that the Archbishop sent a memo out to the parish priests to tell them to ignore sexual abuse of children by their peers, but he did something that was equally as effective: name one of the most prolific sexual abusers in the Archdiocese as head of their personnel board. This board was empowered to assign and reassign priests and held all the administrative power to reward and punish priests of the Archdiocese as they saw fit. Additionally, the Archbishop had his own issues with young women that could have easily been used as leverage to influence his behavior. Sabine Griego held the title of Chairman of the Personnel board for many years and if all the relevant records from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe were released, it would be clear that pedophile priests were moved around strategically when allegations were made in an attempt to hide those allegations.

I have included Martin Salazar's recent article in the Las Vegas Optic where he did a good job of summarizing the latest victim's accounts.

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