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Catholic Diocese of El Paso statement on arrest of diocesan school board member

Published On: Aug 06 2014 05:55:53 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 06 2014 06:07:54 PM CDT
EL PASO, Texas -

The Catholic Diocese of El Paso released the following statement in response to the arrest of Victor J. Reza.

Reza is a member of the diocesan school board.

"Anytime we hear of an allegation of sexual misconduct or abuse of a minor we are very concerned. Mr. Victor J. Reza is a member of our Diocesan School Board and has served since 2008.

The School Board members advise the Diocesan Bishop on matters of Catholic School Policies. They are required to undergo a criminal background check and Safe Environment training for the Diocese.

Mr. Reza completed these requirements. The Diocese cannot comment on the details of this issue since it is an ongoing criminal investigation.

In the Catholic Diocese of El Paso, we have diligently worked to make our parishes and schools safe from predators and to educate our people on the scourge of sexual misconduct and abuse.

This is one of the Diocese's highest priorities. It will be the priority of the Diocese to insure that any instances of sexual abuse by priests, religious, lay employees or volunteers are promptly reported in accordance with  Texas laws and thoroughly investigated.

Priests or religious, or for that matter, any employee or volunteer of this Diocese who is determined to have engaged in sexual abuse or misconduct will be removed from his or her ministry.

I would like everyone to know of the fact that this Diocese has had a process in place for many years through which persons who claims to have been sexually abused by a priest, religious or employee of this Diocese can file a complaint and, if the complaint is found to be credible, receive relief in a form justified by the facts of the case.

This process involves confidentiality out of respect for the complainant and has been very successful. Individuals who make it known that they have been sexually abused are not just advised of the availability of the process but are urged to make use (of) it.

I encourage anyone who has been a victim of child sexual abuse by any employee of the Roman Catholic Church to please come forward by contacting Susan Martinez, LCSW, at the Victims Assistance Ministry, 915-872-8465 or smartinez@elpasodiocese.org. Furthermore, I would encourage them to contact local authorities."

Rev. Anthnoy C. Celino, JCL.
Vicar General/Moderator of the Curia

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