The controversial rector of the cathedral in Dallas abruptly resigned and took a leave of absence last week. Fr. Ramon Alvarez caused controversy way back in 2002 (see my blog entry), when it was revealed that Bishop Charles Grahmann allowed him to continue in ministry after he found out that Alvarez had fondled a man on the pretext of “blessing him.” The dispute over Alvarez even reportedly led to former coadjutor Bishop Joseph Galante asking the Vatican to move him to another see.
Now Alvarez has abruptly resigned just before he’s supposed to testify in two child-abuse cases. He apparently cited health reasons, but people in the Dallas diocese say the abruptness and silence from the chancery is very strange.
Alvarez could be the poster boy for the web of sexual depravity that ensnares the Church and the priesthood.
One abuse case in which Father Alvarez may have to testify is set for trial May 1. It is a lawsuit in which he and other church employees are accused of ignoring warnings in the 1990s about two child-care workers at Dallas’ St. Pius X Church, where Father Alvarez was pastor. Both workers admitted molesting girls there and were sentenced to prison.
… Father Alvarez appeared under subpoena before a Dallas County grand jury last year, a month after police seized images of naked young boys from a computer at Father Bagert’s church in Grand Prairie. Police arrested Father Bagert shortly after he returned from a weekend trip with Father Alvarez.
… In 2002, diocesan officials said Father Alvarez admitted “inappropriate contact” with a middle-aged man who sought a blessing from him in 1991. The man said the priest groped and propositioned him. Mary Edlund, the diocese’s chancellor, characterized the encounter as consensual and said Father Alvarez was told to resume counseling, which he’d previously undergone voluntarily, about “boundary issues.” The priest declined to comment then.
Remember! Homosexuality has nothing to do with sex abuse!