Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Priest accused of sexual abuse in Kansas still working in Philippines

Priest accused of sexual abuse in Kansas still working in Philippines
July 21, 2010

Despite having a credible allegation of sexual abuse made against him, a priest who served in the Dodge City Diocese is still in active ministry in a foreign country, according to the website for the Diocese of Boac, which is in the Philippines.

Orestes Huerta was named in a May 2010 statement released by the Dodge City Diocese as one of three priests from the diocese who had been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor.

Information about Huerta was discovered following a two-year Journal-World/6News investigative series on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Kansas.

The Dodge City Diocese did not provide further information about Huerta’s case other than confirming that Huerta was originally from Boac and served temporarily in Dodge City.

The Catholic Church’s Charter on the Protection for Children and Young People, established in 2002, states that for “even a single act of sexual abuse of a minor — whenever it occurred — which is admitted or established after an appropriate process ... the offending priest or deacon is to be permanently removed from ministry.”

The Diocese of Boac did not respond to an e-mail request for more information. On its website, Huerta is listed as the assistant director for the Commission on Cultural Heritage, as well as the director of the Sacred Heart Pastoral Care Center.

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