Rev. Fernando Cristancho—Assignment Record

Summary of Case: In 1997, Cristancho was reportedly accused of sexual misconduct with a young woman (not a minor) and fired from his parish job in the Arlington diocese, where he was in residence and had full-time responsibility for the ministry to Hispanics. In 2001, Cristancho arranged the in-vitro fertilization of a woman in Colombia, using his sperm and the eggs of another woman. Triplets were born in 11/01 (2 boys and 1 girl) and cared for by the birth mother. She lived with Cristancho's mother and he would too, when he was not at the rectory of his church in the Baltimore archdiocese. Church officials learned about the children in June or July 2002 and fired Cristancho. One of the boys told his mother in 2005 and a babysitter in 2006 that Cristancho was sexually abusing him. Cristancho allegedly performed oral sex on the boys and put his penis in the mouth of one of the boys. In late 2003, when the triplets were not yet three years old, their mother had expressed concern to a friend about her children because Cristancho was already involved in what she regarded as an inappropriate relationship with another boy. Child Protective Services found that sexual abuse of both male triplets was "indicated." The birth mother sued for custody to be shifted from Cristancho to her. The Maryland Appeals court approved her custody in 10/08. Cristancho denied abusing the boys, but did not contest the findings of the DSS or the of the courts.

Born
: Approximately 1956
Ordained
: 1985
Incardinated: Vicariate Apostolic of Istmina (?), Istmina-Tadó (Colombia); Arlington; Baltimore.

     

Start Stop Parish Town/Allegations State Position Notes

2/95

John R. Keating was bishop 1983-98.

1998 Good Shepherd

Alexandria

• Cristancho was accused in 1997 of sexual misconduct here with a young woman who was not a minor, for which he was fired. See article. Part of the evidence comprised "photographs." See opinion, p. 10.

VA Priests and deacons were: Revs. George J. Griffin and Michael Bazan; Deacons Lawrence B. Henry, Jr. and Thomas G. White, with Rev. Francisco [sic] Cristancho in residence. In 1996, Rev. Charles C. McCoart, Jr. replaced Bazan.

In the Arlington diocese.

The 1996 Directory lists 445 students in catechism program, under the direction of Judi Ryerse.

The 1998 Directory lists Cristancho as from Istima-Tado [sic], Colombia. The parish history states: "In February 1995, Father Fernando [sic] Cristancho of the Diocese of Istima-Tado, Columbia, became the first full-time Hispanic member of the parish clergy. In 1998, he was followed by Father Jesús Navarrete, who is incardinated in the Diocese of Madrid, Spain."

1998 2000 Loyola College Baltimore MD Student. President was Rev. Harold E. Ridley, S.J.

Not listed here in the Directory, but the opinion (p. 3) states that Cristancho "attended" the college.

There were 6,241 students here in 1999-2000.

2000

Cardinal William H. Keeler was archbishop 1989-2007.

7/02 St. Ignatius

Hickory

• Triplets (2 boys and 1 girl), who were children of Cristancho by artificial insemination, were born in 11/01, while Cristancho was working at this parish. He was fired in 7/02 when the archdiocese learned that he had fathered the children. On 11/13/03, the mother would mention to a friend Cristancho's "inappropriate relationship" with a boy, and on 11/9/05, one of her sons would accuse Cristancho of abuse. It is not known whether the abuse began while Cristancho was at St. Ignatius and St. Francis, or whether it started after he was fired. See article and opinion.

MD Priests were: Revs. Kenneth Farabaugh and Fernando Christancho [sic], with Deacons Robert Lehr and Ralph Trautwein. As stated in the 2002 Directory, Farabaugh died on 12/12/2000. According to the opinion, Cristancho was acting administrator until Revs. James Barker and Christopher Carney (senior priest), arrived. Lehr was now called business manager and Trautwein was called pastoral associate. The spelling of Cristancho's name is corrected in the 2002 Directory.

In the Baltimore archdiocese.

Faculties to work in the Baltimore archdiocese had been revoked by 2/04. See Diocesan Communicator, Diocese of Marquette, p. 4 (2/04).

The catechism program had 1,201 students.

2000

7/02 St. Francis de Sales

Abingdon

MD

Held occasional Spanish language services here, according to the opinion, p. 3.

Priests were Msgr. G. Michael Schleupner and Deacon Richard Stine. Schleupner was the judicial vicar of the archdiocese, an archdiocesan consultor, and a member of the Priests Council.

Cristancho's work here is not listed in the Directory.

Catechism classes had between 535 and 638 students.

Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1986-2008).

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy & Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Cristancho's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on November 4, 2008.

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