New Allegation Was Omitted
Even As Diocese Made a Change
Star-Telegram [Fort Worth TX]
November 29, 2006
[See related articles on the Fort
Worth files, and the accused priests Hanlon,
See also the documents
on which this series is based, with links to assignment records and background
The Rev. Rudolf John Renteria
Ordained: Aug. 18, 1979
Assignments: St. Matthew, Arlington; Sacred Heart, Wichita Falls;
Holy Family et al., Vernon; St. Philip the Apostle, Lewisville; Holy Family,
Fort Worth; St. Paul's Hospital, Dallas
The June 29, 2002, news release was technically correct: Bishop Delaney
was removing the Rev. Rudolf Renterķa from active ministry because of
a single accusation that he had abused a minor in 1981.
The news release stated that no other allegations of sexual misconduct
with a minor had been made against Renterķa during his time in Wichita
Falls, Vernon or Lewisville.
But Delaney made no mention of another sex abuse allegation involving
an 18-year-old that had more recently come to his attention.
Delaney revealed only the earlier allegation, which involved the "improper
sexual touching of a 14-year-old boy" who was a parishioner at St.
Matthew Catholic Church in Arlington, documents show. The news release
said Renterķa was unable to "confirm or deny the incident because
of the influence of alcohol."
"The history of this case was one which was inadequately handled
by today's rigorous standards, particularly in terms of transparency and
openness," Delaney was quoted as saying in the release.
Removed after a reminder
The files show that Delaney, who had known of the incident for years,
removed Renterķa after the 14-year-old boy's father reminded him of the
Renterķa reportedly made the boy shower and then took him to bed, where
the boy said he was fondled.
Delaney told the father that Renterķa had "difficulty with alcohol
and some sexual acting out -- but never with minors -- went to therapy,
left parish ministry and has been a successful hospital chaplain for over
When Delaney first learned of the incident, he moved the priest to a parish
in Vernon. Later, after additional unspecified "disruptive behavior"
and alcohol abuse, Renterķa was sent to a treatment facility for priests
in Canada. Renterķa's last assignment was as chaplain at St. Paul's Hospital
In a news release, Delaney apologized for what happened to the boy. "...
I deeply regret that I did not act more firmly and decisively in dealing
with Fr. Renterķa at that time," he wrote.
Two years before the announcement, the other accuser had come forward.
In March 2000, then-diocese Chancellor Robert Wilson received a complaint
from a man who said the priest had fondled and tried to sodomize him in
summer 1985, soon after he graduated from high school. The incident is
alleged to have taken place at the priest's home.
The man said he asked the priest to stop and the priest did so, according
to the files.
A skeptical committee
"You're saying he stopped right away, you didn't have to shove him
away or hit him in the jaw or anything?" the man was asked by the
diocese committee investigating the allegation.
The man told Wilson and the committee that Renterķa gave him alcohol and
The committee noted that the man "has stated a hostility against
the Catholic Church." It questioned him closely, even raising doubts
about his description of the priest's music collection, and noted that
"his anger, in relation to the incident, is overstated."
The committee saw Renterķa as cooperative and noted that he appeared to
answer questions thoughtfully.
"He is clearly depressed; in fact, the committee is concerned about
his level of depression," according to a document in the files.
Renterķa told the committee that his life at the time was characterized
by excessive drinking and that he had alcohol-related blackouts. But Renterķa
denied the sexual assault allegation.
He became tearful during the committee interview and spoke about feelings
of isolation, according to the committee report.
The committee concluded that Renterķa was not a threat as long as he wasn't