Embattled St. Agatha’s Priest Resigns Amid Sex Abuse Lawsuit
December 3, 2012
|Fr. Rolando Garcia has resigned as pastor of St. Agatha Catholic Church in West Miami-Dade after a lawsuit was filed alleging sexual abuse. (CBS4)|
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Embattled Miami priest Father Rolando Garcia has resigned in the wake of a new sexual abuse accusation.
Fr. Garcia, pastor of St. Agatha Catholic Church in West Miami-Dade, submitted his letter of resignation to Archbishop Thomas Wenski, which was accepted, effective November 21st, 2012.
In his resignation letter, Fr. Garcia wrote that he wished not to be a distraction to the parish during this tumultuous time in his life. “I want to do what is best for the parishioners, school parents and students of St. Agatha,” he stated. Fr. Garcia added that he has resigned in good conscience and of his own free will and volition after much prayer and reflection.
In accepting his resignation, Archbishop Wenski expressed his gratitude to Fr. Garcia for his years of service in St. Agatha parish, and that he will be in his prayers.
In October, Fr. Garcia was placed on administrative leave after a new lawsuit alleging sexual improprieties was filed against him and the church.
In August, an Archdiocese investigation into allegations the father abused a young man years ago resulted in the church closing its case and ruling the allegations were not credible. Still, that young man and his attorney proceeded to file suit.
In October, another man came forward claiming the father had sexually abused him in the mid 90s when he was a teenager.