Yakima Catholic Diocese Reports Alleged Abuse by Priest
By Jane Gargas
December 17, 2012
The Catholic Diocese of Yakima says it has offered counseling to two men who reported that they were abused in the early 1970s by a priest while he was visiting a Moses Lake parish.
In a news release issued this morning, diocesan officials encouraged any other potential victims to come forward. They said the alleged abuser, the late Rev. Hilario Ramirez, a visiting priest from Mexico, came to Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Moses Lake for a few weeks in the early 1970s. During his stay, Ramirez lived with at least two families, and is alleged to have abused four children, all boys ranging in age from 7 to 13. Two of the victims are deceased.
One of the surviving victims, who lives in Texas, provided basic information about the priest and alleged abuse to the diocese. A second reported victim lives in Washington state. Both men have been offered counseling.
Ramirez returned to Mexico after being treated for a stomach ulcer. Parishioners who stayed in contact with Ramirez told diocesan officials that he died in an automobile accident in Mexico in the early 1980s.
Monsignor Robert Siler, chancellor of the Yakima diocese, told parishioners at Our Lady of Fatima Parish about the allegations at Mass over the weekend and led a prayer for victims of abuse and all victims of violence.
He said civil authorities in Grant County were informed of the allegations about Ramirez several months ago.
Anyone wishing to report sexual abuse by personnel of the Yakima Diocese is encouraged to call the diocese’s confidential abuse hotline, 1-888-276-4490.