Accused Pastor's Church Joltedby Third Sexual-Misconduct Case
By Gutierrez Krueger
Albuquerque Tribune (New Mexico)
December 19, 1998
Queen of Heaven parishioners and parents of children who attend its school are once again rocked by the removal of another pastor, the third to face allegations of misconduct.
Robert Patrick Malloy, 41, who also worked as an Albuquerque police chaplain, is charged with three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and one count of promoting prostitution. He was arraigned Friday in Metro Court and remains free on $12,000 bond.
He was relieved of his duties as pastor at Queen of Heaven Catholic Church and placed on restricted status pending the outcome of the investigation both by the Albuquerque Police Department and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, according to a news release issued by the archdiocese Friday.
The news left many in this Northeast Heights parish stunned and struck with disbelief.
"We think it's tragic," said Mandy Krystofiak, whose son attends Queen of Heaven School. "The man has always been extremely understanding and forgiving. He has always been there for his students and his parish. It's quite a shock. We don't know what's happened."
Few apparently do. Or will anytime soon. That's because all criminal complaints, search warrants and other court documents have been sealed by state District Judge James Blackmer.
And because of that, neither the Albuquerque Police Department nor the District Attorney's Office would offer any clues as to how a much-revered reverend now finds himself essentially accused of pimping.
Blackmer said Friday that if he had not sealed the case it would be "likely to cause unnecessary stress on juvenile witnesses and possibly prejudice the priest himself."
"I want to make sure everyone gets a fair trial without unnecessary and undue hardship," Blackmer said.
But the hardship may fall to the faithful at Queen of Heaven, which has been jolted several times in the past by allegations of sexual misconduct against its clergy, including two previous pastors and one parish priest.
Nevertheless, several parents said they're not ready to lump Malloy in with the other priests who have shamed their parish.
"No one who I've talked to has been passing judgment. Everyone is standing by him. He has thousands of people behind him," Krystofiak said. "As far as I'm concerned there couldn't be a better man. Somebody's got something mixed up somewhere."
Another parent, Brian Warden, added: "I don't think anybody knows what he is accused of doing. It could be a total misunderstanding."
Malloy was ordained May 21, 1983, said Sister Nancy Kazik, vice chancellor of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.
His first assignment was at Our Lady of Sorrows parish in Las Vegas, N.M. He went on to serve in Albuquerque as parochial vicar at Holy Ghost, Annunciation and Assumption parishes before being named pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in June 1991, Kazik said.
In March 1995, Malloy became pastor at Queen of Heaven, 5311 Phoenix Ave. N.E., a homecoming of sorts for a priest who as a child had been a student there.
"He was thrilled when he got this parish," Krystofiak said.
The parish serves about 2,277 members and the school has an enrollment of 409 in kindergarten through eighth grade, parish figures indicate.
Malloy grew up in Albuquerque, living in the same home on Alvarado Drive Northeast with his parents all his life with the exception of the four years he spent away at college, his attorney, Ray Twohig, said during Friday's arraignment.
Malloy has also been a volunteer chaplain with the Albuquerque Police Department for more than 10 years, Lt. Ray Schultz said.
Malloy has had a reputation as an exemplary chaplain and priest, one who parents said made a point to show up for all school events and police said helped talk people out of committing suicide.
"He has an unblemished record of priestly service and is respected by his parishioners and by his fellow priests," Archbishop Michael Sheehan said in a news release issued Friday. "We do not yet know the details of the allegations, but we are cooperating fully with the authorities. I keep Father Malloy, his parishioners and all involved in my constant prayers."
Pilar Garcia, a parish deacon, will serve as temporary administrator at Queen of Heaven and will arrange for priests to preside at daily and Sunday Masses, as well as Masses on Christmas and New Year's, the news release stated.
Krystofiak said the news of Malloy's arrest was not discussed with students by school teachers and administrators Friday, the last day before the school recessed for a two-week Christmas break.
But she explained it to her son this way:
"What I told my son, and I think most parents did, was that even if some of these allegations are true, just remember that he's forgiven us for so many things. No one is perfect. We need to be just as forgiving and loving as he has been toward us."
QUEEN OF HEAVEN PASTORS PAST
Sabine Griego (1979-1991) Was sent to a rehabilitation program and later suspended from the priesthood after allegations surfaced that he sexually molested several young boys, one for seven years. Five civil lawsuits were filed, one of which was settled for $1.5 million.
John C. Rodriguez (June 1992-March 1995) Resigned in connection with a lawsuit alleging that in the early 1970s he got a 19-year-old theology student drunk and sexually attacked him on a weekend "retreat" at a cabin owned by the archdiocese. Parishioners were told that the allegation dated from before the time Rodriguez sought treatment for his alcoholism.
Robert Malloy (March 1995-December 1998) Relieved of his pastor duties Friday pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations of promoting prostitution and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
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