Diocese: Two More Priests Are Sex-Abuse Suspects

By Sheryl Kornman
Tucson Citizen
December 4, 2004

Two more priests who served in the Catholic Diocese of Tucson have been added to list of clerics against whom there are credible allegations of sexual misconduct with minors, the diocese says.

Both served in Tucson; one in the 1960s, the other as recently as 2003. Their whereabouts are unknown to the diocese.

A civil lawsuit involving the actions of one of the priests, the Rev. Fernando L. Manzo, was filed against the diocese before the diocese sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September, according to Fred Allison, diocese spokesman.

Manzo was placed on administrative leave by the diocese in December 2003, after the diocese was notified that authorities were investigating him regarding an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. Manzo gets no financial support from the diocese.

It is not known if any claims have been filed against the Rev. Claudio Riol, the second priest named yesterday, Allison said.

Riol served at Immaculate Heart Academy in Tucson from 1960 to 1961 and lived here until 1969, according to a notice on the diocese Web site. He has not been removed from priestly duties.

Manzo served in Tucson at St. Monica Parish from 1998 to 2001. He was suspended from priestly ministry by the diocese in May 2004 after the diocese could not locate him.

The priests were named by the Diocese of Tucson Sexual Misconduct Review Board in a notice posted yesterday, which urges anyone who may have been harmed by either priest to file a "proof of claim" with U.S. Bankruptcy Court before the April 15, 2005, deadline.


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