Ex-priest fell from grace after archbishop resigned

Albuquerque Journal

December 26, 2017

By Olivier Uyttebrouck

Former priest Sabine Griego’s relationship with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe took an abrupt turn for the worse after the late Archbishop Robert Sanchez stepped down in March 1993.

Just three days after Sanchez resigned, an archdiocese official sent Griego a letter telling him to “not exercise your ministry in parishes or in any other ministerial situations.”

The archdiocese’s concerns about Griego were well-founded, according to court records released recently by a judge’s order. In 2004, former Archbishop Michael Sheehan, who succeeded Sanchez in 1993, sent a letter to Vatican officials urging them to remove Griego from the priesthood. The Vatican did so in 2005.

“First, there is the sheer volume and heinous nature of the accusations,” Sheehan wrote.

He included a list of 16 men and a woman who alleged that the La Madera native ordained in 1964 had sexually abused them as children, from 1965 to 1990. The archdiocese had paid nearly $3 million to victims, Sheehan wrote.

Victims “will have to live with the trauma of their experiences for a lifetime, let alone the suffering incurred by their families and loved ones,” he wrote.

Griego did not respond to voice messages left at his home in the Las Vegas, N.M., area.

Copyright © 2017 Albuquerque Journal

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