Vatican investigates San Jose bishop’s handling of sex abuse in former diocese

Mercury News

November 18, 2020

By John Woolfolk

Oscar Cantu became Bishop of San Jose in 2018

San Jose’s recently seated Bishop Oscar Cantú is under investigation by the Vatican for his handling of clerical sex abuse cases in his former Diocese of Las Cruces, New Mexico, according to a Catholic news agency report.

The Catholic News Agency reported Tuesday that the investigation was ordered in October under a zero-tolerance policy Pope Francis implemented last year to hold bishops accountable for their handling of past sexual abuse cases, particularly for actions or omissions intended to avoid or interfere with investigations.

The Catholic News Agency quoted two unnamed Vatican sources who confirmed the investigation but declined to comment on the specific accusations or whether they concern any clergy still in ministry. One of those officials stressed that the investigation is not a trial and that Cantú “has every presumption of innocence and remains in office.”

Cantú in a statement Wednesday morning acknowledged the reported investigation and said he supports the Vatican’s protocols “to ensure the accountability of bishops and to bring justice and healing to victims/survivors.”

“I intend to cooperate fully with any inquiry,” Cantú said in the statement.

The Diocese of Las Cruces, where Cantu was bishop from 2013 to 2018, and its current Bishop Peter Baldacchino had no comment on the allegations, said spokesman Christopher Velasquez.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.