Catholic Deacon Faces Illinois Molest Charges

By Gayle White and Joe Earle
Atlanta Journal and Constitution
April 21, 1993

A married Roman Catholic deacon was arrested Tuesday in Fayette County and is awaiting extradition to Illinois on child molestation charges.

The Rev. Patricio Batuyong faces charges of criminal sexual abuse and solicitation for juvenile prostitution in Hanover Park, Ill., according to the Fayette County sheriff's office.

The Rev. Batuyong, 49, is a permanent deacon from the archdiocese of Chicago who had been on temporary assignment at St. Gabriel's Mission in Fayetteville for about a year, said the Rev. Peter Dora, spokesman for the Atlanta archdiocese.

The Rev. Batuyong had not been incarcerated, or officially received, by the archdiocese of Atlanta.

Permanent deacons are clerics who are permitted to perform many functions of the priesthood. They may not consecrate the Eucharist.

Married men may be ordained to the diaconate, but ordained deacons who are single may not marry.

The Rev. Batuyong is also employed by U.S. Army Reserve Command Headquarters in Camp Creek Business Center in the civilian capacity of equal opportunity adviser, said Steve Stromvall, a spokesman for Army Reserve Command.

No extradition hearing has been held, but Hanover Park authorities are requesting that bond be set at $ 1 million.

There has been no indication that any Fayette County children have been involved, the Rev. Dora said.

The deacon warned local Catholic officials last Friday there was a possibility charges could be lodged against him in the Chicago area, the Rev. Dora said.

Monsignor Edward J. Dillon, administrator of the archdiocese, immediately notified the Fayette County district attorney and suspended the Rev. Batuyong "not as an admission of guilt, but simply as a precaution for all involved," the Rev. Dora said.

The administrator sent a letter to the parish, which was read at all services last weekend, informing the congregation of the suspension.


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