Diocese Denies Claims

By Jim McBride
Amarillo Globe-News
November 14, 2003

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Amarillo contends a Gray County woman's legal claims against the diocese are barred by statutes of limitations.

The suit, filed in 47th District Court last month, claims a former priest engaged in unspecified wrongful conduct against the woman, identified only in court documents as Jane Doe.

The suit names former priest Rosendo Herrera, Bishop John W. Yanta, former Bishop Leroy Matthiesen and the diocese as defendants.

In an answer to the suit filed Wednesday, the diocese also denied all claims in the woman's suit.

The suit claims that on various times, Herrera was guilty of acts that were injurious, mentally and physically, to the plaintiff and that he engaged in wrongful conduct while employed by the Catholic Church.

The suit further alleges that the diocese, Yanta and Matthiesen were negligent in the performance of their administrative duties.

The woman is suing for personal injuries, past, present and future psychological pain and suffering, and mental anguish.

Earlier this year, the diocese settled another lawsuit involving Herrera that claimed he fathered a child with a teenage girl and that diocesan officials conspired to cover up sexual abuse within the diocese.

In September, the diocese announced that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown, Pa., and the Amarillo diocese reached a $275,000 settlement over allegations of sexual misconduct by another former priest against a Briscoe County boy.


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