3 Former San Fernando Priests Accused of Sex Abuse of a Minor

March 9, 2009

SAN ANTONIO Three priests have been accused of sexual abuse of a minor. The incidents are reported to have occurred between 1978 and 1982. Archdiocese officials investigating the complaints said they found the allegations "believable." They also notified civil authorities about the reports. The events are said to have happened while the three priests were assigned to the San Fernando Cathedral.

The archdiocese is not identifying the person coming forward with the accusations other than to say the person was underage throughout the time when the events happened.

The person alleging abuse identified the men as Rev. David Zumaya, Rev. Larry Hernandez, and Mr. Louis White.

According to the archdiocese, Zumaya served as a priest of the archdiocese from 1977 until 1998. He has no priestly faculties and is no longer in ministry. Hernandez, ordained in 1978, joined the Order of the Most Holy Trinity in 1982 and left the Archdiocese at that time. His priestly faculties were suspended by his order when the allegation first was raised in 2008. White was ordained in 1975. He left priestly ministry in 1988 and was laicized in 1989.

Zumaya is also said to have continued the abuse after he was assigned to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Carrizo Springs.

San Antonio Archdiocese spokesman Deacon Pat Rogers said there have been previous allegations against White and Zumaya on another matter in the past. Those complaints were handled by the archdiocese at the time. There was no other information available about the nature of the allegations or the action taken by the Church. Deacon Rogers also added the former priests were not involved in any teaching capacity with the parishes they served in.

In his statement to the affected parish communities, Archbishop Jose Gomez wrote, "I pledge my commitment to continue to work toward making every Catholic church, school and institution a safe harbor for all of our children. Please join me in prayer as we reach out to any and all who may be victims of sexual abuse."


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