San Antonio Archdiocese Calls Abuse 'Believable'

Houston Chronicle
March 10, 2009

SAN ANTONIO — The Archdiocese of San Antonio has disclosed it believes three former priests sexually abused a boy here more than 25 years ago.

The Revs. Louis White, Larry Hernandez and David Zumaya were associate pastors at San Fernando Cathedral, the city's historic and most prominent parish, for varying years between 1978 and 1982, when the alleged abuse took place, said the archdiocese.

Archdiocese spokesman Pat Rodgers said Zumaya and White were accused of molesting other teens and were punished previously, though their history was not disclosed by the archdiocese until Monday. Rodgers had no details on the previous allegations.

A message left for Hernandez was not returned Tuesday, and contact information for White and Zumaya could not be immediately found. Zumaya is believed to be in Mexico, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

The most recent allegations were made public Sunday in weekly bulletins at the 15 parishes where the men worked. The archdiocese posted the information on its Web site Monday. Rodgers said the archdiocese has found the allegations "believable."

"Short of a confession, this is the best we can go on," Rodgers said.

Zumaya remains a priest but was barred from public ministry in 1998. White was removed from the priesthood in 1989.

Hernandez belongs to the Baltimore-based Order of the Most Holy Trinity, a religious order that investigated the victim's allegations and has since removed him from public ministry, Rodgers said.

The victim has asked for counseling, which the archdiocese is paying for, he said.

The statutes of limitations on criminal charges or civil lawsuits have expired.


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