Ex-Fort Worth Diocese Priest Denies Allegations from 1981

June 23, 2009

The Rev. Rudolf Renteria denies allegations that he sexually abused an Arlington altar boy in the 1980s, according to recently filed court documents.

A California man in his 40s sued Renteria and the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese in March. The man accused the diocese of covering up the priest's actions. The diocese denies those allegations and argues in court documents that the statute of limitation bars "all or a portion of plaintiff's claims." The man's attorney, Tahira Khan Merritt of Dallas, could not be reached for comment.

The diocese is in the process of defrocking Renteria, but he refers to himself in court documents as "formerly known as Father Rudolf 'Rudy' John Renteria." Renteria's attorney, Robert Kemp of Dallas, said he would have to consult with his client before making any comment.

According to the suit, Renteria offered in 1981 to take the man, then 14, to spend the night at the rectory of St. Matthew Catholic Church in Arlington. There, Renteria fondled the boy and attempted anal intercourse, the suit alleges.

The man's father told another priest at the time of the alleged incident, but Renteria was allowed to continue in the ministry, according to the suit.

A 2002 diocese news release about a matter describing an incident with a 14-year-old boy said Renteria was unable to "confirm or deny the incident... because of the influence of alcohol." For two decades afterward, Renteria was moved to several parishes before becoming a chaplain at St. Paul's Hospital in Dallas.

In 2002, Renteria was relieved from the ministry.


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