Ontario: Group Defending Priest to Protest Diocese

By David Olson
The Press-Enterprise
October 14, 2010

A group formed to support an Ontario priest accused of sexual abuse is holding a protest Saturday in front of the headquarters of the Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino.

Two adolescent boys have accused the Rev. Alex Castillo, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Ontario, of sexual abuse. Castillo maintains his innocence, diocesan spokesman John Andrews said. Castillo was removed from active duty in June and is no longer in the parish, Andrews said.

The Coalition to Exonerate Fr. Alex believes Bishop Gerald Barnes should not have made the allegations against Castillo public because no charges have been filed against him, coalition Director Ted Campos said. Ontario police are still investigating the allegations.

Andrews said the diocese publicized the allegations "as a responsibility to the children," so any other potential victims would come forward. An independent clergy-layperson review board found the allegations "credible," he said.


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