Women Allege Sexual Relations with Archbishop

Associated Press
March 21, 1993

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Three women told "60 Minutes" Sunday that a Roman Catholic archbishop who resigned this week sexually assaulted them years ago when they were teen-agers.

Several other people interviewed by the CBS-TV news show also accused Archbishop Robert Sanchez of doing nothing to stop the abuse of children by other priests being treated at a New Mexico center for troubled clergy members. And the program said another woman, who was not identified, claims Sanchez raped her in 1973 and was later paid $ 25,000 to keep quiet.

Sanchez, 59, the nation's first Hispanic Catholic archbishop, submitted his resignation Friday to Pope John-Paul II. He had headed the Archdiocese of Santa Fe since 1974.

One of the three women who appeared on "60 Minutes" accused the archbishop of seducing her, while the others said he kissed, fondled and caressed them.

Sanchez's archdiocese notified the Vatican on March 8 that allegations have been made that the archbishop had sexual relationships with as many as five women during the 1970s and '80s.

That same day Sanchez issued a public apology for any harm or disappointment the allegations caused. He didn't specifically confirm or deny any of the allegations.

One of the three women interviewed by "60 Minutes," Judy Maloof, said she was 19 when she became involved with the archbishop.

"Part of the way that he seduced me was through using spiritual language," said Maloof, who is now an associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Ohio State University.

"At the time I was a very devout Catholic," she added. "I think he exploited my spirituality by comparing me at times with powerful religious icons like the Virgin of Guadalupe."

Two other women, Cathy Mendoza and Patty Madrid, said they were 18 and the archbishop was 40 when he took them on a camping trip. Mendoza said he fondled her during the trip and Madrid said he kissed her.

"I thought it was strange," Mendoza said. "I didn't say anything, but I thought, well here's this very important person who I thought was next to God. He must know what he's doing."

The women said Sanchez continued to kiss, fondle and caress them for years afterward.

The woman who said Sanchez raped her told "60 Minutes" that she confronted him two years ago and he paid her $ 25,000 to keep quiet and to seek therapy.

Others told of children being molested by priests who had been treated at the Servants of the Paraclete center, a Jemez Springs retreat for troubled clergy.

Marlene Debray-Nowak, said she complained to Sanchez three times that her 10- and 12-year-old sons were being fondled by a priest who has since been named in lawsuits filed by several people who say he sexually abused them as children.

More than a dozen lawsuits allege priests treated at the center sexually abused young people, mostly altar boys, while on parish duty.

Debray-Nowak said she holds Sanchez responsible.

"The buck stops at his desk," she said.


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