New Allegations Surface against Archbishop Sanchez

Associated Press
March 26, 1993

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two more women allege they had sexual relationships with Archbishop Robert F. Sanchez, and the chancellor of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe said Friday he is inclined to believe them.

In all, seven women now have alleged they had sex with Sanchez, who last week asked Pope John Paul II to accept his resignation as leader of the archdiocese. The pope hasn't acted on the request.

Earlier this month, Sanchez issued a statement asking forgiveness for any pain caused by the allegations, but he has neither confirmed nor denied them. He is undergoing treatment at an undisclosed location outside New Mexico, said the Rev. Ron Wolf, chancellor of the archdiocese.

Wolf said one of the women making the newest allegations spoke with him by telephone, and the other visited him.

"I was very much inclined to believe them," Wolf said. But he emphasized that "these are still allegations, and I have to check them out."

One alleged incident occurred before Sanchez became archbishop in 1974, Wolf said. He didn't know if the other allegation preceded Sanchez's appointment.

Wolf said the women didn't want to be identified publicly. He said they contacted him after initial allegations about Sanchez surfaced earlier this month.

On March 8, the archdiocese notified the Vatican that up to five women had claimed to have had sexual relationships with Sanchez.

Sanchez submitted his resignation to the Vatican on March 19. Two days later, the CBS-TV program "60 Minutes" broadcast an interview with three women who claimed to have had a sexual relationship with him.

The chancellor said he spoke with Sanchez on Friday but didn't ask about the newest allegations.

He said Sanchez was not trying to run away from the controversy and has indicated he'll return to the archdiocese at some point, "even if it's just to say goodbye."

"He is going through trying to face the allegations presented against him," Wolf said. He said he asked Sanchez when he might return and was told: "Ron, I still need a little more time."

"I think that's what his therapist is telling him right now," Wolf said. "I think if he could, he'd be back here."


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