“Vatican finally suspends priest who admitted sex with boys” & related article

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The Dallas Morning News blog

By
begerton@dallasnews.com

 

Roman Catholic Church leaders have changed their story about why an internationally prominent priest dropped out of sight this summer. Now they say that the Vatican ordered Monsignor Cristobal Garcia’s suspension from ministry because of sexual abuse allegations, according to the Philippines’ leading newspaper.

Earlier this week, Filipino church officials portrayed Garcia’s absence as simply the result of health problems.

The new announcement coincides with a National Geographic story about the black market in elephant tusks. It quotes Garcia as giving advice on smuggling ivory icons and refers to my 2005 article on him — in which the priest admitted having sex with U.S. altar  boys, providing them drugs and fleeing to the Philippines.

It isn’t clear why Garcia stayed in ministry after the admission. He continued to lead a large group of boys at a rural religious compound and oversaw worship practices for the massive Cebu Archdiocese. Among his international credentials: He led his cardinal’s advance team in Rome when Pope John Paul II declared a Filipino sainthood candidate to be blessed.

Now he also could face legal troubles because of his smuggling comments, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reports today.

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Priest who had sex with boys vanishes from public eye

The Dallas Morning News blog

 


Monsignor Cristobal Garcia led Black Saturday celebrations in the Philippines before claiming that an altar boy “not only seduced me, he also raped me.” (File 2005/Staff photo)

An internationally prominent Catholic priest has dropped out of sight in the Philippines, years after admitting to me that he had sex with altar boys in the U.S. and supplied them with drugs.

Monsignor Cristobal Garcia’s sudden low profile coincides with a new National Geographic article on the ivory trade. It calls Garcia “one of the best known ivory collectors in the Philippines” and quotes him as giving advice on how to smuggle ivory into the U.S., in defiance of a 1989 global trade ban.

The magazine refers to my 2005 investigative piece on the priest, who had fled the U.S. after an altar boy was found in his bedroom. He’s one of over 200 Catholic clergymen we found who crossed international borders to escape justice and stay in ministry.

Filipino church leaders helped Garcia reinvent himself as an authority on worship practices and leader of boys at a rural religious compound. Now he’s said to be resting and receiving treatment for hypertension, according to today’s Cebu Daily News.

Garcia’s archbishop told that Filipino paper he plans to address the ivory smuggling controversy at a news conference soon. The paper made no mention of sexual abuse.

4 Responses to “Vatican finally suspends priest who admitted sex with boys” & related article

  1. Cyril North says:

    *Ublelievable.   What a mess this institutional church is in.

  2. Mark Silverbird says:

    You know what upsets me most about this is that this is Brother Stanley Villavicencio’s spiritual director. Why would Jesus choose such a person to be the spiritual director of a person who would be a major component of Divine Mercy? Why?

    Let’s take a look at Sister Faustina. Was Father Sopocko ever implicated in any major scandals? No. So why would Brother Stanley’s spiritual director be implicated in such a scandal unless the devil always had a handle on the mission from the very beginning.

    So Cris Garcia is not really a holy man. He is a priest of GOD, but he is not a holy man. AND, you can’t tell me that the men of the church did not know Cris was who he was. They knew!!! So people want to say that there are good men in the church. Most of the time, you can always tell what a a company is like by who runs it. Jesus is in every tabernacle of every Church, I know this to be a fact, but with Brother Stanley, how this is going down, if it true that Cris Garcia is who he is, shame, for shame, Jesus is not helping in any way any longer the men of the church, AMEN.

    • Mark Silverbird says:

      It has been over a year since my remark on Fr. Cris Garcia, and no one has replied to it, so I will reply.

      When I was a child, an uncle tried to rape me. He was unsuccessful, but nevertheless, he effected my mind for the rest of my life until he died on August 11, 2015. I prayed heavily for this man, and I believe that my uncle made it to heaven. This uncle, who also caused me serious scandal, by saying that I lied about him to the whole family, turned the whole family against me, so he was in grave mortal sin when he died.

      On August 20, 2015, I found out that my uncle had died on August 11. I pray “The Divine Mercy prayer” everyday, sometimes 3 to 4 hours in a day, and I remember that I offered much of my suffering for my uncle especially on August 11. So on August 20th, when I found out, I asked my oldest daughter to pray with me at the 3 o’clock hour. Before we prayed together, I silently asked Jesus to give me a sign that my uncle made it into heaven, by letting my daughter cry tears during the prayer. By the third decade, my daughter wiped both sides of her eyes with her hands. By the fourth decade, she was crying, and by the fifth, she could not control her tears. When the prayer was over, my wife and I both asked her what was wrong, and she could not explain it. I then told my wife and daughter about the sign that I had asked for.

      I now believe that although Jesus chose Fr. Cris to be Brother Stanley’s spiritual director, Jesus had a purpose for doing this. We are all driven by human instincts until we get to know Jesus. For some, who choose holy vocations, they might believe that they can hide behind a cloth or a mask, but GOD exposes everyone as to who they really are in the final end. We cannot hide who we are from GOD, so I believe that Jesus is giving Fr. Cris the chance to repent.

      I am one who was damaged by a man who was my uncle, and Jesus chose me to be instrumental in my uncle’s salvation that I chose to say “yes” to Jesus. We all have the same question in some way that Jesus is giving each of us a chance to say, “yes”, so I pray that everyone says yes to Jesus.

      When Brother Stanley was dying with fourth stage cancer, that suddenly appeared over night, he told me that the reason he was to suffer was because the Catholic church was going to go through much suffering. He was very calm and jovial in fact about it. He said, “I want to live, but Jesus needs me to suffer”. This is almost at the same time that Fr. Cris was exposed. No coincidence.

      Now, when I think of Fr. Cris, it is much like my uncle whom I suffered for, but I am still alive, while when Fr. Cris was exposed, Brother Stanley suddenly got fourth stage cancer, and was eventually taken home on July 10, 2013. Brother Stanley was a good friend, and I truly believe he is walking with the saints, so I end this with, “Brother Stanley, pray for us”.

      Whatever I do will be good. I have the intention of doing good. The Lord God accepts what I consider good, and the Lord GOD also accepts and considers it as good. GOD bless you with, “Jesus, I trust in YOU

  3. jg says:

    Mark,
    Nobody replied to your message a year ago and I don’t think anyone feels like replying to you right now…Don’t take this the wrong way, but you need some help!
    I am not going to go over everything you laid out in the previous post but I really feel for you. Maybe it is you who needs a good cry and not your daughter…Try not to poison her life like yours was…You understand what I mean!
    You don’t have to ”overdue” it you just need to have a good life and provide for your family, do what is best for your child or children.
    Too many Jesus’s , miracles and fabulations to be at Peace with your life…
    You are trying to explain too many things: God, Saints, prayers,…
    Just make sure you make it through this day and keep it simple for your daughter! She nor any other child needs to inherit our insecurities. If you want to talk ”Jesus” and mysterious circumstances…close your eyes, take a deep breath and be quiet for a while.
    Faith and brainwashing are a Universe apart!
    Don’t be so uptight.
    Probably your daughter was crying because of her sore knees or she was upset at your “space walk”…You had her kneeling, didn’t you?…
    Get some help!
    jg

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