Archdiocese of San Antonio statement concerning three Jesuit priests named in Jesuit province allegation list of Dec. 7

Archdiocese of San Antonio statement concerning three Jesuit priests named in Jesuit province allegation list of Dec. 7

Three Jesuit priests who served in the Archdiocese of San Antonio were included on a list of names of Jesuits with credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor that was released today (Dec. 7) by the Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province.

Included in the list was Rev. Alfonso Madrid, SJ, who served at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on El Paso Street near downtown San Antonio. Madrid died in 1982, and the estimated timeframe of abuse committed by him was in the 1960s and 1970s. He was deceased when the allegations were received. The Archdiocese of San Antonio informed the Our Lady of Guadalupe community of allegations against Madrid in 2015.

Rev. Austin N. Park, SJ, who also served at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church from 1957-1958 and again from 1961-1963, was included on the list as well. The estimated timeframe of the abuse allegations is the 1960s. Park was already out of ministry due to dementia when the allegations were received by the Jesuits, and he died in 2013.

In addition, Rev. Francis M. Landwermeyer, SJ, was named on the Jesuit list also. Landwermeyer served in San Antonio beginning in 1990 until 2004. He served as pastor of St. Cecilia Church, as a parochial vicar and in residence at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, in residence at St. Brigid Church, and as a teacher at both Central Catholic High School and Antonian College Preparatory High School. He was removed from ministry in 2010, left the Society of Jesus and priesthood in 2011, and died in 2018.

The Archdiocese of San Antonio does not know of any allegations that Landwermeyer sexually abused children in the archdiocese. The archdiocese will verify this with the Jesuit province.

The Archdiocese of San Antonio received allegations against Park in late September of this year. The allegations again both Rev. Madrid and Rev. Park were included among information sent to the Lay Commission on Clergy Sexual Abuse of Minors in the Archdiocese of San Antonio, which is being led by Judge Catherine M. Stone, retired Chief Justice of the Texas Fourth District Court of Appeals, and was announced by Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, on Oct. 10. The archdiocese is currently compiling a report examining the handling of clergy sexual abuse of minors since 1940. It will include a list of names of all clergy against whom there has been an accusation of abuse of a minor which seems to be true. It will also examine current procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors, in place since 2002, from the perspectives both of care for survivors and investigation of the priest or deacon. The commission will fully audit this report and offer recommendations to improve procedures.

The information contained in the list from the Jesuits is being taken extremely seriously by the archdiocese. The Archdiocese of San Antonio asks anyone with information or concerns regarding Madrid, Park, or Landwermeyer to contact Steve Martinez, director of the Archdiocesan Office of Victim Assistance and Safe Environment, at (210) 734-7786 or (877) 700-1888, or e-mail at ovase@archsa.org.

The Office of Victim Assistance and Safe Environment was created in order to be the initial contact point for those who have experienced clergy abuse. The office provides pastoral care including individual, group, and spiritual counseling to assist in the healing process. The archdiocesan procedures for reporting abuse can be found at: https://www.archsa.org/…/uplo…/Reporting_Procedures_2016.pdf

An announcement concerning these allegations against Rev. Landwermeyer will be placed in the parish bulletins at St. Cecilia Church, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, St. Brigid Church, in Today’s Catholic newspaper, posted on the archdiocesan website at www.archsa.org and the communities at Central Catholic and Antonian High School will be notified as well. In addition, the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church community will be informed also of the allegations against Rev. Park, as well as notification being listed on the archdiocesan website and newspaper.

In 2002 the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which commits the prelates to respond promptly and compassionately to victims, report the abuse of minors, remove offenders, and take ongoing action to prevent abuse. The Charter was updated in 2011 and again in 2018.

We pledge to maintain safe environments for everyone, and all policies and procedures regarding training and background check requirements are publicly available.

The Archdiocese of San Antonio remains strongly committed to restoring trust and healing the wounds of anyone who may have been hurt by sexual abuse. The archdiocese will continue to work toward making every Catholic parish, school and institution a safe harbor for all. Nothing will deter the archdiocese from this vital effort toward a better future for everyone in need.

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