Three former San Antonio priests have been named in a new list of Catholic clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse.
The Jesuits of the U.S. Central and Southern Province released a list Friday of 42 clergy members who had credible allegations of abuse of a minor. The three named priests who served in San Antonio have all died.
Francis M. Landwermeyer, who died this year, left the Society of Jesus and the priesthood in 2011. He had more than one allegation against him, according to the Jesuits’ list, and was removed from ministry in 2010. He served at Central Catholic High, Antonian High School, and St. Cecilia while in San Antonio. Landwermeyer also served in at the Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas and had pastoral assignments in Louisiana, Florida, Wisconsin, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Michigan. The Jesuits estimated the allegations refer to behavior during the 1960s and 1970s.
The Archdiocese of San Antonio said in a statement Friday that Landwermeyer served in San Antonio beginning in 1990 until 2004 and that it was unaware of allegations against Landwermeyer within the archdiocese. It said it would verify that information with the Jesuits.
Central Catholic High School President Paul Garro said in a statement Saturday that Landwermeyer worked at Central Catholic from the summer of 1991 until the summer of 1994. Central Catholic is unaware of any allegations from Landwermeyer’s time at the school, Garro said.
“You have my unwavering commitment that Central Catholic will continue to be transparent and do absolutely everything we can to ensure the safety and well-being of our students,” Garro said in an email.
Austin N. Park also had multiple allegations leveled against him. Park was out of the ministry due to dementia when 1960s-era allegations against him were received, according to the Jesuits’ list. Among his 17 pastoral assignments, he served at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish and Shrine in San Antonio. Park also served at the Jesuit High School and Sacred Heart Parish in El Paso and St. Joseph Church in Houston. He also had pastoral assignments in Louisiana, Alabama, Puerto Rico, Florida, and South Carolina. Park died in 2013.
The archdiocese said it would notify Our Lady of Guadalupe Church community members of the allegations against Park and Landwermeyer. The archdiocese also said it would inform parishioners of St. Cecilia Church and St. Brigid Church of the allegations against Landwermeyer and post information about both him and Park on its website and in Today’s Catholic newspaper.
Alfonso Madrid also served at Our Lady of Guadalupe in San Antonio and Sacred Heart Parish in El Paso. He took pastoral assignments in Louisiana and New Mexico as well. The Jesuits estimated the allegations refer to behavior during the 1960s and 1970s, and he died in 1982 before allegations against him were officially received.
The Archdiocese of San Antonio said it informed Our Lady of Guadalupe community members in 2015 of allegations against Madrid.
The archdiocese said it received allegations against Park in late September and sent information about Park and Madrid to its independent commission reviewing potential sexual abuse of minors by clergy. The commission will release a list of credibly accused clergy from the San Antonio archdiocese by Jan. 31.
“The information contained in the list from the Jesuits is being taken extremely seriously,” the archdiocese said in its statement.
Fr. Ronald Mercier, provincial of the Jesuits of the U.S. Central and Southern Province, said in a statement that the need for transparency led the group to publish the list of credibly accused priests.
“Our first response must be directed to those who have survived abuse at the hands of a member of the Society of Jesus when they were minors, a terrible evil that wounds the soul,” he said. “Words cannot possibly suffice to express our sorrow and shame for what occurred, our promise of prayers for healing, and our commitment to work with them. Caring for these survivors – and preventing any such future events – must be our focus as we move forward.”
The Jesuits of the U.S. Central and Southern Province have also hired an outside agency to review almost 3,000 personnel files next spring and promised to add newly discovered credible allegations to the list.
In a news release, the Jesuits urged survivors to report their abuse to the religious order by calling a licensed clinical social worker, Carol Zarinelli Brescia, at 314-915-7168 or email email@example.com. The Archdiocese of San Antonio is asking 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 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Pennsylvania grand jury report published in August also named a deceased San Antonio priest. And in October, a Canyon Lake priest was stripped of his clerical authority after a sexual abuse claim against him was found to be credible.