SEATTLE – The Archdiocese of Seattle has updated its list of clergy and religious for whom allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have been admitted, established or determined to be credible to include Father Mario Cruz. Father Cruz was from the Archdiocese of Manila and worked in the Archdiocese of Seattle at St. Mary Parish in Aberdeen from 1971 to 1972 and at St. Anthony Parish in Renton from 1972 to 1973. He is now deceased.
The Archdiocese of Seattle received an allegation against Father Cruz and, in accord with established procedures, worked with the victim and her legal representative to resolve her claim, according to a statement. Once the legal process was complete, the records were turned over to Kathleen McChesney and her firm, Kinsale Management Consulting, to conduct an independent review of the allegation. Based on the team’s research, they made a recommendation report to the Archdiocesan Review Board, which is composed of independent lay experts. The Review Board examined the report and recommended adding Father Cruz to the list.
In addition to adding his name, the archdiocese added links to other credibly accused lists released by religious orders who have ministered in the Archdiocese of Seattle, including the Christian Brothers of North America, the Franciscan Province of St. Barbara and Jesuits West.
“It’s important for people to understand that each diocese has its own criteria and process for adding someone to their list,” said Mary Santi, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Seattle. “Just because someone is named on another list doesn’t mean we automatically add them to our list. We have criteria for our list, and each name added must go through the same vetting process with our outside consultants and the independent Archdiocesan Review Board. Having outside independent experts determine the names on the list ensures a standardized process and helps us remain accountable for actions.”
As part of its commitment to transparency, the Archdiocese of Seattle will continue to update its Protect and Heal website. The website covers the history of sexual abuse in the archdiocese, which peaked in 1975 and has since sharply declined. The website also outlines how since the early 1980s, the archdiocese has taken steps to prevent abuse, protect the community and help victims and their families heal.
To report any suspicion of abuse by any church personnel, please contact local law enforcement. In addition, anyone who has knowledge of misconduct by a member of the clergy, an employee or volunteer of the Archdiocese of Seattle is urged to call the archdiocesan helpline at 1-800-446-7762.