On Wednesday, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Alexander Salazar of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in the United States.
In a letter to the faithful sent the same day, Archbishop José Gomez detailed the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ response to an allegation of sexual abuse made against Bishop Salazar.
He writes: “I regret to inform you that in 2005, a year after he had been ordained a bishop, the Archdiocese was made aware of an allegation against Bishop Salazar of misconduct with a minor. Although the allegation was never directly reported to the Archdiocese, it was investigated by law enforcement in 2002 and the District Attorney did not prosecute.”
Archbishop Gomez says the accusation “stemmed from alleged misconduct that was said to have occurred in the 1990s, before he was ordained a bishop, when he was serving as a parish priest.”
He said the Archdiocese informed the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “which conducted an investigation and imposed certain precautionary measures on the ministry of Bishop Salazar.”
Archbishop Gomez submitted the allegation to the archdiocese’s independent Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board, which found the allegations to be credible. He turned the board’s findings and recommendations “along with my own votum to the Holy See to make its final determination as to Bishop Salazar’s status.”
Finally, Archbishop Gomez expresses his gratitude for Pope Francis’ “loving concern for the family of God here in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.”
“These decisions have been made out of deep concern for the healing and reconciliation of abuse victims and for the good of the Church’s mission,” he writes.