New Mexico clergy sex abuse victim responds to Pope's apology | KOB 4

New Mexico clergy sex abuse victim responds to Pope's apology

Chris Ramirez
August 20, 2018 10:30 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Pope’s apology for the priest sex abuse scandal is being heard in New Mexico.


The Archdiocese of Santa Fe lists 74 credibly accused priests, one of them is Father Robert Smith, who is now dead.

One of his victims sued the archdiocese as John Doe, wishing to remain anonymous because of the shame he still carries.

“I was an altar boy at Our Lady of Fatima church and one of the Catholic priests, Father Robert Smith befriended myself and befriended my parents,” the man said. “He offered to take me on an overnight trip to Socorro.”

The man said Father Smith took dirty magazines and asked if he was interested in looking at them.

“He got into bed with me and it was a few minutes from there that that's where the abuse started, that night in Socorro,” he said.

The man says the abuse went on for a year.

It’s that abuse that Pope Francis apologized for Monday.

"Let us beg forgiveness for own sins and the sins of others. An awareness of sin helps us to acknowledge the errors, the crimes and the wounds caused in the past," Pope Francis wrote in a letter.

“John Doe” says the Pope’s words offer some comfort.

“The Pope has been saying things the Pope has never said before, but what happened is just always there and always will be there,” he said.

Survivors of the abuse around the world are calling on Pope Francis to offer more than words.

No priest who committed crimes against children in New Mexico has even been held criminally responsible.

If you’re interested in learning more about clergy abuse that took place in New Mexico, you can listen to the 4 Investigates podcast, “Our Backstory.” The podcast is available on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcher, and Spotify.


Chris Ramirez

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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