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Priest threatened, bishop seeks anonymous victim in Arkansas abuse case

Catholic World News - July 12, 2011

In Arkansas, Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock is appealing for help from the faithful after an unidentified man threatened a priest whom he accused of molesting his child.

Bishop Taylor reported that a man had called the rectory of a church in Springdale, saying that his son had been molested by a priest in the confessional. The caller threatened the priest, and later distributed flyers reiterating those threats. The parish rectory was vandalized; diocesan officials assume that the same angry man was responsible.

However, Church officials have been unable to find the angry father. And the priest who was accused, Father Ruben Quinteros, was very unlikely to have committed the assault, according to the bishop’s account:

The priest being threatened is Father Ruben Quinteros but the circumstances of the alleged abuse do not correspond to his activities in the parish, suggesting it may be someone else. I believe we may be dealing with a case of mistaken identity -- if this parent was not active in the parish, he could easily have jumped to the conclusion that the Hispanic priest in Springdale at the time he learned of the alleged incident must have been the one who did it.

Bishop Taylor indicated that he was prepared to believe an assault had taken place, but Father Quinteros was not the perpetrator. He asked for help in identifying the victim and his father, so that the incident could be explored more thoroughly. The bishop said:

The main thought I want to leave you with is that I am very concerned that we already have one victim out there -- a child who needs help -- and we don't need another.

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  • Posted by: dfp3234574 - Jul. 13, 2011 10:34 AM ET USA

    "Priest threatened, bishop seeks anonymous victim in Arkansas abuse case" or "Nutcase threatens to murder innocent priest over bogus molestation claim"? We have an unknown accuser, an unknown 'victim,' and a falsely accused priest, yet Bishop Taylor admirably reaches out to the public anyway. This case could be 'Exhibit A' to those who claim that bishops act 'callously' to the issue of abuse. In what other organization would a leader act so proactively in the interest of children? Hello?

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