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Texas diocese settles 3rd abuse suit involving prominent Philippine priest-musician, canonist

Catholic World News - April 02, 2010

The Diocese of El Paso has settled its third lawsuit involving alleged abuse by Father Manuel Perez Maramba, OSB, a Philippine priest who ministered at a New Mexico parish from 1976 to 1977. A portion of New Mexico was under the jurisdiction of the Texas diocese at the time.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported in 2009 that Manuel Perez Maramba is the professional name of Father Benildus (Benildo) Maramba. Father Maramba, a monk at Our Lady of Montserrat Abbey in Manila, is one of the Philippines’ most prominent musicians and liturgists. The former director of the Paul VI Institute of Liturgy, he compose the music for the papal Mass during the 1995 World Youth Day. According to the Tokyo Opera Association, which performed one of his compositions,

Maramba is one of the leading musical figures in the Philippines today and one of the most important musicians who emerged during the second half of the 20th century. After finishing his Bachelor of Music degree in Piano at the University of Sto. Tomas Conservatory of Music, he did further studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, obtaining his Master of Music degree at the age of 19.

His artistry developed and took form in all of the western world's most formidable musical institutions, namely; the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University where he received his Master of Music in Piano, Artist Diploma in Piano, Bachelor of Music in Composition and Teacher's Certificate in Theory; Yale University's School of Music for his Master of Musical Arts in Performance; the Kirchenmusikschule in Regensburg, Germany where he studied sacred music; and the Hochschule fur Musik in Vienna, Austria where the studied piano, organ and harpsichord.

Father Maramba remains on the faculty of the Conservatory of Music of the University of Santo Tomas.

A prominent canon lawyer, Father Maramba is also a member of the faculty of the Conservatory of Music of the University of Santo Tomas. He serves on the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal, according to the Philippine bishops’ web site.

“We tried to serve him with papers, but he managed to avoid them,” said S. Clark Harmonson, attorney for the alleged victim in the most recent lawsuit involving Father Maramba.

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