Catholic World News

Oklahoma archdiocese removes priest after 'new information' about past abuse

April 27, 2016

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma announced on April 26 that he has removed Father José DaVila from ministry, after he "became aware of new information regarding the allegations" against the Venezuelan-born priest.

Father DaVila's assignment at a parish in Lawton, Oklahoma, became the focus of controversy when it came to light that the priest had entered a guilty plea on charges of fondling a young woman in California several years ago. Archbishop Coakley had originally defended that assignment, saying that he was convinced the priest did not pose a threat to the community.

However, after "a continued investigation," the archbishop reversed his decision. He reported that Father DaVila has left the Oklahoma City archdiocese.


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  • Posted by: garedawg - Apr. 28, 2016 9:59 AM ET USA

    Wouldn't a standard background check have revealed this? They did a background check on me when I taught a catechism class!

  • Posted by: mwean7331 - Apr. 27, 2016 7:24 PM ET USA

    Hmm the Arch Bishop has now become aware of the problem. I thought I read where he had done a "thorough" investigation. It took his parishoners to find out about the problem So much for "protecting" the sheep from the wolves Guess he needed a Pastor to fill in, in a hurry and that was the priority. .

  • Posted by: unum - Apr. 27, 2016 6:53 PM ET USA

    Bishop Coakley needs to disclose to the parishioners whether he failed to do "due diligence" on Father DaVila or whether his previous U.S. diocese "passed the trash" as has been the custom in the U.S. The parish was put at risk because someone failed to do their job. The parishioners have a right to know who failed them.