April 13, 2005

2 priests, 1 former cleric leave jobs abroad after News report

The Dallas Morning News

07:28 PM CDT on Wednesday, April 13, 2005

By BROOKS EGERTON and BRENDAN M. CASE / The Dallas Morning News

Three high-profile Catholics have left their jobs abroad since The Dallas Morning News reported recently that they had sexually abused children while serving as priests in the United States.

The three, who could not be located for comment, are:

•Monsignor Ivan Rovira, who officials say has resigned as rector of a Catholic university in Matamoros, Mexico, and quit celebrating Mass at the cathedral there. In 2002, he had left the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, just across the Rio Grande, after being accused of rape and admitting to church superiors that he had abused a boy.

•Former priest Ron Voss, who was running a charity in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, that helps poor young people there and U.S. Catholic missionaries. He had left Lafayette, Ind., in the 1980s after being accused of abuse and later was removed from the priesthood after telling the Vatican that he had molested many boys.

•The Rev. José Luis Urbina, a pastor in the northwestern Mexico city of Navojoa. He had fled Sacramento, Calif., in 1989 after pleading guilty to abusing a boy but before he could be sentenced.

There was no word Wednesday on whether Mr. Voss and Father Urbina might return to their jobs at some point.

A woman who answered the phone recently at Mr. Voss' Port-au-Prince charity said she was now running it but declined to identify herself or comment further. Father Urbina's Mexican bishop could not be reached for comment.

Posted by kshaw at April 13, 2005 07:42 PM