October 23, 2005

Church founder accused

San Gabriel Valley Tribune

By Marianne Love, Staff Writer

EL MONTE -- The Rev. John Coffield was a hero to many in this community, a rebel who fought to desegregate public schools and government jobs.

In 1999 the city had its first "Father Coffield Day" to honor the Irish-born priest, a beloved minister in the El Monte barrios from 1943 to 1955. He had co-founded Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, El Monte's first Catholic church, on a street that was eventually renamed in his honor.

But before Coffield died Feb. 2, he shared with others that he'd been accused of sexual molestation in May 2002.

His name was listed among the summaries of the confidential files of 126 priests the Los Angeles Archdiocese posted on its Web site earlier this month.

Coffield, who was 91 when he died, was accused in a telephone message from a 49-year-old adult male who claimed he was molested at Dolores Mission in Los Angeles from 1960 to 1962.

Posted by kshaw at October 23, 2005 08:04 AM