Update: Nazareth Academy reacts to priest misconduct

VPD reopens case involving former priest's misconduct with Nazareth Academy student.

Update February 3, 2020:

Newscenter 25 received the following statement Monday from Sister Evelyn Korenek, IWBS, President of Nazareth Academy:

“The administration of Nazareth Academy Catholic School has been made aware of the recent allegations of abuse against the previous Chaplain of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. Father was not an employee of Nazareth Academy. He was at Nazareth Academy for a couple of hours one day in November, 2018, to hear confessions for one class of students.

This priest belongs to the Archdiocese of Galveston/Houston. We have and will continue to cooperate with both Church and Civil authorities. Since this is a current police investigation we have no further comment at this time.”

Original story published on January 31, 2020:

VICTORIA, Texas- One year after the Texas dioceses published a list of clergy members accused of sexually abusing children the Victoria Police department are investigating a priest who used to work at Nazareth Academy in Victoria.

VPD took the original report on December 17th, 2018 which was reviewed and closed due to the elements of a crime not being met. The victim’s mother came to Victoria Police on January 22nd, 2020 with additional information regarding this case, which prompted VPD to reopen the case.

“It took place at Nazareth Academy in Victoria, Texas under the guise of a confession/ blessing because my daughter is not Catholic. You do not have to be Catholic to attend what’s called Nazareth Academy. And they were teaching the children about confessions and the principal of the school who was also the religion teacher, brought this priest onto the campus and put my daughter and the rest of the fifth grade class of Nazareth Academy 2018 – 2019 year in a room alone with this man without a partition to say that they were learning how to do confessions. All I can assume is that she felt like somebody was actually doing something about it, and she gave me the rest of the details of what happened. And now, without violating her privacy, any further can be classified as a sexual assault,” said Amber Moreno, the victim’s mother.

The name of the priest has not been released since he has not been charged with a crime and has not been named on any dioceses’ list of credibly accused clergy members.