Bishop Files Charges Against Former El Paso Priest

Bishop Files Charges Against Former El Paso Priest

POSTED: Friday, January 13, 2012 - 7:38am

UPDATED: Monday, January 16, 2012 - 5:37pm

EL PASO - A local priest is facing major accusations.

Bishop Armando Ochoa accused Former San Juan Bautista Administrator, Father Michael Eodriguez of mishandling donated church money.

In a wrtiten statement, Bishop Ochoa said. "Fr. Rodriguez and those acting in concert with him, had no right to appropriate for themselves funds donated to the parish."

Father Rodriguez responded saying, "I have always honored, respected, and made good use of the financial patrimony of San Juan Bautista."

In September, 2011 Rodriguez ran a four page ad in the El Paso Times titled, 'The Truth About Homosexuality."  The article included quotations from Bible passages which the priest says denounce homosexuality.

Rodriguez said the ads represent the teachings of the Catholic Church and were sparked by El Paso City Council's decision to reinstate benefits to domestic partners of city employees.

Rodriguez told Newschannel 9 that the ads were paid for by a group of Catholics who wished to remain anonymous.

You can read a release from Bishop Ochoa below, as well as a response from Father Rodriguez.


JANUARY 12, 2012 PRESS RELEASE by Fr. Michael Rodríguez 

It is unfortunate that Bishop Armando Ochoa, Administrator of the Diocese of El Paso and no longer our bishop, has decided to pursue legal action against me. Such legal action is unjust. Over the course of 9 1/2 years as the parish priest of San Juan Bautista Catholic Church, I poured my heart and soul into caring for this parish, both in terms of temporal goods, and especially spiritual goods. I'm confident that hundreds of my former parishioners will eagerly testify to this. In his January 11, 2012, press release, Bishop Ochoa stated, "Fr. Rodríguez's handling and use of donated funds has compromised the financial integrity of San Juan Bautista." This is not true. Bishop Ochoa's statement also refers to "Fr. Rodríguez's mishandling of funds." Again, this is not true. I have always honored, respected, and made good use of the financial patrimony of San Juan Bautista. I stake my entire reputation on this claim. On September 20, 2011, I opened my heart to my bishop, like a son to a father, and was completely honest and forthcoming with him as to the financial affairs of San Juan Bautista. I told him everything. He chose not to believe me. For the past four months, my canon lawyer has made repeated efforts to resolve this matter with Most Rev. Armando Ochoa, and he has refused. I have a great love for my former parish of San Juan Bautista, and my former parishioners. I am ready to fight for and defend them, whatever the cost. I am also ready to protect my own good name and reputation. I have never misappropriated or misused parish funds. Finally, I am convinced that the real reason for my former bishop's actions against me is due to my defense of the Catholic Church's teaching with regard to homosexuality as well as my adherence to the Roman Liturgy of 1962. If necessary, I will present prodigious evidence to support this contention. I will continue to do my best to be a good and holy priest, no matter the cost. I will continue to proclaim and teach the truths of the Roman Catholic Church, especially in the area of sexual morality, no matter the cost. I will continue to adhere to the Ancient Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, no matter the cost. Please keep me in your prayers during this difficult trial. Please entrust me and my priesthood to the loving protection of Sancta Dei Genetrix, the Most Holy Mother of God. Thank you and may the good Lord bless you as this joyous Christmas season continues.

Fr. Michael Rodríguez,
Parochial Vicar, Santa Teresa de Jesús Parish
Presidio, TX 


Bishops Press Release 2012 01 11.pdf124.3 KB

Comments News Comments

When it comes to money, all Bishops such as Ochoa are all over it. When it comes to the Faith and teaching the Truth, they run like it was the plague.
O Lord grant us many holy priests!!

There is only One who will bring the truth to light. Pray for His judgement in this matter.

Fr Rodriguez is teaching what the Catholic Church believes. That is why he is being persecuted. Fr did NOT steal from the parish. He was placed over a dying parish; he brought life back to the poor living in the area and gave them hope. He took up collections to renovate the church, not to steal from the poor. Travel to the area around San Juan Bautista and interview the locals for yourself. The bishop is robbing the locals of San Juan by banishing their loving pastor, now they have no parish.

All of you sending your posts and comments must understand that we are now living on the times prophesied by our Blessed Mother in Akita, Japan, and in Fatima that priests will be against priests, bishops against bishops, priests against bishops and cardinals against cardinals. not to mention the scriptural prophecies of parents against children, children against parents. Satan is laughing at all of us because we are not seeing the real enemy behind all these. Pray! ya'll, pray!

It's good to know that Bishop Ochoa will not let this egomaniac Rodriguez get away with his one-man Catholic show. And just in time, too, seeing that the man's poison was starting to rub off on some of the sheeple.

Now it's time for Tom Brown, the other hypocritical modern-day Pharisee, to get a sound smackdown!

Keep dreaming Superman. It only makes us stronger. Bishop Ochoa is after our funds, the same way he took away $350 from some nuns who received this money from a parishoner.

He LOVES MONEY. We are all asking for OUR MONEY BACK. We have cancelled checks and we want EVERY PENNY BACK.

Isn't it interesting that when it comes to their money, bishops remove and take legal action against the priest-BUT-when it comes to a child being sexually abused, bishops protect the priest?

Their priorities are inhumane.

Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511
"Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests" and all clergy.

Judy - there is one at a local school here which was just transferred to el paso. Someone went and spoke to the bishop and the bishop refused to hear this person. Bishop Ochoa knows about this but he REFUSES to do anything about it. The schools are unaware that the priest is listed on a list of accused priests

The funds donated to Fr. Michael were for renovation of San Juan Church. The parishoners knew that. The Bishop snagged the donations of a quarter million dollars and now he won't return the money to the parishoners. He wants to smear Fr. Michael and keep the money. Sad ending for the Bishop. The parishoners of San Juan will not stand by and let the Bishop keep their money.

How sad that Father Rodriguez has again chosen to speak out in a public forum. The accusations against Fr Rodriguez will be so easily proven by written legal documents. 1) secret account? 2) mother is beneficiary? Very easy to prove. I will pray for you so that Our Lord Jesus Christ can replace your hatred and annymosity towards so many good Christians and your own Bishop and replace it with love. A true Christian is full of love for ALL. Hatred & anger is the devil's work. God Bless You (

Really? So Father Rodriguez cannot DEFEND HIMSELF when he is being "publicly" accused of taking funds? So in your eyes the Bishop does right in chastising him in public both via the newspaper & television and Father Michael cannot "speak out in a public forum" to defend himself?

I will also pray that our Lord replace your "blindness and injustice" in your heart so that YOU can not judge this priest. "A true Christian is full of love for ALL. ;-)

We love you Fr. Michael.
We trust you with welfare of our eternal souls.
May God be merciful towards the errant bishop.

Bishop Ochoa wants to be PC and is using these false accusations to be vindictive . I wish Bishop ocha can be more like Bishop Shaput from Denver Co diocese and defend the faith and not be luke warm.

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