The Immaculate Conception Church commands a notably long historical presence in Albuquerque. The parish recently had a celebration commemorating 135 years of formal existence as a formal Jesuit community in the area.

The Albuquerque Journal notes in a recent article that the church administers multiple outreach and related programs to area residents with various needs. One such initiative reaches out to young offenders at a detention center.

One of those offenders — now a young man in his mid-20s — recognized the church for its interaction with him some years ago when he was at the center.

Unfortunately, that recognition is for reasons that church officials would prefer remain silent rather than being publicized.

Specifically, that individual is now a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against the church earlier this month. The litigation alleges his victimization at the hands of a now-transferred priest who supervised him during periods when he performed community service. The plaintiff states that the cleric sexually abused him while misusing the “substantial powers of his priesthood … with respect to Catholic minors.”

That legal complaint did not proceed in isolation. Another lawsuit alleging misconduct committed by clerics at the church was also filed the same day. In that matter, a woman states that she was repeatedly abused by two parish priests when she was an adolescent attending first grade at an adjacent school.

A spokesperson for the Immaculate Conception Church states that church officials have independently investigated the claims and determined that both lack merit.

We will keep readers duly informed at Kennedy Kennedy & Ives of any material developments that occur in the lawsuits.

Sexual abuse spells conduct that is wrongful, manipulative and often carried out by predators who use positions of power to prey upon vulnerable and trusting victims. Individuals who ultimately decide to come forward and take action against wrongdoers find that demanding accountability and securing a legal remedy is a highly empowering and healing act.

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