Petition for Permanent Removal of Father Rolando Garcia from St Agatha Catholic School /Church
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" We, the parents, family and parishioners of the students currently attending St. Agatha Catholic School/ Church located in Miami, FL petition the Archdiocese of Miami and St. Agatha Catholic School for the immediate removal of Rev. Father Rolando G Garcia from his position as a pastor.
This 3rd and most recent allegation brought against Father Garcia on September 6, 2012, has left us with no other alternative but to request for his removal from the church and more importantly, from the school. We also request that a different pastoral assignment at another school should not be an option.
To recap, according to published reports; In the early 1980's, the Archdiocese of Miami became aware of a child sexual abuse allegation against Father Rolando Garcia but actively concealed the allegation. In 2007, Fr. Garcia was once again accused in another lawsuit of sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy in 1989 at St. John Bosco Church in Little Havana. New lawsuits against the Archdiocese were filed, alleging sexual abuse by six different Roman Catholic priests. Of the six that were accused, only Father Rolando Garcia still remains active in the Archdiocese of Miami.
Despite multiple allegations of sexual abuse by Father Rolando Garcia, the Archdiocese of Miami continues to employ Father Garcia as a pastor at St. Agatha Catholic Church and St Agatha Catholic School (grades PK-3 thru 8th).
As stated in the St Agatha School Codes of Ethics: "We understand that we have an affirmative duty and legal responsibility to report any alleged instructional personnel or school administrator misconduct that affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student. " It goes on to say " Our primary professional concern will always be for the student and for the development of the student's potential. We will therefore strive for professional growth and will seek to exercise the best professional judgement and integrity."
Many parents have called the Archdiocese of Miami to inquire about what measures are being taken only to be at the receiving end of a very defensive response. The school has failed to inform or provide parents with any new information other than a letter that was presented to the students in a very candid, tactless, and inconsiderate manner in which the children were left to interpret the words themselves.
We feel that the integrity as well as the reputation of our school and church has been continually tarnished by past and present allegations against Father Garcia. There is a genuine feeling of disgust at the lack of action by both St Agatha School and the Archdiocese of Miami. Being accused once is bad enough, but three times is completely unacceptable. Enough is Enough! Something must be done.
We believe that what is in the best interest for our sacred children and holy church takes precedence over anything else. We would hope that the Archdiocese of Miami would reply with words of comfort, understanding, and resolve for all the concerned parents, family and parishioners and proceed with firm and direct action."