An easily found fugitive

An easily found fugitive

This past weekend the Dallas Morning News continued its series on the Scandal. In this installment they covered the failure by law enforcement to seek out priests who are fugitives for justice, even claiming they couldn’t find some of them when the DMN was able to find them very easily.

The priest left the house before officers arrived and fled to his native Nigeria a few days later. Police soon obtained an arrest warrant, but prosecutors have not tried to force Father Onyia back for trial.  Police say District Attorney Rene Guerra’s office also discouraged them from investigating church officials’ dealings with the priest. Among detectives’ questions: Did Brownsville Diocese leaders tell Father Onyia to flee? Did they help him? Did they know where he was?

Of course Guerra claims that he simply doesn’t have the resources to find the fugitive priest. Oh really, says the DMN reporter, that sounds like a challenge.

“You tell me I’m going to find a guy who can blend in in Nigeria, who I don’t suspect is a practicing Catholic priest over there?” he asked. “Go find him for me and I’ll bring the sucker back. What can I do? My county’s broke.”

Locating Father Onyia turns out to be a pretty straightforward task. For he has remained in ministry, like many other clergymen The News found during its yearlong investigation of accused priests’ international movement.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli