Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse Still Supported by Church
An Austin priest who was sued by six women in a sexual abuse case is still being supported by the local diocese.
Father Isidore Ndagizimana or “Father Izzy” was serving at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in November 2018 when the lawsuit was filed. In response to the accusations, he was removed from the northwest Austin church. However, he was moved to another church — the members of the new congregation in Brenham were not informed about the priest’s history of sexual abuse. Currently, he is residing in a Central Texas retirement facility for priests.
Members of St. Thomas More Catholic Church and others who know about the lawsuit are concerned about Ndagizimana’s standing in the Diocese of Austin. According to a report from KXAN News, “Father Izzy still holds the priest title, but has been stripped of all priest duties. He cannot serve in any public ministry, and is not allowed to present himself as a priest or dress like one… The diocese said it’s still supporting him financially because under church law it’s required to.” When the allegations originally surfaced, members of Ndagizimana’s congregation at St. Thomas More Catholic Church were informed that he would be leaving the church — an announcement that many interpreted as his complete removal from priesthood, which appears to not be the case.
A husband and wife who attend St. Thomas More Catholic Church searched for answers about Ndagizimana’s current status by contacting church leaders, including Bishop Joe Vasquez. The truth about the church’s continued support of Ndagizimana was not revealed until the wife inquired about the priest in confession.
The lawsuit against Ndagizimana was settled “for an undisclosed amount.” He was not charged with a crime.
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