Statement from Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory on the Sentencing of a Religious Order Priest at Shrine of the Sacred Heart Parish in Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This afternoon, Father Urbano Vazquez, O.F.M. Cap., was sentenced to 15 years in prison based on a jury’s prior decision of guilt on several charges of child sexual abuse. In November 2018, the Archdiocese of Washington announced that the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (O.F.M. Cap.), the religious order which for many years has overseen the pastoral ministry and governance of Shrine of the Sacred Heart parish in Washington, had informed the archdiocese for the first time that it had received an allegation of sexual abuse against Father Vazquez. In August 2019, the jury found Father Vasquez guilty of all charges brought against him.

Here below is a statement about the news today from Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory:

We learned today that Reverend Urbano Vazquez, O.F.M., Cap. was sentenced to 15 years in prison based on the jury’s prior finding of guilt on numerous charges of child sexual abuse. This has been a difficult and painful time for the victim-survivors, their families, members of the Shrine of the Sacred Heart parish community and all of us in the Archdiocese of Washington. I take seriously our responsibility to protect the children and vulnerable adults entrusted to our care and remain dedicated to doing all I can to foster healing with my ongoing commitment to ensuring attentiveness and accountability in our local Church.  

If, at any time, individuals become aware of improper conduct by a person involved in archdiocesan ministry, they are encouraged to report this immediately to civil authorities and to contact Courtney Chase, Executive Director of the archdiocese’s Office of Child Protection and Safe Environment at 301-853-5302.

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