Cruces bishop steps in for accused pastor
HOBBS — Las Cruces Bishop Oscar Cantu has visited a Hobbs parish after its pastor was charged with criminal sexual contact.
The Hobbs News-Sun reports Cantu celebrated the Saturday and Sunday Masses days after news that St. Helena Catholic Church pastor Rev. Ricardo Bauza was facing charges.
According to a 15-page criminal complaint filed last month, Bauza got into a shower with an adult male and washed the victim’s body with a loofah in the church rectory.
The complaint says two male church members also told police Bauza showed them cellphone photos of his genitals.
Cantu told parishioners he became aware of the case only last week when a News-Sun reporter called the diocese asking for a comment.
He says Bauza is in a treatment center undergoing therapy.