Paedophile priest commits suicide
A ‘distraught’ Diocese of Trieste says it will entrust the soul of Fr Maks Suard, above, ‘to the prayers of those of goodwill and to the mercy of the heavenly Father’.
The Diocese, according to this report, yesterday announced “with a spirit full of sorrow and dismay” that Suard, who had recently admitted to sexual abuse of a minor female, committed suicide on Tuesday.
Archbishop Giampaolo Crepaldi of Trieste learned on October 23:
Of a grave matter many years ago that involved a 13 year old girl and Suard.
Suard, 48, was a priest of the Slovenian community of the Trieste diocese, and was parish priest of the small church of Santa Croce, in the territory of the Carso Triestino.
He had served as a parish priest in several parishes of the San Dorligo area since his ordination in 1995; he was involved in the Boy Scout movement, and also worked as a teacher of religion in local schools.
On October 25, Crepaldi met with the priest who “admitted his responsibilities” and agreed to submit to a canonical investigation.
In accord with St John Paul II’s 2001 motu proprio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela, abuse cases – which are among the “delicta graviora”, or “more grave crimes” – must be forwarded to and investigated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The policy sped up and made more effective the Vatican’s handling of such cases, which had been previously been handled by the Congregation for Clergy.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith can choose either to take over the case or authorise a diocesan trial, in which case the outcome must be forwarded to the congregation.
After Archbishop Crepaldi had explained to Suard that he had to undergo the procedure, the priest:
With humility and serenity of spirit, asked for two days during which he could prepare a resignation letter and a written statement in order to ask forgiveness from God, the Church, and the girl for the evil committed.
The archbishop agreed, and arranged to meet with Suard the afternoon of October 28, at which time he would officially notify the priest of his suspension and of the beginning of the canonical procedure, but when he entered the rectory he found that Suard had hanged himself.
A diocesan statement said:
The priest’s case had to follow its path, according to canonical and civil law, which would have perhaps helped him, in time, to a desirable human and Christian recovery, with respect to law.
This curia, distraught by the unexpected and dramatic repercussions of this story, entrusts the soul of the priest to the prayers of those of goodwill and to the mercy of the heavenly Father.