Oak Cliff priest accused of molesting boys, stealing $60,000 now missing

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A priest who served Oak Cliff for more than 30 years and stole as much as $80,000 from St. Cecilia Catholic Church is now accused of molesting three boys more than 10 years ago.

The Rev. Edmundo Paredes has fled, and his whereabouts are unknown.

St. Cecilia parishioners were told during mass on Sunday that Paredes is under investigation for molesting three teenage boys between 10 and 20 years ago, the Dallas Morning News reports.

The church celebrated Paredes’ retirement in June 2017. Unbeknownst to parishioners, he already had admitted to stealing an estimated $60,000-$80,000 from the church and was suspended from the ministry. Previous to his service at St. Cecilia, he was a priest at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Oak Cliff, and he graduated from Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving. He is from the Philippines originally.

The newspaper reports: “In February, during the course of the financial investigation, church officials received allegations of criminal sexual acts by Paredes, specifically that he had molested three boys in their mid teens more than a decade ago but less than 20 years ago.”

To protect the victims, the church didn’t specify the exact time period.

A previous St. Cecilia priest, Richard Johnson, was accused in 2006 of pedophilia during his time at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Lake Highlands. The church paid settlements to three adults who say they were abused by Johnson as children in the 1980s.

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