Father Arwyn Diesta
Archdiocese of Los Angeles (Extern)
- 1978: Cathedral Chapel (Los Angeles, CA)
- 1979-1982: St. Stephen (Monterey Park, CA)
- 1983-1988: Holy Innocents (Long Beach, CA)
- 1989-Present: Unknown
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Arwyn Diesta:
Fr. Arwyn Diesta, a native of the Philippines was ordained a priest in 1978, who served in multiple parishes in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He returned to the Philippines in 1989. According to media reports, in 1992, Cardinal Roger Mahony learned that Fr. Diesta was accused of sexually abusing students from 1982-1988 while working at Holy Innocents in Long Beach. Shortly thereafter, Cardinal Mahony wrote a letter to Fr. Diesta’s bishop for the Diocese of Sorsogon, urging the bishop to restrict Fr. Diesta’s access to children and force Fr. Diesta to undergo a psychological evaluation.
The bishop took no action in response to Cardinal Mahony’s letter and Fr. Diesta continued to have unrestricted access to children. Cardinal Mahony notified the Vatican of the accusations against Fr. Diesta, writing the following in a 1993 letter: “Obviously, if Father Diesta has indeed engaged in such sexual misconduct in the past, and I am convinced that he has, then he should not be in any ministry involving young people—especially young seminarians.”
In 2001, Fr. Diesta was working as a U.S. Navy Chaplain and at a seminary in the Philippines. Cardinal Mahony wrote another letter to the Vatican. The Vatican indicated that it had forwarded the allegations against Fr. Diesta to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Cardinal Mahony informed the U.S. Military, Los Angeles Police, and authorities in the Philippines of the allegations against Fr. Diesta. As of 2013, Fr. Diesta was reportedly an active priest in the Diocese of Sorsogon in the Philippines. Fr. Diesta was included in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ List of Archdiocesan Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor. His current whereabouts and whether he has access to minors are unknown.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in one of California’s Catholic dioceses, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles now have legal options due to a voluntary compensation fund created by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help.