www.churchmilitant.com | 5/3/2019 | Staff
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ATLANTA (ChurchMilitant.com) - Archbishop Wilton Gregory placed a priest back into active ministry after previously removing him for engaging in homosexual misconduct.

Sex - Dale - Chappell - Part - Relationship

"I believe they may have conspired together just to use me for sex," said Dale Chappell, who took part in a homosexual relationship with Fr. Juan Fernando Areiza in 2010, when he was priest at a church in Roswell, Georgia.

CBS Atlanta broke the story in 2010, reviewing evidence confirming the affair.

Text - Messages - Pictures - Chappell - CBS

Text messages and pictures Chappell provided to CBS Atlanta News confirm his allegations of these homosexual relationships, including dozens of texts with Areiza.

"Here's one that says, 'Miss you and love you,'" Chappell showed us.

Text - Promises - Chappell

He read another text. "It says, 'I realize that I am not honest since I broke the promises I did to be with you,'" Chappell read.

The report led to Areiza's removal from ministry.

Vows - Celibacy - Priests - Spokesman - Pat

"They take vows of celibacy when they become priests," archdiocesan spokesman Pat Chivers told CBS. "So what has happened here is totally inappropriate, and we are saddened. These are sinful acts."

Chivers noted that it was a "consensual" relationship and that Areiza was "receiving counseling, at his request."


According to the archdiocese, it was "unlikely" the priest would return to ministry.

But in 2013, Gregory restored Areiza to active ministry by placing him at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Blairsville. He remained there until 2018, when Abp. Wilton Gregory named Areiza pastor of St. Pius X Church in Conyers.

Church - Militant - Secretary - Media - Request

Church Militant contacted the parish and spoke with the secretary, who refused to pass along our media request to the priest, instead repeatedly referring us to the archdiocese for questions. The secretary confirmed she was unaware of Areiza's prior removal from ministry.

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