Former Pastor Daniel Balizan Commits Suicide while Awaiting Hearing in Abuse Case - RIP

Death of Former Pastor, Daniel Balizan ALBUQUERQUE – Friday, May 24, 2024— 
The Archdiocese of Santa Fe is saddened by the news of former priest Daniel Balizan having taken his life; we pray for comfort for his family and those who cared for him. May God have mercy on his soul.
As the news has indicated, Daniel was awaiting a hearing in a child sexual abuse case. His tragic decision to end his life underscores the far-reaching and devastating consequences of the crime of child abuse—affecting victims, their loved ones, and even perpetrators themselves.
The Archdiocese of Santa Fe reiterates its steadfast commitment to a zero-tolerance policy regarding the sexual abuse of children and adults. We are dedicated to providing a safe and secure environment for all children and work tirelessly to prevent such incidents from occurring. We urge anyone contemplating suicide to seek help. Resources are available to assist you. 
If you or a loved one is experiencing an emotional crisis, mental health issues, or substance use concerns, support is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please contact the New Mexico Crisis and Access Line or the Peer-to-Peer Warmline at 1-855-NMCRISIS (662-7474) or reach out to your local parish pastor for support.
Press Release from the Archdiocese
KOB 4 News reported that Balizan was a former priest at the Santa Maria de la Paz Catholic Church in Santa Fe – and at St. Patrick’s-St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Raton. Balizan faced child sex abuse charges and was going to appear at a hearing Friday. However, court documents show Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaymie L. Roybal addressed the court and confirmed Balizan died. Balizan lived in Springer at the time of his death. Springer Mayor Boe Lopez told KOB 4 that police responded to “an unattended death” at a home Friday morning. The mayor later learned from police that the person was Balizan. The mayor described Balizan as a “fixture in the community” and a close friend. He added that Balizan’s death is “an unfortunate loss to all of us.” Balizan was accused of texting a minor to coerce and entice them into sexual activity with him.