Skip to comments.Anti-gay Vatican plays victim card, wants tolerance for homophobia
Posted on 03/28/2011 3:09:36 PM PDT by presidio9
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Open your eyes.
This is just one source.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a volunteer self-help organization of survivors of clergy sexual abuse and their supporters.
The Catholic Church and Sex Abuse NPR Coverage, Commentary on the Church in Crisis
The Catholic Church and the Clergy Abuse Scandal
Sat 8/23/2003 John Geoghan, former priest at the center of Boston archdiocese’s sex abuse scandal was killed in in the protective custody unit at at Souza-Baranowski Correction Center, NW of Boston. Geoghan was followed into his cell after lunch by a fellow inmate, Joseph L. Druce, who bound and gagged him before strangling him with a bed sheet, then repeatedly jumped from the bed onto Geoghan’s motionless body and beat the defrocked priest with his fists Geoghan died shortly after being taken to Leominster Hospital. Joseph L. Druce, 37, (born Darrin Smiledge) is serving life sentence for strangling a man in 1988 will be charged with murder. He was convicted while in prison of attempting an anthrax scare by sending envelopes of white powder covered in Swastikas to about 30 Jewish lawyers nationwide in 2001. Druce was born Darrin Smiledge but changed his name while in prison. Druce’s father, Dana Smiledge, said his son hated Jews, blacks and gays. Massachusetts does not have a death penalty.
Jay R. Feierman, a psychiatrist for 20 years at the Servants of the Paraclete in New Mexico, which treated abusive priests around the country, said 4 of the 750 priests he treated were killed after they left the program. He said, ``their behavior probably contributed to their murder.’’
On Jan. 6-7, 2002, The Boston Globe revealed the Archdiocese of Boston shuttled defrocked priest John Geoghan from parish to parish for decades, despite extensive evidence he was sexually abusing children. Geoghan’s admissions of molesting children, his lack of concern for his victims and his tendency to blame them was evidence he was not a candidate for rehabilitation. In civil lawsuits, more than 130 people claimed Geoghan sexually abused them as children during his 3 decades as a priest at Boston-area parishes. In September 2002, the archdiocese settled with 86 Geoghan victims for $10 million, after backing out of an earlier settlement of about $30 million. Richard Sipe, a former Benedictine monk and psychiatrist who worked with abuse victims and priest offenders, said Geoghan had been through many treatment programs. ``If anyone had the opportunity for treatment, it’s John Geoghan,’’ Sipe said.
More than 325 priests of 46,000 American clergy were either dismissed or resigned from their duties the following year.
A report by state Attorney General Thomas Reilly estimated more than 1,000 children were abused by priests in the Boston archdiocese in the last 60 years. The Boston Archdiocese has offered $65 million to settle cases filed by more than 540 alleged victims.
Abuse in the Catholic Church
Forcing the Pope’s Hand — The American people have achieved a triumph in the pedophilia scandal — The US is the most populist democracy on Earth. Now they’ve beaten the pope.
The ultimate weapon — Pederastic priests, molesting fathers — charges of sexual abuse are everywhere. But a growing movement of aggrieved men claim the accusations have gotten out of hand.
Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church - Book Excerpt
Agony in the garden — A California diocese recovers from a sex-abuse scandal, and finds that healing comes through facing the truth.
Agony in the Garden by John Van Der Zee
A monsignor, convicted of molestation, is imprisoned; a priest flees the country after repeated molestation charges; another commits suicide. A former priest and youth ministry leader is charged with rape and committing lewd acts against minors in a series of complaints dating back decades. A charismatic Bishop resigns amid charges of sexual harassment and coercion brought by a priest who had been dismissed after being accused of stealing from church collections, and a long career as a con artist. Welcome to the Catholic diocese of Santa Rosa, California.... Bishop George Patrick Ziemann’s tortured relationship with con artist priest Father Jorge Hume Salas, the sexual and financial scandal that, ironically, enabled the diocese and the church to revitalize itself.
10 years after Jay Lemberger, 21, shot himself Nancy and Pat his parents, with sisters, Tami and Heidi, gathered around a box of horrifying drawings by Jay, representing what he felt about his years of sexual abuse by a notorious former Dallas priest, Rudy Kos, who is currently serving three life sentences in prison. (Free registration is required).
Cardinal Law apologized for failing to take action against abuse. The Church paid over $40 million in settlements to victims in the Boston Archdiocese. A Connecticut priest committed suicide after being accused. Retired priest, Paul Shanley, was returned to face charges he raped boys in the 1970s - 80s.
14 more accuse priest — The latest claims bring to 39 the number of men who have filed suit against the Archdiocese of Portland OR’s Maurice Grammond.
Tired of playing games with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Hamilton County Prosecutor, Mike Allen, warned church officials to cooperate with an investigation into whether church employees physically and sexually abused children.
SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) is a self-help organization of people abused by spiritual elders.
Using government to "purge" a church is unconstitutional. Prosecuting individuals is what is right. The people in the church forcing change is what is right. Siccing government on a church is unconstitutional.
Why are you defending that mess?
Again. Churches are under siege by the left and you are suggesting government solutions to a problem that IS being addressed. You are doing EXACTLY what the left wants.
My eyes are open. You are viewing this through the lens of the left. The left intends the destruction of the religious right and believers and you're falling for it.
We have nothing more to discuss as long as you support the government meddling in any church.
Have a nice day.
“We let them be priests and brothers and we’ve been paying for it...and paying for it...and paying for it...ever since. What do you want from us?”
If one of these morons (even take a lurker for that matter) gets his facts straight because he got baited onto this thread with the promise of unwarrented attacks against the Catholic faith, I'll take that as a win.
Right. It's happening in your own Church. You have more influence there. I wish you nothing but the best in your endevor. After you're finished wiping out sexual abuse among the clergy of your own faith, I'm sure we Catholics will welcome your help. Until then, you're a a Libyan on the UN Human Rights Conference.
It it telling that you do not attempt to discuss the facts; you just want to immune the character of one who is just shining a light on a very despicable practice.
Smells differerent from where I'm sitting. When was the last time you bathed?
Have you even the slightest idea of the massive overall size of the American Roman Catholic clergy versus the several dozen priests allagated (and falsely allegated) since the fiftees? You're wearing your ignorance (and prejudices) on your sleeve.
And people who make things up to get money, but that's not the real point here. You are borrowing a page from the liberal playbook: Namely putting a face on the crime and ignoring the statistics. Also, the Catholic Church is not the only religion charged by that group, which backs my original point. This topic is simply an excuse for you to be open about your hate for Catholicism. And your own religious inadequacies. You're overdue for a long talk with your own pastor I think. If you gave a crap about "the children" (the liberal hits just keep coming), you'd be solving the problem in your own church. Assuming you have one, that's where you have the most influence. Pointing fingers on an anonymous website gets you nowhere.
Get to the point if you have one.
When you are on the wrong side of an issue, you will engage in ad hominem attacks, two wrongs make a right, change the subject, dismiss any idea that doesn’t support you, misstate the facts, false allegations, and on and on ..
Turning a blind eye still does not solve the problem the Catholic Church has. Following ones own advice of working within your church to clean it up should be followed.
When you get that job done, well talk again.
For now, I guess well agree to disagree.
You seem to be trying very hard not to get the point I'm making: The problems within the Catholic Church are inexcusable and are being addressed accordingly. Meanwhile, you are afraid to identify your own church. Regardless, it is incontestable that the same problem exists there. It's just not getting the same level of attention, because your church is smaller than the Catholic Church, and because liberals have an axe for the RCC, due to its leading vocal positions on all key social issues. This part of the argument I am not writing to attack you or your faith. Men of the cloth are still very much men, regardless of what church the preach in. You're the one criticizing someone else's faith, not vice versa. You were drawn to this thread to voice an incorrect stereotype. It's my job to educate you enough that you change it. Catholic priests are actually far less likely to commit pedophilia than the population in general. No faith's clergy is immune to pedophiles.
I am, however, criticizing you personally, for pretending to care so much about Catholic children who are abused, while ignoring the children who get the same treatment in your own circle. You're in a glass house. No need to get defensive when you force someone to point out the obvious to you.
And, please God, there's really no need for us to "talk again." My position is based on hard facts. Yours is based on bigoted stereotypes. Get your head around the truth, and then get on with your life, a better person for it.
I’d be careful about using the word, HARD, in this discussion.
Really? That's the most intelligent response you could come up with? In your letter to Santa this year, ask him for 45 more IQ points.
You know, I was considering to just let this conversation end, but your insistence in making snide ad hominem remarks encouraged me to make one final effort.
Cut out all the sophomoric crap. Open your eyes and take a look. This is not a case of a few bad apples. I’d concede that in a second.
Special Reports: Catholic Bishops and Sex Abuse
[Downloaded from http://www.dallasnews.com/cgi-bin/bi/dallas/2002/priests.cgi on 2/18/04. See also the original list of bishops as it was printed and the article about the database.]
Roughly two-thirds of top U.S. Catholic leaders have allowed priests accused of sexual abuse to keep working, a systematic practice that spans decades and continues today, a three-month Dallas Morning News review shows. The study - the first of its kind - looked at the records of the top leaders of the nations 178 mainstream Roman Catholic dioceses, including acting administrators in cases where the top job is vacant.
Excluded from the study were auxiliary bishops who, in larger dioceses, serve in subordinate roles but still can vote on many matters before the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the 17 bishops who lead eparchies, which are diocese-like entities that worship according to the Eastern rite.
In checking whether a bishop had protected priests or other church representatives accused of sexual abuse, reporters Brooks Egerton and Reese Dunklin relied on published reports, court records, interviews and church records obtained in civil litigation. Most protected priests were accused of sexually abusing minors - primarily adolescent boys, but also younger ones, and a sizable number of girls of various ages. The newspapers study also covered behavior that indicated a sexual attraction to minors, such as viewing child pornography or, in one case, trading sexually charged e-mails with someone a priest believed was a minor.
[Click on a name below to go directly to the entry for that bishop. See also a downloadable spreadsheet showing the current status of each bishop.
| Angell | Aymond | Baker | Banks | Barnes | Beltran | Bevilacqua | Boland | Bosco | Brom | Brown | Brunett | Carmody | Clark | Cooney | Corrada Del Rio | Cronin | Cullen | Cummins | Curlin | Curtiss | Daily | Delaney | DiLorenzo | DiMarzio | DiNardo | Doran | Dorsey | Driscoll | Dupre | Egan | Favalora | Fellhauer | Fiorenza | Fliss | Flores | Flynn | Foley | Gaydos | George | Gerry | Gettelfinger | Gossman | Grahmann | Griffin | Hanus | Hart | Higi | Hoffman | Hubbard | Hughes | Imesch | Jacobs | Jarrell | Keeler | Kelly | Kmiec | Law | Leibrecht | Levada | Lori | Lucas | Lynch | Mahony | Maida | Mansell | McCarrick | McCormack | McGrath | McRaith | Mengeling | Milone | Moreno | Moynihan | Mulvee | Murray | Murry | Murtagh | Myers | Nevins | O’Brien | Peña | Pfeifer | Pilarczyk | Pilla | Ramirez | Reilly | Rigali | Rodi | Rodimer | Rodriguez | Rose | Ryan | Schwietz | Sheehan | Sklba | Smith | Steinbock | Straling | Sullivan | Tafoya | Tamayo | Timlin | Trautman | Untener | Weigand | Wuerl | Yanta | Zipfel ]
Diocese location Bishop’s name Allegation
Burlington, Vt. BISHOP KENNETH ANGELL
The Diocese of Providence, R.I., where he was auxiliary bishop from 1974 to 1992, has paid more than $1 million to settle lawsuits that accused him and other leaders of covering up abuse by several priests. Bishop Angell testified in a 1990 lawsuit that he did not take seriously allegations - made by both parishioners and assistant priests - that the Rev. William O’Connell was molesting boys. The priest was convicted, served a short sentence, moved to New Jersey, committed more crimes and died in prison. In another Rhode Island case, Bishop Angell in 1989 promised to “take care of it” when the Rev. Normand Demers was accused of misconduct with boys while working at a Haitian orphanage, according to a former orphanage staffer. The priest was brought back to work in the Providence diocese (see more under that listing). More recently, Bishop Angell allowed six accused priests to stay on the job in Vermont, then later gave their names to the state attorney general and suspended them. He would not identify them publicly.
Austin, Texas BISHOP GREGORY AYMOND
As a New Orleans auxiliary bishop in 1998, he kept Catholic schoolteacher Brian Matherne on the job despite an allegation that he’d molested a student years earlier. Bishop Aymond has said he dropped the matter without alerting police because the alleged victim wouldn’t speak to him. That young man later went to police himself, and authorities said more children had been molested in the meantime. Mr. Matherne has since been sentenced to prison after admitting that he abused 17 boys. Lawsuits against the New Orleans archdiocese are pending. Bishop Aymond has said he would do things differently today.
Charleston, S.C. BISHOP ROBERT BAKER In February, a spokesman denied a lawsuit’s allegation that the diocese was employing a “known priest-pedophile.” Later, the spokesman acknowledged that an accused priest remained on the job, after having been suspended in the mid-1990s, moved to a smaller parish and ordered not to be alone with children. The Rev. Paul Seitz has since resigned, for what the diocese said were unrelated health reasons. The man who accused Father Seitz already has provided crucial testimony in the case against another priest, the Rev. Eugene Condon, who pleaded guilty to abuse in 1998 and was sentenced to probation. The accuser told the FBI that as a teenager in the 1960s he went to Father Condon for confession after Father Seitz abused him. Father Condon gave him alcohol and tried to molest him too, he said, and years later showed him a trunk full of photographs of naked boys whose pictures had been taken in a church rectory. In another instance, Bishop Baker two years ago moved to transfer the Rev. John Bench to a diocese in Florida, after paying a settlement to the family of a young girl the priest admitted abusing. The bishop dropped the idea after the family protested. Earlier this spring, Bishop Baker was criticized by Atlanta Archbishop John Donoghue for not immediately reporting abuse allegations to government authorities. The Charleston diocesan spokesman said it investigates internally first to “be sure we have a credible allegation.”
Green Bay, Wis. BISHOP ROBERT BANKS As a top aide to Boston Cardinal Bernard Law, he helped the Rev. Paul Shanley transfer to the Diocese of San Bernardino, Calif., in the early 1990s. The Boston archdiocese had been receiving allegations for many years that Father Shanley had molested children and publicly advocated sex between men and boys, but Bishop Banks wrote a counterpart in California that the priest “has no problem that would be a concern to your diocese.” Bishop Banks has said he was unaware of Father Shanley’s problems. “Maybe I dropped the ball, but it did not come to my attention,” he recently told Wisconsin newspapers. “I know it seems strange to you that you could have 800 pages in a personnel file and that I, as the vicar for administration, would not know about it, but I did not know about it.” In Green Bay, Bishop Banks recently suspended at least one priest, whom he described as devastated by a molestation accusation. “We’re presuming that it’s false,” the bishop said. In late May, a task force he appointed said that seven priests accused of sexually abusing minors remained in active ministry; they were not named. Some were said to have been accused by people who withdrew their allegations, for reasons that were not explained. Six unnamed priests were said to be under criminal investigation, but it wasn’t clear whether any of this group remained on the job. Bishop Banks responded by promising reform, saying that past policies were “at best inadequate and at worst scandalous.”
San Bernardino, Calif. BISHOP GERALD BARNES
Bishop Barnes, who was the diocese’s No. 2 official for much of the early 1990s and became its head in 1996, let four priests remain active until this spring despite abuse allegations kept in the diocese’s records. His spokesman identified only two - the Rev. Peter Luque and the Rev. Peter Covas - but would not say specifically what they had been accused of, when the alleged abuse occurred and when the diocese had been alerted. Complaints about the priests were forwarded to police in April, along with information about 16 inactive clerics. Among the 16 was the Rev. Joe Fertal, whom the diocese has allowed since 1995 to live at a church complex used by high school students for overnight retreats. The diocese confidentially settled a lawsuit in 1996 that accused Father Fertal of sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy. The priest, who denied wrongdoing, was expected to relocate this spring.
Oklahoma City, Okla. ARCHBISHOP EUSEBIUS BELTRAN In 1994, he got a written warning from the Diocese of Lansing, Mich., where one of his priests formerly worked and had just been sued. “We fear that more victims are going to emerge,” the Michigan bishop wrote. “In light of these developments, I am obliged to alert you to potential dangers of Father [James] Rapp continuing in the ministry.” Archbishop Beltran sent the priest for a therapeutic evaluation - something he’d received at least twice before, while in other parts of the country - but allowed him to remain pastor of a church in the southern Oklahoma town of Duncan. Father Rapp subsequently abused more boys and was sentenced to prison in 1999; the archdiocese and the priest’s religious order, the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, have paid one victim a $5 million settlement. Archbishop Beltran has declined to comment, citing litigation that is still pending. In a deposition obtained by The Washington Post, he blamed the head of the order for not doing more to stop Father Rapp.
Philadelphia, Pa. CARDINAL ANTHONY BEVILACQUA
He has said he did not know that the Rev. John P. Connor, who was leader of a local parish from 1988 to 1993, had previously admitted in court to molesting a 14-year-old boy from a Catholic school in nearby Camden County, N.J., where the priest once taught. After leaving the Camden diocese and before going to Philadelphia, Father Connor also worked in the Pittsburgh diocese - at a time when Cardinal Bevilacqua was bishop there. Early this year, the cardinal dismissed six priests known to have abused minors over the years and said that the archdiocese had identified a total of 35 priests who had sexually abused children since 1950. Initially he refused to give names of those priests to authorities, saying he was concerned about protecting victims’ confidentiality. He later relented under pressure from prosecutors. Archdiocese officials have said the dismissed priests had been working in administrative jobs and have been told to seek lay status from the Vatican. That would strip them of the right to perform sacramental duties.
Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo. BISHOP RAYMOND BOLAND
He is among several bishops who were accused in a racketeering lawsuit in April of protecting Bishop Anthony O’Connell, who recently resigned as head of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla., after admitting he had abused a seminary student years ago in Missouri. Bishop Boland was specifically accused of doing nothing after one of Bishop O’Connell’s victims alerted him to abuse in late 1993 or early 1994. Bishop Boland does not recall “any conversation with anyone claiming sexual abuse by Bishop O’Connell,” his spokesman has said. This spring, Bishop Boland told parishioners that “we presently have no priest, teacher or youth minister in a parish or school who has ever been accused of any form of child sexual abuse.” The following month, the diocese said that the Rev. Thomas O’Brien had been a hospital chaplain for more than 15 years, since being forced into therapy over allegations that he touched boys inappropriately and supplied them alcohol at parties. Monsignor O’Brien retired in April and has denied wrongdoing, the diocese said.
Greensburg, Pa. BISHOP ANTHONY BOSCO
He has suspended at least three priests this spring after reviewing information that was already in their personnel files. Bishop Bosco, who has headed the Greensburg diocese since 1987, has refused to identify the men but has turned over their files to local prosecutors. One priest had more than one abuse complaint on record, a diocesan spokesman said.
San Diego, Calif. BISHOP ROBERT BROM
He is one of about a dozen U.S. bishops who have been accused of sexual misconduct in recent years. Catholic leaders in Minnesota, where Bishop Brom once headed the Diocese of Duluth, have paid a settlement to a former seminarian who alleged that he was coerced into sex. A spokeswoman for the bishop recently told The Boston Globe that “minimal insurance” money was paid to the accuser, who agreed to retract his claim. Two archbishops who helped negotiate the deal in the mid-1990s said the man received roughly $100,000. The man alleged that in the 1980s, Bishop Brom and other high-ranking clergymen pressured him and other young men to have sex at a seminary in Winona, Minn. Bishop Brom has denied any sexual misconduct and has said that an investigation disproved what the former seminarian “thought he remembered.” In San Diego after Bishop Brom took over, questions arose about how his top aides handled the 1993 case of the Rev. Emmanuel Omemaga, who was accused of raping a 14-year-old girl after her grandfather’s funeral, tying her to a bed and photographing her in bondage. The diocese has said it suspended the priest when it first learned of the accusation, then let him go home to the Philippines on vacation. Police, meanwhile, began investigating and asked a priest who was one of the bishop’s aides to alert them immediately upon Father Omemaga’s return. “He agreed to do so” but instead waited five days, according to a police report. At that point, according to the report, the aide left a message saying that he had told the wanted man to call police and to consult an attorney. Father Omemaga vanished and remains the target of an arrest warrant. The aide has said he did everything he could do to bring his fellow priest to justice.
Orange, Calif. BISHOP TOD BROWN
In late March, after a lengthy review of personnel files, he proclaimed his diocese a “safe haven” - a place free of priests with molestation records. The review, required under a $5.2 million settlement reached last year with the victim of a former priest in the diocese, had led to removal of at least two clerics who’d been working for years after admitting abuse. Then in April, local media reported that the Rev. Denis Lyons had been accused of sexual misconduct for the third time and suspended. Bishop Brown’s predecessor had sent Father Lyons into treatment after both previous allegations arose, in 1993 and 1994. The bishop hadn’t fired the priest during the review, officials said, because one allegation involved misconduct with two adults and the other, involving two boys, could not be substantiated. The priests removed because of the review included the Rev. Michael Pecharich, who admitted six years ago that he molested a teenage boy in the early 1980s; and the Rev. John Lenihan, who admitted more than a decade ago that he had sexually abused a teenage girl. The diocese paid one settlement then and another this year to a woman who said Father Lenihan abused her when she was a teen in the 1970s and paid for her abortion.
Seattle, Wash. ARCHBISHOP ALEXANDER BRUNETT
The Rev. John Cornelius previously had been accused of touching young boys and at one point been demoted because of a complaint. Archbishop Brunett, who arrived in 1997, nevertheless kept employing the prominent priest, who’d made news for formally or informally adopting 13 children and keeping company with such celebrities as civil-rights activist Rosa Parks. But as more sex-abuse claims surfaced this spring, the archbishop suspended Father Cornelius from an assistant pastor’s job. Then it was revealed that a 1996 psychiatric evaluation had raised concerns about his continued employment and that the archdiocese had been paying a state parole officer to monitor the priest since 1997. In May, as the number of victims approached at least a dozen, Father Cornelius resigned. Archbishop Brunett also has been accused of moving slowly against a second priest, the Rev. Gregory Schmitt, who is facing claims that he coerced a woman who sought his counseling into a sexual relationship that began in Kansas City, Mo., and continued in Seattle. The woman said she notified the Seattle archdiocese in 1999, but church officials said they thought the relationship was consensual so did nothing. After she filed suit in late April, Father Schmitt was suspended.
Corpus Christi, Texas BISHOP EDMOND CARMODY
As bishop in Tyler, Texas in the late 1990s, he let the Rev. John Flynn serve at a Longview church after the priest admitted sexual abuse of a girl in the 1970s and was removed from the largest parish in the San Antonio archdiocese. Monsignor Flynn, a longtime friend of the bishop’s, was ordered into treatment and recently was quoted as saying, “I’m not restricted from being around young people.” Bishop Carmody has said Monsignor Flynn is no threat and that “it’s time to forgive and go on.” The bishop’s successor in Tyler recently removed the priest. In 1998, meanwhile, a lawsuit accused Bishop Carmody and the Tyler diocese of ignoring warnings about the Rev. Gustavo Cuello, who fled the country after his 1997 indictment on charges that he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl at his church. Bishop Carmody denied the charges and recently said that he settled the suit for less than $100,000. Father Cuello remains at large.
Rochester, N.Y. BISHOP MATTHEW CLARK
The longtime bishop - who wrote in 1990 that pedophile clergy were afflicted but not sinful - allowed six accused priests to remain active until recently, including two who had been criminally investigated. Allegations already in diocesan files led Bishop Clark to announce the removal five of the priests in May; another priest resigned in April. Some victims had previously expressed concerns to the diocese that the Rev. Thomas Burr, the Rev. Foster Rogers and the Rev. David Simon were still in parish ministry. Their alleged incidents happened more than 20 years ago with teenagers, but the church would not disclose specifics. Two other priests, the Rev. William Lum and the Rev. Thomas Corbett, kept working in desk jobs at diocesan offices despite arrests in the 1990s. Father Lum had pleaded guilty in connection with assaulting a 16-year-old boy. Father Corbett was charged on two sex-abuse counts involving an adult woman, but the case was dismissed. The sixth priest, the Rev. Joseph Brodnick, resigned in April as a hospital chaplain amid decades-old allegations. He had previously been accused of abusing a teenage girl early in his priesthood in Cleveland, which loaned him to Rochester in 1997. Rochester officials were aware of Father Brodnick’s past before he arrived; they said he posed no danger.
Gaylord, Mich. BISHOP PATRICK COONEY
Last summer, he let the Rev. Gerald Shirilla serve as pastor of a church with a school, although he knew that the priest had been forced out of the Detroit Archdiocese in 1993 by abuse allegations that dated back decades. After the Detroit Free Press reported on the situation this year, Bishop Cooney said that the priest had made “some errors in judgment” but was “no threat to the well-being of our children.” Two weeks later, he suspended him. Among those who have accused Father Shirilla are former professional baseball player Tom Paciorek and three of his brothers. Father Shirilla has admitted massaging boys in their underwear but said there was nothing inappropriate about it, and he denied molesting anyone.
Tyler, Texas BISHOP ALVARO CORRADA DEL RIO
The Rev. John Flynn had stepped down from his post at a prominent San Antonio parish in 1997 after admitting that he had molested a teenage girl many years earlier. Within two years, however, he had re-emerged as head of the Longview parish. Bishop Corrada del Rio’s predecessor, Corpus Christi Bishop Edmond Carmody, brought Monsignor Flynn to the Tyler diocese. (see more under the Corpus Christi listing.) But Bishop Corrada del Rio continued to let the priest work without restrictions until he forced him out in May. The bishop said he acted after two female congregants expressed discomfort with Monsignor Flynn.
Hartford, Conn. ARCHBISHOP DANIEL CRONIN
Since arriving from the Fall River, Mass., diocese in 1992, he has kept at least four accused priests in Hartford. The archdiocese knew about two complaints against the Rev. Louis Paturzo, but he remained on duty until May, when he admitted molesting young boys and resigned from his job at a middle school. Both incidents happened in the 1970s, when he was a church deacon; he joined the priesthood in 1981. Father Paturzo was first accused in 1993, but was allowed to continue working after state police could not prove the allegations and psychiatrists said he posed no threat to children. Archbishop Cronin also was aware of allegations against the Rev. Peter Zizka long before he was placed on leave in 1999. The priest was ordered to undergo treatment in 1993; two years later he was accused in lawsuits of fondling and having intercourse with two teenage girls who had sought his counseling in the 1970s. A third woman sued in 1997. Father Zizka denied the allegations. Archbishop Cronin refused in March to name two other priests kept on the job despite abuse complaints.
Allentown, Pa. BISHOP EDWARD CULLEN
Until February, he let four priests work despite decades-old allegations, which were detailed in their personnel files, that they had sexually abused children. He dismissed the men as the Boston clergy scandal brought pressure on dioceses nationwide to reassess their handling of molestation cases. Bishop Cullen initially refused to tell a prosecutor the priests’ names or the parishes they served because, he said, the statute of limitations had expired. He relented in May, when four other prosecutors joined the call for disclosure.
Oakland, Calif. BISHOP JOHN CUMMINS Until this spring, the longtime bishop kept the Rev. Robert Freitas on the job despite accusations made in 1985 that the priest molested two teen-age boys, one of whom was paid a settlement. Bishop Cummins halted Father Freitas’ chaplain duties at a retirement home for nuns in April after police filed criminal charges against the priest. A third victim recently told police that the priest had repeatedly fondled his genitals and performed oral sex on him while he was a teenage church volunteer in 1979 and the early 1980s. The victim helped police secretly record a confession from Father Freitas, but the priest has pleaded not guilty to the molestation. When the first two victims took their allegations to the diocese in 1985, church officials investigated, then suspended Father Freitas and ordered him into treatment. The church did not forward either boy’s claim to authorities. After counseling, Father Freitas was assigned to a desk job at an Oakland charity that helps AIDS patients. Years later, at his request, the diocese let him return to ministry as a chaplain. For several years, he also lived in the rectory of church with a school.
Charlotte, N.C. BISHOP WILLIAM CURLIN
In March, he said that he had “zero tolerance for child sex abuse,” that the only Catholic clergy-abuse case he knew about in the area occurred more than 50 years ago and that the diocese had never sent money to another diocese to settle a molestation claim. A month later, however, a local newspaper showed that Bishop Curlin had reassigned the Rev. Damion Lynch in 1997 after paying a settlement to one victim’s family. The bishop then acknowledged that Father Lynch had told him in 1995 of an “indiscretion” involving the boy and had undergone psychological testing. The priest was removed from ministry in 1998 after the victim’s parents sued, alleging that another son had also been abused. In 2000, Bishop Curlin wrote a reference letter for the Rev. Richard Farwell - who was seeking a job with a Catholic charity in South Florida - even though the previous year Father Farwell had been accused of molesting a child two decades earlier. The bishop wrote the recommendation after the diocese determined the allegation was not credible, a spokeswoman said. The allegation was recently reiterated, and Bishop Curlin suspended Father Farwell, who was fired from the charity.
Omaha, Neb. ARCHBISHOP ELDEN CURTISS
He has come under criminal investigation in connection with a pending child-pornography possession case against one of his priests and recently admitted negligent supervision of another, the Rev. Daniel Herek, who’s been convicted of manufacturing pornography and abusing an altar boy. Archbishop Curtiss has said he took immediate action against Father Herek when pornographic evidence first surfaced in 1997, but documents now emerging in civil court show several prior warnings of inappropriate behavior with children. The archbishop also suspended a third man this spring, the Rev. Thomas Sellentin, after the priest admitted molesting boys in parishes years ago. A spokesman said the archbishop learned of that abuse only recently, though another priest and a former state Supreme Court judge said it was documented decades ago. In mid-May, the chief prosecutor in Madison County, Neb., said Archbishop Curtiss could face witness-tampering charges because he sought the resignation of a Catholic schoolteacher who’d told police that the Rev. Robert Allgaier viewed child pornography at work. The district attorney has since said he would not charge the archbishop. Teacher Linda Hammond said the archbishop told her, in the presence of others, “You shouldn’t have done this. We had it handled. You ruined a man’s life.” Archbishop Curtiss has said he wasn’t trying to sway testimony. He has said that the priest was not accused of abusing children and was deemed by experts not to be attracted to them. Earlier, Madison County prosecutor Joe Smith criticized the archbishop for not coming to authorities when Father Allgaier admitted, in early 2001, that he had been viewing child pornography. Instead, the archbishop sent the priest to counseling and removed him from a high school teaching job - then let him teach at a middle school until his arrest in February In the late 1970s, as leader of the Diocese of Helena, Mont., Bishop Curtiss reassigned the Rev. Wilson Smart despite pedophilia allegations that had first emerged in 1959; the bishop later said he had failed to examine the priest’s personnel file. In 1993, Bishop Curtiss admitted that he later removed letters documenting abuse from the file, acknowledged “shortsightedness and misjudgment” and added: “There has been a climate of silence on the part of priests and people, but there can be no more.”
Brooklyn, N.Y. BISHOP THOMAS DAILY
In a 1991 letter to a bishop in Venezuela, he endorsed the Rev. Enrique Diaz Jimenez for reassignment there - at a time when the priest faced a 60-count molestation indictment in New York. The letter referred to the criminal charges as “a very difficult situation” but continued: “We have never had a single problem, and everything we have to say is positive.” After the priest was convicted of abusing boys as young as 6, sentenced to four months in jail and quickly deported from the United States, he was allowed to return to work as a priest in Venezuela, his home country. Father Diaz was suspended there in the late 1990s, after 18 boys from a rural town reported abuse. He then moved to Colombia and was sentenced to house arrest this year for more crimes against children. Bishop Daily served as an auxiliary bishop in Boston and took part in protecting the Rev. John Geoghan after the priest admitted abuse; he has since said he regrets those decisions. A spokesman has defended the bishop’s letter to his Venezuelan counterpart.
Fort Worth, Texas BISHOP JOSEPH DELANEY
He employed the Rev. Thomas Teczar in the late 1980s and early 1990s, after the priest had been forced into pedophilia treatment by his original diocese of Worcester, Mass., suspended from ministry there and fined for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Bishop Delaney has said he didn’t know about Worcester diocesan files that documented molestation allegations dating to the 1960s. Father Teczar fled Texas in 1993 as criminal authorities investigated two of his friends for abusing children. Bishop Delaney initially said he thought the priest left because “he decided he didn’t want to be a priest in Texas any more,” then subsequently admitted that he had known Father Teczar was also a subject of the criminal investigation. The priest’s friends have since been sentenced to prison. In the late 1980s, Bishop Delaney also hired an old friend, the Rev. Philip Magaldi, who had been suspended in his original diocese of Providence, R.I., for stealing from a church. Rhode Island authorities said he used some of the money for tropical vacations with adolescent boys and once gave a teenager he met in a park enough money to buy a car. Father Magaldi, who has denied wrongdoing, served as chaplain of the Fort Worth diocesan scouting program. Bishop Delaney no longer allows him to have a public ministry.
Honolulu, Hawaii BISHOP FRANCIS DiLORENZO Kimberly Jenkins’ two sons accused Manuel Feliciano of molestation in 1998, leading to criminal charges against the layman, who trained altar servers. Mr. Feliciano pleaded guilty in 2000 and was sentenced to a year in prison. In a lawsuit, the mother has accused the diocese of failing to act in 1997 after a boy from another family reported abuse by Mr. Feliciano. The diocese’s lawyer said that Bishop DiLorenzo and other officials aren’t at fault. In a counterclaim, the diocese demands that Ms. Jenkins reimburse its attorneys’ fees, arguing that she was negligent in monitoring her children because, among other things, she let them spend the night at Mr. Feliciano’s.
Camden, N.J. BISHOP NICHOLAS DiMARZIO Until early this year, he let an admitted molester, the Rev. John P. Connor, work as a hospital chaplain and live in two parish rectories. When U.S. bishops began facing pressure to deal with clergy abuse, Bishop DiMarzio removed Father Connor. In 1984, the priest was charged with molesting a freshman from the preparatory school where he served as a teacher and coach. Father Connor had taken the boy on a camping trip, given him beer and fondled him. Diocese lawyers negotiated a deal in which he admitted guilt and agreed to avoid trouble for one year in exchange for a clean criminal record. After treatment in 1985, he moved to the Pittsburgh Diocese and then to the Philadelphia Archdiocese. (See more under that listing.) Some jobs gave him unrestricted access to children. Father Connor came back to the Camden Diocese in 1993.
Sioux City, Iowa BISHOP DANIEL DINARDO
At least one of his accused priests remained on duty as of early June. The Rev. Gerald Hartz was charged in the mid-1990s with improperly touching a 13-year-old girl at a Catholic school and also accused by at least one woman of groping and kissing her at church. The criminal case was dismissed after he resigned as a parish priest; the woman’s complaint led to a civil suit that was dismissed. Father Hartz, formerly a superintendent of Catholic schools, has worked most recently as a nursing home chaplain. He has denied wrongdoing.
Rockford, Ill. BISHOP THOMAS DORAN
The family of three boys came forward in late 1996 with allegations that the Rev. Harlan Clapsaddle had molested them decades earlier. “We were encouraged by the diocese to keep quiet,” Kevin Misslich recently told a Rockford television station. “They assured us that they would handle the Clapsaddle matter.” In early 1997, the diocese removed Father Clapsaddle from his parish and ordered treatment. When he finished, he was put back to work, ministering in a nursing home. He stepped down in May. Bishop Doran has said he “acted responsibly” and stressed that Father Clapsaddle was working in a “restricted setting.” Nursing home officials said they weren’t told about the priest’s past until two days before he quit.
Orlando, Fla. BISHOP NORBERT DORSEY In interviews and court filings, he said that he didn’t know about molestation allegations against the Rev. Arthur Bendixen until late 1993 and that he suspended him a few months later. His account has been contradicted by several people, including a former priest who said he told Bishop Dorsey in 1992 about parishioners’ complaints that Father Bendixen was sleeping with a young boy while working in the Dominican Republic. Bishop Dorsey has said he met with the former priest, Charles Bard, but did not discuss such matters. He called Mr. Bard’s account “false and vindictive.” Father Bendixen, formerly a high-ranking administrator at diocesan headquarters, also was accused in 1992 of trying to seduce a teenage seminary student during a trip to the Dominican Republic. At the time, the priest was rector of the seminary. Three priests quit the school after Bishop Dorsey took no action. Father Bendixen has denied wrongdoing, while the diocese has paid several out-of-court settlements to men who said he abused them as boys. “Someone made the comment one time that they wouldn’t be happy until they saw me personally lead this sinful criminal priest to be handcuffed,” Bishop Dorsey has said. “And I said, well, the situation is, I would have to be handcuffed with him because we’re connected. He’s a priest, and I’m the head of the church here.” Father Bendixen no longer functions as a priest; he has been teaching recently at a Catholic university in Chicago and running a center for homeless people.
Boise, Idaho BISHOP MICHAEL DRISCOLL
In 1985, while he was a high-ranking priest in southern California’s Diocese of Orange, he urged a counterpart in England to hire the Rev. Robert Foley, who had undergone therapy for molesting an 8-year-old boy on a campout. The child’s mother “has threatened to go to the police,” he wrote. The priest “is in jeopardy of arrest and possible imprisonment if he remains here.” Then-Monsignor Driscoll said in a deposition that Father Foley admitted the abuse. The priest left town, and the Orange Diocese did not respond to recent questions about his whereabouts. After being promoted to an auxiliary bishop post in the Orange Diocese, Bishop Driscoll received several allegations of abuse by the Rev. Eleuterio Ramos but did nothing, according to lawsuits that the diocese settled for undisclosed sums. Bishop Driscoll testified that he had no direct knowledge about Father Ramos; another priest contradicted his account. Father Ramos admitted some sexual contact with altar boys, but was allowed to transfer to a parish in the Diocese of Tijuana, Mexico, where he worked until the mid-1990s. He is no longer believed to be functioning as a priest. Bishop Driscoll, who was promoted to the top job in Boise in 1999, recently told parishioners there that “what hurts me most is the betrayal of the people’s trust by some priests.”
Springfield, Mass. BISHOP THOMAS DUPRE
The Rev. Bruce Teague says the bishop’s administration reprimanded him in 1997 when he told police that a convicted child molester - the Rev. Richard Lavigne - was hanging around his church. Father Teague has said he got authorities to issue a trespass order only after alerting diocesan leaders and getting no response. At the time, Father Lavigne was on probation, under church suspension and trying to help hear children’s confessions, Father Teague has said. Bishop Dupre has said that Father Teague was not punished for going to police. The bishop has also said that his diocese is ahead of some others in dealing with clergy sexual abuse, though he has at least two previously accused men on the job. One is the Rev. Edward M. Kennedy, who paid a secret settlement in the early 1990s to one accuser and was sent to a treatment center. Father Kennedy celebrates Mass at some parishes on a fill-in basis, serves as chaplain at a retirement center and helps decide annulment cases at diocesan headquarters. He recently told the Union-News of Springfield that he was grateful for the therapy he’d received. The diocese also sent him away to get a master’s degree in church law. Another accused priest, the Rev. Richard Meehan, has been working as an archival researcher for the diocese. Bishop Dupre also has been accused of not waiving confidentiality agreements in civil settlements so that victims could speak freely with criminal authorities. He has disputed that charge
New York, N.Y. CARDINAL EDWARD EGAN
In his previous post as bishop in Bridgeport, Conn., he let some priests keep working after they were accused of sexual abuse. In closed testimony in a 1997 lawsuit, he expressed doubt about the veracity of most allegations, saying that “very few have even come close to having anyone prove anything.” One priest he supported was the Rev. Raymond Pcolka, who had been accused as far back as 1966. Father Pcolka’s alleged victims included more than a dozen boys and girls - some as young as 7 - who described being spanked and forced into oral and anal sex. Cardinal Egan kept him on the job until 1992, when another accuser came forward and the priest refused orders to remain at a treatment center. The diocese has since settled lawsuits against Father Pcolka, who refused to answer lawyers’ questions during the litigation. Another priest protected by Cardinal Egan was the Rev. Laurence Brett, who had first admitted abuse in 1964 - biting a boy’s genitals. After Cardinal Egan became Bridgeport’s bishop in the late 1980s, he met Father Brett and endorsed him for continued ministry. “In the course of our conversation,” he wrote, “the particulars of his case came out in detail and with grace.” Further accusations led to Father Brett’s suspension in 1993. In a recent letter to New York parishioners, Cardinal Egan said his policy in Bridgeport was to do a preliminary investigation of accused priests, then send them for psychiatric evaluation and heed doctors’ advice. The Connecticut Postlater showed that the policy wasn’t followed in the case of the Rev. Walter Coleman, who stayed on the job for more than a year after the Bridgeport diocese concluded in early 1994 that he had abused the son of a woman with whom he had an affair and bought a house. In early June, the pope appointed Cardinal Egan to the Vatican’s highest court. In mid-May, the Westchester County district attorney convened a grand jury to investigate New York archdiocesan leaders’ handling of sex-abuse allegations.
Miami, Fla. ARCHBISHOP JOHN FAVALORA
After a 1998 lawsuit accused the Rev. Jan Malicki of trying to rape a girl and sexually abusing a woman, the archbishop suspended him from parish work and reassigned him to duty at a nursing home. The priest refused the new job, his attorney has said, and remains off the job. Father Malicki and the archdiocese have asked a judge to order public identification of the plaintiffs, who are anonymous in court filings but whose names are known to the defense team. The archdiocese made a similar demand in a lawsuit filed in April against the Rev. Joseph Maroor, who is accused of seducing a woman he counseled at a drug-treatment center. The plaintiffs’ attorneys have accused the Favalora administration of trying to embarrass their clients into dropping the cases and discourage other victims from coming forward. The defendants have said fairness dictates that all parties be identified publicly. Meanwhile, Archbishop Favalora has been negotiating for months with local prosecutors over how much information about accused priests he will give them. He recently suspended two previously accused priests, the Rev. Ricardo Castellanos and the Rev. Alvaro Guichard, after a new lawsuit alleged that they forced an altar boy to take part in orgies in the early 1970s. The two priests faced similar allegations in the late 1970s, before Archbishop Favalora came to Miami. That accuser later recanted. Father Castellanos and Father Guichard have denied wrongdoing.
Victoria, Texas BISHOP DAVID FELLHAUER
As a high-ranking Diocese of Dallas official in the 1980s, he helped move the Rev. Robert Peebles to different jobs after molestation complaints were made. One transfer made him a military chaplain in Georgia, where he sexually assaulted a boy. He was sent back to Dallas to avoid a court martial and became the diocesan scouting director. “We made the best decision at the time in view of the circumstances,” Bishop Fellhauer told The Dallas Morning News in 1994. “There are also matters of confidentiality and people’s reputations.” Mr. Peebles was forced out of the priesthood in the late 1980s after he acknowledged abusing other boys, but he was not prosecuted. The diocese has paid millions to his victims and also paid for him to get a law degree in New Orleans. Bishop Fellhauer has acknowledged making a mistake regarding Mr. Peebles. He has also testified that as early as 1985 he had reports that boys were spending the night with the Rev. Rudy Kos, who is now imprisoned for life for sexually assaulting boys in the Dallas diocese. But during the trial of several Kos victims’ civil suit - which ended in the largest clergy-abuse verdict in history - the bishop told jurors that he didn’t suspect abuse. “It was obvious he had a ministry to young people,” the bishop testified. “He was good with them.”
Galveston-Houston, Texas BISHOP JOSEPH FIORENZA
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, as bishop of San Angelo in West Texas, he employed a priest who’d been forced from three other dioceses because of molestation accusations. Bishop Fiorenza wrote in a 1982 letter that he knew of the Rev. David Holley’s “past difficulties” and stated: “With our shortage of priests, I am willing to risk incardinating him” - formally making him a priest of the Diocese of San Angelo. In 1997, when The Dallas Morning News obtained that letter and the rest of Father Holley’s personnel file, Bishop Fiorenza refused interview requests. He recently told The Houston Chronicle, through a spokesman, that he hadn’t known about the priest’s pedophilia when he employed him and that the “past difficulties” reference was to “poor people skills.” Later, the bishop added that the reference also covered “problems with alcohol” - something that is not in the personnel file. Father Holley is now imprisoned for molesting boys in New Mexico, where he served before coming to Texas. After going to the Galveston-Houston diocese in the mid-1980s, Bishop Fiorenza transferred the Rev. Noe Guzman to another parish after the priest was caught sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl. The bishop has said he delegated the matter to an assistant, who has testified that he accepted Father Guzman’s characterization of the girl as a “precocious child who came on to him.” The woman who caught the priest has said that the assistant urged her not to cooperate with police. The assault came to light after Father Guzman impregnated a church secretary; he served a short jail term.
Superior, Wis. BISHOP RAPHAEL FLISS As second in command of the diocese in the mid-1980s, he persuaded authorities to let the church handle a parent’s allegations that the Rev. David Malsch had touched his 14-year-old son and offered the boy $10 for oral sex. “I didn’t want to have a lot of scandal,” the bishop testified years later. Over the next seven years, Father Malsch was sent on a series of treatment stops and was transferred to parishes where he had contact with children. After a mother came forward in 1991, police began investigating allegations that Father Malsch had molested a 14-year-old boy with learning disabilities and had given him X-rated videos. Bishop Fliss, by then head of the diocese, suspended the priest and ordered more treatment. Two years later, Father Malsh pleaded no contest to one count of child enticement, but denied other accusations against him, including that he had offered two brothers liquor and had repeatedly molested them over a five-year span. After violating terms of his probation, Father Malsch was sent to prison for nearly two years. He now stays in a Missouri facility, where he was civilly committed. Bishop Fliss acknowledged in April that he had mishandled the case.
San Antonio, Texas ARCHBISHOP PATRICK FLORES
As an auxiliary bishop in San Antonio in the 1970s, he helped Xavier Ortiz-Dietz become a priest despite poor performance in three Mexican seminaries. One of the schools sent a report concluding that the student suffered from “marked sexual conflict, ... obsessive manias, pronounced paranoid characteristics, delusions of grandeur...” In 1998, the archdiocese paid about $4 million to seven victims of the priest, who has been imprisoned. Two women gave sworn statements saying that they alerted the archdiocese of possible abuse in the 1980s; Archbishop Flores’ attorney has said he was not warned. In the late 1990s, the archbishop testified in a deposition that the priest remained “fit for certain ministries” despite his criminal conviction. In the late 1980s, meanwhile, Archbishop Flores settled a lawsuit over alleged molestation by the Rev. Federico Fernandez. He has said he didn’t remember an earlier complaint from a man who warned that he had seen the priest naked in a swimming pool with two young girls. Father Fernandez was also criminally charged in the late 1980s, but the case was dismissed at the request of an alleged victim.
St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minn. ARCHBISHOP HARRY FLYNN
As bishop of the Lafayette, La., Diocese, he was credited with cleaning up one of the nation’s earliest clergy abuse scandals in the 1980s. That record, in part, led to his April appointment as chairman of a key bishops’ committee that drafted the proposed national policy on handling clergy sex abuse. But since 1995, Archbishop Flynn has allowed at least five accused priests - three who remain active - to continue working in the Twin Cities despite past lawsuits or criminal charges against them. Although the Rev. Gil Gustafson pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a young boy in the 1970s and spent six months in a workhouse, he has been celebrating Mass four times a week at a monastery and serving as an administrative aide. The Rev. Michael Stevens pleaded guilty in the late 1980s to sexual misconduct with a minor, and he has been working in the archdiocese’s computer department. Archbishop Flynn defended his decisions to keep them employed, as well the Rev. Joseph Wada, who was accused in lawsuits of abusing teenage boys. “None of the three are in positions, now, in which children may be harmed,” he said. Early in his tenure, the archbishop kept the Rev. Robert Kapoun on duty despite claims that he had molested four boys. After a jury in 1996 awarded more than $1 million to one victim, the archdiocese announced that Father Kapoun, dubbed the Polka Priest for his use of the music in Masses, had agreed to step down. An appeals court later overturned the decision, saying the victim had waited too long to come forward.
Birmingham, Ala. BISHOP DAVID FOLEY
After taking over in 1994, he kept the Rev. Charles V. Cross in his diocese job and let him celebrate Mass - although previous bishops had received complaints of abuse by him and ordered him into treatment. Bishop Foley suspended Father Cross in early May, a month after a story in the Decatur (Ala.) Daily recounted allegations against the priest. Bishop Foley said he acted after more victims came forward with “substantial and credible” complaints. Father Cross has denied the allegations but agreed to retire in June. In a 1995 lawsuit, Robert Wilford accused Father Cross of repeatedly molesting, sodomizing and beating him when he was a teenager in the 1960s - and alleged that the priest had confessed to church officials. A judge later dismissed the case because the claims were too old. Father Cross said the suit was financially motivated. Mr. Wilford had taken his complaints to the diocese in 1993 - eight years after Father Cross was ordered to undergo treatment because of other misconduct claims - but then-Bishop Raymond Boland kept Father Cross in his administrative job at diocese headquarters (see the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo. Diocese). At the time of the priest’s suspension, Father Cross was living at a Birmingham church facility.
Jefferson City, Mo. BISHOP JOHN GAYDOS He was one of the bishops who remained silent in 1999 as Anthony O’Connell was promoted from bishop of the Knoxville, Tenn., Diocese to the much larger one in Palm Beach, Fla. The Diocese of Jefferson City had paid a $125,000 out-of-court settlement in 1996 to a seminarian who Bishop O’Connell abused during the 1970s. Bishop Gaydos also let the Rev. Manus Daly stay on duty until this spring, even though the diocese was told in 1996 that he had also abused Bishop O’Connell’s victim. Bishop O’Connell - who took over in Florida for another admitted molester, Bishop J. Keith Symons - has resigned. The Jefferson City Diocese’s failure to speak up about Bishop O’Connell was “a travesty,” said Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Bishop Gaydos recently closed the Missouri seminary where Bishop O’Connell and Father Daly abused the student. He also suspended another priest, the Rev. Don Wallace, whom he’d kept on the job since four altar boys complained in 1997 about inappropriate touching. Bishop Gaydos serves on the abuse committee of the bishops conference.
Chicago, Ill. CARDINAL FRANCIS GEORGE
He is facing allegations that the archdiocese had protected several priests with histories of abuse. The cardinal removed a former top aide, the Rev. R. Peter Bowman, from a parish. in late May. That was a month after a man accused the priest of molesting him many years ago - and at least a year after the archdiocese dismissed another complaint against Father Bowman because, in a church spokesman’s words, it involved merely “horseplay that could have been misinterpreted.” This spring, Cardinal George suspended a priest who had been a top aide to his predecessor, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. The Rev. Robert Kealy had remained a pastor after being accused last year of abusing a teenager in the 1970s, then was removed in March after more information surfaced. He used to help Cardinal Bernardin handle abuse allegations against colleagues. Neither he nor Father Bowman has responded publicly. A third priest accused in April of abuse in the 1960s remained on the job for more than a month; the church spokesman said internal investigations have lagged because so many complaints are emerging. There are also allegations of recent abuse and archdiocesan misconduct. One lawsuit, for example, has charged that the archdiocese knew three years ago that the Rev. Walter Strus was sexually harassing parishioners but let him keep working. Father Strus has since fathered a child with a Polish immigrant, who has accused him of raping her and pressuring her to have an abortion. He has denied the allegations. “We had no indication of [the priest’s] propensity for sexual assault,” the church spokesman said. Another recent scandal involves the Rev. Sleeva Raju Policetti, who fled to his native India in May after being accused of abusing a girl. Church officials waited two days after learning of the allegation to call criminal authorities, who “advised us not to confront him ... until they had the chance to gather more information and question him,” the spokesman said. “Somehow he found out ... anyway, and he left the country.”
Portland, Maine BISHOP JOSEPH GERRY
A 1990 letter from one alleged victim of the Rev. Raymond Melville begged Bishop Gerry to “please stop this from happening again.” The bishop pledged “to address the matter vigorously and expeditiously.” He put Father Melville in therapy for a few months, then moved him to another parish. While there, according to a pending lawsuit, the priest continued to molest a teenager whom he’d started abusing years before. Father Melville, who hasn’t commented publicly, was sent to one more church before leaving the ministry in 1997. A diocesan spokeswoman recently said his departure had nothing to do with abuse allegations. But last year, a former spokesman said the priest had quit after refusing further treatment. The spokeswoman also said the diocese’s new “zero tolerance” policy would prevent someone similarly accused from returning to a parish. Until it was implemented this year, at least two admitted abusers remained on the job: the Rev. Michael Doucette, for whom the diocese paid a confidential settlement a decade ago; and the Rev. John Audibert, a victim of whose spoke out publicly as long ago as 1993.
Evansville, Ind. BISHOP GERALD GETTELFINGER
He told parishioners in late March that priests who sexually abuse children are guilty of “grave sins” that he would not tolerate. At the time, his spokesman would not say whether any complaints had been referred to criminal authorities or whether any priests had been removed. Shortly afterward, news accounts detailed the backgrounds of three men who were working as pastors in the diocese: the Rev. Jean Vogler, who spent 10 months in federal prison in the 1990s on a child pornography conviction; the Rev. Michael Allen, who admitted that in 1974 he initiated a series of sexual encounters with a 16-year-old boy who was hospitalized for depression; and the Rev. Mark Kurzendoerfer, who was transferred to a different teaching job in 1981 after being accused of abusing a 14-year-old student. Soon after coming to Evansville in 1989, Bishop Gettelfinger ordered Father Kurzendoerfer not to have a youth ministry - although he let him work at a parish with a school. In May, the bishop suspended the priest and sent him to counseling, saying that he had been violating the order, in part by having private counseling sessions with 11-year-old students. Parents and the school principal had not been told about the restriction. Bishop Gettelfinger acknowledged that he had also sent Father Kurzendoerfer into “extensive therapy” after he admitted soliciting a 17-year-old in 1998. The young man then identified himself to the Evansville Courier & Press as the priest’s nephew. Meanwhile, Father Vogler and Father Allen have remained on the job. Bishop Gettelfinger has been publicly supportive of Father Allen, saying he didn’t think anyone was at risk. “The people have come to love him because of his pastoral gifts, his ministering to his people, his presence to his people, the attention given to them,” the bishop said. “He really has been the priestly leader that they were looking for, yearning for, and now have.”
Raleigh, N.C. BISHOP F. JOSEPH GOSSMAN
He suspended the Rev. Thomas Watkins from a parish this spring after a man alleged that he had been repeatedly sexually harassed by the priest while a college seminary student in Ohio many years ago. Father Watkins had been accused of inappropriate contact with three other people during Bishop Gossman’s 27-year tenure, but the diocese would not elaborate. Father Watkins has denied the allegations. Several years ago, Bishop Gossman employed the Rev. Joseph LaForge after the priest was charged in New Jersey with helping a cleric accused of child molestation to flee the country. Father LaForge admitted giving $5,000 in church funds to the Rev. Florencio Tumang, but said he had no idea the priest would flee. Charges against Father LaForge were dismissed after he completed a pretrial intervention program for first-time offenders. He has since died; Father Tumang remains a fugitive.
Dallas, Texas BISHOP CHARLES GRAHMANN
His diocese was found liable for conspiracy in 1997 after covering up years of abuse by the Rev. Rudy Kos; jurors assessed the largest clergy-abuse verdict in history. Bishop Grahmann had let Mr. Kos keep working in the early 1990s after the priest ignored repeated orders to stop letting boys sleep over at church residences. The bishop testified that “there was no reason” to remove Mr. Kos in spring 1992 after a social worker who specializes in child abuse said Mr. Kos sounded like a “textbook pedophile.” Bishop Grahmann also refused experts’ requests to test whether Mr. Kos was aroused by pictures of children, saying he had “moral problems” with the procedure. After jurors returned their verdict, the bishop did not stay in the courtroom to hear a statement they had written that said, in part, “Please admit your guilt.” A top aide who did hear the statement said he didn’t know how to respond to it, explaining that “I don’t know what ‘admit your guilt’ is.” Mr. Kos has since been defrocked, convicted of criminal charges and sent to prison. In a recent interview, Bishop Grahmann gave this assessment of the pedophile priest scandal: “Bishops are accused of covering up and moving people from one parish to another. That’s a bunch of bull.”
Columbus, Ohio BISHOP JAMES GRIFFIN
He recently said that some priests who’ve been treated for sexual misconduct - he wouldn’t identify them - remain on the job but not in parishes. Yet Bishop Griffin also acknowledged that he had put the Rev. Joseph Fete in a pastor’s job last year, after earlier removing him from another church, sending him to treatment and paying a settlement to a victim who was molested for years in the late 1970s. Monsignor Fete, who admitted the abuse, recently was put in charge of the diocese’s newly created office of ecumenical affairs. Bishop Griffin also acknowledged that the Rev. Phillip Jacobs had been allowed to transfer to a church in Victoria, British Columbia, after being accused of molestation in 1994. The bishop said he sent Father Jacobs into therapy for “improper sexual touching” of a boy.
Dubuque, Iowa ARCHBISHOP JEROME HANUS In 2000, he kept the Rev. Michael Fitzgerald on duty for weeks at a rural parish after the diocese was shown evidence that the priest had traded sexually suggestive e-mails with and arranged to meet a 13-year-old boy - who turned out to actually be an investigator working for a private child-protection group. After criminal authorities were notified, Archbishop Hanus suspended Father Fitzgerald and sent him to an out-of-state treatment center, which police said stymied their investigation. The archbishop later said he expected to return the priest to his parish. He dropped that idea after an allegation was made that Father Fitzgerald had molested an adolescent from the church. The priest died in a car crash last year while training near Chicago to be a hospital chaplain.
Norwich, Conn. BISHOP DANIEL HART A lawsuit accuses him of ignoring several warning signs that could have stopped the Rev. Richard Buongirno from continuing to assault a young boy. The abuse allegedly began in the early 1990s, when the child was 9. State officials were notified through an anonymous complaint, but they stopped investigating because the boy denied being abused. State and diocese officials never questioned the priest, according to the plaintiff’s lawyer. In 1994, a second allegation of abuse, made by a man, surfaced against Father Buongirno. The cleric admitted to it, leading the bishop at the time to suspend him and order him into treatment. After Bishop Hart arrived in 1995, he reviewed Father Buongirno’s file and returned him to ministry, sometimes around children. Within a few years, Father Buongirno had allegedly begun again abusing the boy, who was by then a teen-ager. The abuse was discovered after parish workers learned the boy was on an out-of-state trip with Father Buongirno; the priest had told colleagues he was traveling with an adult. The boy shared details with a counselor and police, who arrested Father Buongirno in 1999. Father Buongirno pleaded not guilty, and the charges were later dropped because of statutes of limitation. He has since left the priesthood. Bishop Hart’s lawyer said the bishop had reinstated the priest after a treatment clinic had given its approval. But records obtained by The Hartford Courant show that the diocese did not tell the center all the allegations against Father Buongirno.
Lafayette, Ind. BISHOP WILLIAM L. HIGI
Indianapolis newspapers concluded in a 1997 series that Bishop Higi had concealed knowledge of several abusers and returned some to ministry. One example: the Rev. Ron Voss, who got therapy after being accused of fondling teenagers in the late 1980s and was transferred to Haiti, where he sometimes worked with young people. When fellow priests complained, one of the bishop’s aides ordered them to “cease from jeopardizing the name and reputation of Ron Voss.” Father Voss resigned from ministry in 1993 but continued to identify himself as a priest in the Caribbean island nation. Church officials have said Father Voss regrets his past behavior and has changed. Bishop Higi initially called the newspaper’s reporting “a product of clever spins and a preconceived agenda.” Later, though, he hired a sexual-abuse counseling expert to investigate allegations and acknowledged that the news reports “found me and my predecessors deficient.”
Toledo, Ohio BISHOP JAMES HOFFMAN
The Rev. Robert J. Fisher spent 30 days in jail after pleading guilty in 1988 to molesting a 14-year-old girl from his own parish. After four years of church-ordered therapy Father Fisher was found fit to return and Bishop Hoffman appointed him pastor at a another parish. In March, as the clergy abuse crisis spread nationally, the diocese acknowledged that he remained on the job, but it didn’t name him or his parish publicly. At the same time, officials said two other unnamed priests, who were described as having been involved in “improprieties” with adults or older teens, also were still active. Bishop Hoffman suspended Father Fisher in May, to the displeasure of some parishioners. He cited “the media climate” in the country as a factor in his decision, but said he had no plans to remove others. Later that month, he said, “My difficulty with zero tolerance is that the gospel teaches reconciliation. We believe in forgiveness.”
Albany, N.Y. BISHOP HOWARD HUBBARD
From the mid-1980s until April, he allowed an admitted molester, the Rev. David Bentley, to work in Africa and elsewhere outside the diocese. Because no new complaints surfaced, the Albany Diocese said, Bishop Hubbard let Father Bentley serve for the last few years at a parish in Deming, N.M., which is part of the Las Cruces Diocese. (See more under that listing.) The priest has received therapy but has never faced criminal charges. Bishop Hubbard also let at least three other priests work as hospital chaplains after they got treatment for sexual misconduct; they include the Rev. Mark Haight and the Rev. James Hanley, who was from the Diocese of Paterson, N.J. (See more under that listing.) The Albany Diocese says it has ended a practice of reassigning molesters to hospitals. As of early June, the bishop had not answered questions about whether other accused priests remained on duty.
New Orleans, La. ARCHBISHOP ALFRED HUGHES
As an aide to Boston Cardinal Bernard Law, he received a complaint in 1991 that the Rev. John Geoghan was having “inappropriate” conversations with young boys at a Massachusetts swimming pool. He responded by telling Father Geoghan to stay away from the pool. The priest had previously been treated for pedophilia but was allowed to stay on the job. He was recently convicted of fondling a boy - at the same pool in 1991. In New Orleans, where Archbishop Hughes has served for a little more than a year, he recently suspended at least two priests because of abuse allegations that were already in personnel files; the men were not publicly identified. The archbishop also apologized for Catholic leaders’ handling of predatory clerics. “Our action or inaction failed to protect the innocents among us, the children,” he wrote. “I ask forgiveness.”
Joliet, Ill. BISHOP JOSEPH IMESCH
Bishop Imesch has transferred at least four accused priests inside his diocese without alerting parishioners. And he has brought in a convicted child molester, the Rev. Gary Berthiaume, who had served as an associate pastor under him at a Detroit church years ago (see more under the Cleveland Diocese listing). The Chicago Tribune recently reported that in 1980, early in Bishop Imesch’s career in Joliet, the diocese moved the Rev. Lawrence Gibbs while he was under criminal investigation and refused to tell investigators where he was. The bishop told parents whose children had been interviewed in the case that authorities had found no evidence to charge Father Gibbs, who got a new parish and allegedly molested again. He has since left the priesthood. Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of St. Louis recently removed two priests it had accepted from Joliet, the Rev. Fred Lenczycki and the Rev. J. Anthony Meis, saying that Bishop Imesch had not disclosed past allegations against them when recommending them for transfers. The bishop has denied that assertion. In recent months, he has said that some people aren’t traumatized by sexual abuse and that some priests who molest adolescents should be allowed back into ministry after therapy. But in late May, he changed course and said he would support a “zero tolerance” policy if the nation’s bishops approve it in Dallas this week. “I am sorry for any pain I have caused victims, their families, parishioners and others,” he wrote. “I feel that some of the criticisms directed at me were harsh, but I hope that I have learned from them.”
Alexandria, La. BISHOP SAM JACOBS
He sent the Rev. John Andries to therapy and then back to a parish after a 1998 incident of alleged fondling, which wasn’t prosecuted. In May, Father Andries was charged with sexual battery, accused of touching and masturbating onto a sleeping boy in 2001. The boy’s parents said they had invited the priest to spend the night at their rural home without knowing about the 1998 matter. The parents also said that when they reported the incident to Bishop Jacobs, he told them that Father Andries wasn’t supposed to be around children. “If he wasn’t supposed to be around kids, what are you doing putting him back in the church parish?” the family’s attorney, Anthony Fontana, has asked. The priest has pleaded not guilty.
Houma-Thibodaux, La. BISHOP MICHAEL JARRELL
The bishop let the Rev. Robert Melancon continue working in a parish after paying one of his victims $30,000 in 1993. Another victim came forward in 1995, saying that he had been raped repeatedly in a church rectory in the 1980s - the first time when he was 8 years old. Father Melancon has since been convicted in that case and sentenced to life in prison. Before the trial, the district attorney said he would seek to have Bishop Jarrell held in contempt of court for refusing to say whether church authorities were investigating other complaints of sexual abuse against priests. The bishop then answered that they had not. One of his former top aides, the Rev. Albert Bergeron, pleaded guilty to lying to a grand jury investigating Father Melancon. Two of Father Melancon’s accusers have testified that they sometimes met him at Monsignor Bergeron’s rectory, where there was a supply of pornography.
Baltimore, Md. CARDINAL WILLIAM KEELER
He put the Rev. Maurice Blackwell back to work in 1993 after police dropped a molestation investigation. A panel Cardinal Keeler had appointed to review such matters criticized the reinstatement, saying that the accusations against the priest were “consistent and credible.” Father Blackwell was suspended again in 1998 after admitting sexual abuse of a minor that predated the 1993 case. The 1993 accuser, Dontee Stokes, was charged this spring with shooting and seriously wounding the priest. Afterward Cardinal Keeler acknowledged that the 1993 accusation had been credible, saying he regretted his earlier decision and apologized for the first time to victims of clergymen, The detective who investigated at the time was constrained by prosecutors, according to records obtained by The Washington Post. An unidentified prosecutor’s notes say: “Priest known to prey on young boys. [The detective is] trying to pressure me into letting him speak with the priest. ... I reiterated no arrest and no talking to priest.” Cardinal Keeler also has long let the Rev. Michael Spillane work for a group that advises the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on worship practices. The cardinal’s spokesman said that Father Spillane was barred in 1991 from celebrating Mass, after he admitted molesting six boys and that the advisory group was notified. The organization’s chairman said he hadn’t been advised. The priest is set to retire this year, the chairman said.
Louisville, Ky. ARCHBISHOP THOMAS KELLY
He settled claims in 1990 and 1999 that alleged abuse by the Rev. Louis Miller many years earlier, but kept him on the job until this spring. Archbishop Kelly’s spokesman said that Father Miller, who has denied wrongdoing, was not allowed to work with children. “I have been in church administration positions for 40 years, and 30 years ago I didn’t know anything about this problem,” the archbishop recently said. “We knew there were some moral lapses, but we treated them as, you go on a retreat, you come back and maybe go on a different assignment.” As of early June, the archdiocese faced more than 100 lawsuits, several of which name Father Miller. Among the specific allegations against him: that he masturbated in a confessional while an 8-year-old boy described being sexually abused by a stranger. That accuser, now an adult, said the priest also asked him whether he had been aroused during the assault.
Nashville, Tenn. BISHOP EDWARD KMIEC
He has been accused in a lawsuit of failing to act after learning in the mid- to late 1990s that a suspended pedophile priest was continuing to socialize with boys at a church and a Catholic school. Therapists had warned the diocese in writing that the Rev. Edward McKeown should be kept away from adolescents. Father McKeown gained temporary custody of a troubled teen in the late 1990s, then later was charged with raping him and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Bishop Kmiec has acknowledged giving parishioners a “misleading” statement about how many times his predecessor was warned about the priest before suspending him. The bishop’s spokesman has also insisted that, over the years, the diocese has done its best to deal with Father McKeown.
Boston, Mass. CARDINAL BERNARD LAW
His record of protecting pedophile priests - in Boston and his previous diocese in Missouri - has made headlines around the world in recent months, fueling numerous lawsuits and demands for his resignation. In the 1990s, Cardinal Law and his aides helped the Rev. Paul Shanley get jobs in other dioceses despite psychiatric advice that he was dangerous and reports that he had publicly advocated sex between men and boys. Church officials in New York and California say the Boston archdiocese withheld this information from them. Cardinal Law also repeatedly reassigned the Rev. John Geoghan through many years of molestation complaints, letting him work until the early 1990s. Mr. Geoghan has since been convicted on molestation charges and sent to prison. Father Shanley is under indictment and has pleaded not guilty. In 1998, after defrocking Mr. Geoghan, Cardinal Law reassigned the Rev. Ronald H. Paquin to a hospital chaplain job. At that point, according to documents obtained by The Boston Globe, the archdiocese already knew of more than a dozen complaints from boys who accused the priest of molestation and rape - and had reached financial settlements with some of them. Father Paquin has been suspended and indicted; he has pleaded not guilty. One priest who assisted in his reassignment was the Rev. C. Melvin Surette - who had been removed from a parish in the mid-1990s after the diocese settled several cases that alleged that he and yet another priest abused boys in a ministry for troubled teens. Earlier, as the bishop leading the Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Mo., diocese, Cardinal Law transferred an accused priest to several parishes in the early 1980s after misconduct complaints arose (see more under that diocese’s listing). And before he was in Missouri, the cardinal was a high-ranking priest in the Diocese of Jackson, Miss. - and there he also helped two priests stay in parish jobs after abuse accusations, according to his recent deposition testimony. One was George Broussard, whom a witness has identified as a close friend of Cardinal Law since the two attended seminary together in Ohio. Mr. Broussard has left the priesthood and declined to comment.
Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Mo. BISHOP JOHN LEIBRECHT
When the diocese received a letter in alleging that the Rev. Amel Shibley had molested a boy in the 1980s, the priest admitted it was true. Bishop Leibrecht let him stay on. But when a second letter levying charges against Father Shibley arrived in 1995, the priest was asked to step down. Two years later, however, Bishop Leibrecht offered the priest part-time work. The arrangement lasted until March, when Bishop Leibrecht changed the diocese’s approach to claims of sexual abuse by clergy. He again dismissed Father Shibley to “make sure everybody understands how serious we are taking this.” The bishop has also employed another priest, the Rev. Leonard Chambers, who was accused in the 1980s of abuse. The man leading the diocese at that time - Cardinal Bernard Law, who is now in Boston - sent Father Chambers to treatment and then assigned him to two parishes. When Bishop Leibrecht took over in 1984, he kept Father Chambers with conditions. In 1998, the priest was found alone with a minor, and Bishop Leibrecht sought his retirement. The bishop said the incident didn’t involve sexual misconduct.
San Francisco, Calif. ARCHBISHOP WILLIAM LEVADA
The Rev. John Conley told diocese officials and authorities nearly five years ago that he had walked in on a colleague straddling a kneeling 15-year-old altar boy in a dark rectory room. A few months later, Father Conley was placed on administrative leave. He has filed a lawsuit that accuses Archbishop Levada of retaliating against him for reporting the other priest, the Rev. James Aylward, to police. The archdiocese has denied any wrongdoing, and Father Aylward described the November 1997 incident as “horseplay and wrestling.” During a meeting with Archbishop Levada in late 1997, Father Conley, a former federal prosecutor, tried to record a conversation as directed by his lawyer. But the archbishop refused and, when Father Conley persisted, accused him of insubordination. Father Conley was then put on leave, a move the church said was unrelated. He remains on leave. As for Father Aylward, police said they could not find sufficient evidence for charges, and a church inquiry ruled his behavior inappropriate but not sexual. Father Aylward continued to deny wrongdoing until 2000, when he admitted during a deposition to a history of touching boys, including wrestling with them for sexual pleasure. After the deposition, Father Aylward was placed on leave from his parish job, and later that year, the archdiocese paid a plaintiff $750,000.
Bridgeport, Conn. BISHOP WILLIAM LORI
Until April, he allowed two priests to work despite long-standing molestation allegations. The Rev. Stanley Koziol and the Rev. Gregory Smith both acknowledged misconduct. The two priests were among seven who hired an attorney in the mid-1990s, before Bishop Lori came to town, and prevented plaintiffs’ attorneys from obtaining their personnel files. Three of the seven remained on the job this spring and have never been publicly identified, The Hartford Courant reported. “The evil of sexual abuse of minors calls for a radically new approach,” Bishop Lori said recently. He is a member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops abuse committee.
Springfield, Ill. BISHOP GEORGE LUCAS He has allowed his predecessor, Bishop Daniel Ryan, to celebrate Mass and preside at funerals, despite accusations of sex with teenage boy prostitutes and priests that preceded his early retirement in 1999. A former altar boy has filed a lawsuit alleging that such activity created an atmosphere of tolerance for the child molestation he suffered at the hands of the Rev. Alvin Campbell, who served several years in prison for abuse. Bishop Ryan has denied any sexual misconduct. Bishop Lucas recently wrote that he knew of no credible evidence of abuse by any active clergy in the Springfield Diocese.
St. Petersburg, Fla. BISHOP ROBERT LYNCH
This spring, as police hunted for the Rev. Robert Schaeufele, the bishop refused to give prosecutors information about church officials’ recent questioning of the priest. Father Schaeufele resigned from a parish in April and moved out of state after the diocese confronted him with abuse allegations. Officers found him in Michigan and charged him with sexually battering two 11-year-old boys in the 1980s. A diocesan attorney has said Father Schaeufele admitted he “crossed boundaries” with minors. Last year, the diocese paid $100,000 to its former spokesman to settle claims that Bishop Lynch had sexually harassed him. The bishop characterized the payment as a severance package. The former spokesman, Bill Urbanski, said he initially appreciated Bishop Lynch’s lavish gifts - stereos, cameras, upscale clothes. But he began to feel increasingly uncomfortable when Bishop Lynch would touch and massage him, or would walk around naked in their hotel room during trips. Bishop Lynch described the matter as a misunderstanding: “I did not intend anything. We were close friends.” A diocesan investigation, led by three close Lynch aides, found no evidence to back Mr. Urbanski’s allegations of advances. Mr. Urbanski said investigators never interviewed him.
Los Angeles, Calif. CARDINAL ROGER MAHONY
More than 30 current and former archdiocesan priests are under criminal investigation, and the district attorney has said he would call Cardinal Mahony before a grand jury unless he divulges his files on them; he has vowed to cooperate. One of the cases involves the Rev. Michael Stephen Baker, who admitted to the cardinal in 1986 that he had molested boys but was kept on the job, in several parishes, until 2000. The cardinal later approved a confidential $1.3 million settlement with two of Father Baker’s victims who say they were abused as recently as 1999. “I offer my sincere, personal apologies for my failure to take firm and decisive action much earlier,” Cardinal Mahony recently wrote to the priests he supervises. Father Baker is accused of molesting boys, some as young as 5, from 1976 to 1999. In another case, the archdiocese let the Rev. G. Neville Rucker remain in the ministry until this year despite abuse allegations that first surfaced 35 years ago and led to an out-of-court settlement of a 1993 lawsuit. Father Rucker’s alleged victims included 9-year-old girls; he has denied wrongdoing. In the early 1980s, when he was bishop of Stockton, Calif., Cardinal Mahony moved the Rev. Oliver O’Grady to various parishes. During a civil trial, the cardinal said he didn’t know about Father O’Grady’s abuse, but his testimony was contradicted by a psychiatrist he had hired to evaluate the priest. Father O’Grady was later sent to prison, and Cardinal Mahony’s dealings with him have become the subject of a federal racketeering lawsuit.
Detroit, Mich. CARDINAL ADAM MAIDA
This year, the archdiocese gave local prosecutors the names of 51 clerics accused of abuse over the years and disclosed that four, whom it would not identify, remained on the job. Prosecutor Carl Marlinga of Macomb County, in suburban Detroit, said that keeping the priests active let the church and clerics “benefit from the cover-up they’ve engaged in for so long.” Cardinal Maida’s spokesman said an internal review determined that the allegations weren’t credible and that none of the four was working in Macomb County, so “it shouldn’t be a concern to the Macomb County prosecutor.” Two other priests, whose conduct had led to secret cash settlements, remained at work until this spring. The Rev. Walter Lezuchowski, for example, was barred from working in churches after the archdiocese concluded in the early 1990s that he had abused a girl. In early May, Cardinal Maida’s spokesmen said he was still on restricted duty, then acknowledged the next day that Father Lezuchowski had been serving at a church for the last five years. The spokesmen said they couldn’t explain the situation. Father Lezuchowski has since been removed from ministry after prosecutors said they had received a criminal complaint against him, alleging abuse that occurred before he was sent to treatment in the early 1990s. In March, before the controversies arose, Cardinal Maida acknowledged that “some priests - even bishops - have betrayed the trust of the people.” He added: “I apologize for their mistakes.”
Buffalo, N.Y. BISHOP HENRY MANSELL
In 1986, as a high-ranking personnel administrator for the Archdiocese of New York, he encouraged a colleague who had been treated for pedophilia and barred from working with children to seek a promotion. “The future is bright with promise,” he wrote to the Rev. Edward Pipala, who got to lead his own parish two years later. Mr. Pipala has since served seven years in prison for molestation and no longer works as a priest. In Buffalo, Bishop Mansell has refused to identify accused priests to police. State law doesn’t require him to do so, and the bishop said that divulging names could chill efforts to uncover wrongdoing by clergy.
Washington, D.C., District of Columbia CARDINAL THEODORE McCARRICK
As bishop of the Metuchen, N.J., diocese in 1985, he accepted the Rev. Eugene O’Sullivan’s transfer from Boston - even though he knew the priest had pleaded guilty to raping an altar boy in 1984. Father O’Sullivan had been sentenced to five years’ probation and ordered not to have contact with young people. His first assignment in New Jersey was to a parish with an elementary school. During his seven years in Metuchen, Father O’Sullivan was transferred to other churches in which he continued to serve around children, including a youth group, but parishioners weren’t told of his background. The priest was called back to Boston in 1992 and directed to stop his ministry. A year later, when Cardinal McCarrick was questioned about Father O’Sullivan, he acknowledged he was aware of the priest’s background. In agreeing to take Father O’Sullivan, Cardinal McCarrick said, he had received assurances from Boston and a treatment center that the priest was rehabilitated and was told there were no work restrictions on him. The cardinal has said he would not agree to accept such a priest again.
Manchester, N.H. BISHOP JOHN McCORMACK
Among the former aides to Boston Cardinal Bernard Law who have been promoted to top leadership positions elsewhere, Bishop McCormack has faced some of the harshest criticism. Documents obtained in civil lawsuits show that he let the Rev. Paul Shanley keep working in a parish after a 1985 complaint that the priest had endorsed man-boy sex in a speech, asking Father Shanley only if he cared to comment on the allegation. The bishop recently said he didn’t know of any misconduct with a minor by Father Shanley until 1993 - but the archdiocese had settled an abuse lawsuit that named the priest in 1991, and Bishop McCormack had written to a colleague that same year “that Paul Shanley is a sick person” who shouldn’t be allowed to return to Boston from California. Father Shanley was recently charged with raping a young boy and has pleaded not guilty. New allegations about Bishop McCormack’s handling of abuse allegations have emerged in litigation - including that as a priest in the late 1960s he did nothing after seeing the late Rev. Joseph Birmingham take a boy into a rectory bedroom and hearing complaints about similar behavior from several women. Bishop McCormack has denied those allegations and added that, in dealing with Father Shanley, he was “firm while still at the same time kind.” In early June, the Boston Herald reported that the bishop had ignored his top Boston aide’s urgings that he notify parishes about priests who had been removed because of abuse allegations. Bishop McCormack recently stepped down as head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops abuse committee but remains a member of the panel.
San Jose, Calif. BISHOP PATRICK McGRATH
The bishop let two priests work despite their criminal convictions for sexual abuse of children - until this spring. The Rev. Leonel Noia was a pastor at a parish with a school until he recently went on a sabbatical. In 1976, two brothers, ages 12 and 14, testified that Father Noia had shown them X-rated magazines while on a camping trip that year, offered them a drug that can enhance sexual sensations and molested them on subsequent nights. He also performed oral sex on the oldest. After two nights, the brothers sought help from other campers, who called sheriff’s deputies. Father Noia, who was arrested after police found the drug and magazines in his truck, pleaded no contest to a felony in 1976 and was sentenced to six months in jail. He blamed the episode on being drunk. After attending treatment and serving part of his probation, he was reassigned to a parish. Three years later, he won a court petition to clear his record. “I have lived in a faithful and dignified manner for 26 years,” he told the San Jose Mercury News in May. The second priest, the Rev. Robert A. Gray, pleaded no contest after one of his karate students complained to police in 1993 that the priest had massaged him in the nude. Investigators found other students who said they were also fondled. Father Gray was sentenced to 160 days in jail and underwent treatment. Upon his return, he was given an administrative job at diocesan offices. He was also permitted to celebrate Mass at two parishes and preside at weddings until this spring
Owensboro, Ky. BISHOP JOHN McRAITH
He said in early June that he had kept priests on the job after they admitted sexually abusing children and got treatment. Bishop McRaith, who has been in office since 1982, would not name the priests and would say only that they were in “specialized ministries” and had no contact with children. He could not elaborate, he said, because of confidential settlements reached with victims. The diocese did not notify police, the bishop said. Since 1988, state law has required reporting of child abuse; Bishop McRaith did not say when he had learned of incidents. “I may well have, or should have, reported them,” he told the Evansville Courier & Press. “At the time, I didn’t even think to report them.”
Lansing, Mich. BISHOP CARL MENGELING
In 1998, Bishop J. Keith Symons resigned as head of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla., after admitting that he’d molested several altar boys early in his career (see more under the Trenton, N.J., Diocese listing). A year later, he returned to the ministry in Michigan, with approval from Bishop Mengeling and the Vatican. Bishop Mengeling gave him “permission to lead spiritual retreats for adults who seek to know and love God,” a spokesman told a reporter in 1999.
Great Falls-Billings, Mont. BISHOP ANTHONY MILONE When the Rev. John Houlihan was accused two years ago of sexually harassing and discriminating against a priest under his supervision, Bishop Milone said the allegations were not credible and left him on the job. Another priest had made a sexual assault allegation against Father Houlihan in 1994, but the bishop said that alleged victim had refused to talk. However, Gene Jarussi, a Billings lawyer who has represented both accusers, said the first claim “was settled on its merits” for a confidential sum. His current client, the Rev. Anandan Elangovan, has a federal lawsuit pending against the diocese and Father Houlihan, who deny wrongdoing. A state human rights investigator has dismissed a complaint from Father Elangovan, who was himself accused of sexually harassing a female parishioner.
Tucson, Ariz. BISHOP MANUEL MORENO Lawsuits filed in recent years by nearly a dozen people have alleged that Bishop Moreno failed to act on complaints against at least four priests accused of sex abuse. One suit, involving the Rev. Robert Trupia, accused Bishop Moreno of keeping the priest on the job with young boys, trying to discourage whistle-blowers and shielding him from police investigators. Bishop Moreno has denied that he or his staff covered up for any priest, although after settling several suits this year he acknowledged that “there have been failings in the past.” In Father Trupia’s case, the bishop had known of allegations against the priest for years, but did not investigate until he was directed to do so in 1992 by an out-of-state archbishop who had been contacted by a victim’s mother. According to court records, Father Trupia initially acknowledged molestation to Bishop Moreno in April 1992, called himself a “loose cannon” and said he was “unfit for the priesthood.” But the priest also threatened to reveal sexual relationships he said he’d had with other high-ranking church officials, if Bishop Moreno disclosed his admissions and didn’t allow him to retire. The bishop suspended Father Trupia and ordered treatment. During the next few years, Bishop Moreno told victims’ families that Father Trupia had denied the allegations. More recently, the bishop changed his deposition testimony to deny that the priest admitted abuse or made threats. According to court records, the diocese refused to cooperate with police - first from Tucson, then from Yuma - when they tried to investigate the priest. The priest was arrested in late 2000, but prosecutors decided the charges were too old to prosecute. The priest has maintained his innocence. In a separate case, Bishop Moreno has approved work for Bishop Patrick Ziemann, who resigned in 1999 as head of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, Calif., after accusations that he coerced a priest into having sex. He found a new home at a monastery in southern Arizona, working with young priest candidates and counseling other people. A lawsuit against Bishop Ziemann was settled in 2000 for more than $500,000.
Syracuse, N.Y. BISHOP JAMES MOYNIHAN
He has allowed three priests to have a role in ministry despite past sex-abuse accusations and, in two cases, financial settlements. After arriving in the mid-1990s, Bishop Moynihan let a retired monsignor, the Rev. Charles Sewall, teach part-time at a Catholic school - although the diocese had settled in 1988 a complaint that he abused a boy while serving as a school principal decades earlier. After the out-of-court settlement, Monsignor Sewall underwent treatment but remained a pastor and an administrator until he retired, then continued to teach some. When the case resurfaced this year, Monsignor Sewall admitted to the molestation. The victim, Lincoln Franchell, who is now an adult, has said he is among the three men who recently filed a lawsuit against Monsignor Sewall. The diocese is also named as a defendant. The men allege that the abuse happened on school grounds in the 1970s and 1980s and that Monsignor Sewall offered them money in exchange for silence. In a separate case, police have charged a teenage boy who recanted claims that Monsignor Sewall recently abused him. Although dioceses across the country have drafted new guidelines to tell authorities about allegations, Bishop Moynihan’s recently updated policy doesn’t require such notification.
Providence, R.I. BISHOP ROBERT MULVEE
He suspended the Rev. Normand Demers in March - but the diocese had known about sexual misconduct allegations against the priest since 1989, when boys complained at a Haitian orphanage he helped establish. They said he touched them inappropriately and brought them to his bedroom, one at a time, to disrobe in front of him while trying on clothing. Father Demers, who denied wrongdoing, was forced to resign and left Haiti to avoid prosecution, a former orphanage official told The Providence Journal-Bulletin. He came back to the Diocese of Providence and worked under Bishop Mulvee for seven years, since the diocesan leader came to town. He was removed this year after being accused of abusing a boy long ago while working as a hospital chaplain long. The bishop announced a “zero tolerance” policy early this year, shortly after suspending a priest charged with assaulting a 16-year-old boy repeatedly in 2001. That cleric, the Rev. Daniel Azzarone Jr., had been kept on the job despite allegations made in 1985 and the late 1990s; the diocese said it couldn’t substantiate those claims. Bishop Mulvee, who wasn’t in Providence in 1985, said his staff didn’t tell him about the late-1990s accusation.
Kalamazoo, Mich. BISHOP JAMES MURRAY
He employs and has expressed strong support for the Rev. Thomas DeVita, who has admitted sexual misconduct with a boy. Father DeVita has said he had a few consensual encounters with a 16-year-old parishioner in 1978, when he worked on Long Island, N.Y., for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. The accuser’s family has said the sex started earlier, lasted longer and was coerced. Father DeVita also has denied a sexual-misconduct allegation made by an adult in 1995, after he’d been transferred to the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla., and before he came to Kalamazoo.
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands BISHOP GEORGE MURRY
Despite the Rev. John Calicott’s admission that he engaged in sexual misconduct with two teenage boys in the mid-1970s, the Chicago archdiocese reinstated him in 1995 - contrary to its policy against letting known abusers work. Bishop Murry, then an auxiliary to the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, was supervising the archdiocesan region where Father Calicott was stationed. And he led Father Calicott’s reinstatement ceremony. Bishop Murry said at the time that church members had assured him that they wanted Father Calicott returned to their parish. After the victims had come forward in 1994 and an archdiocesean review panel recommended removal, Father Calicott was placed on leave and sent to treatment. Evaluations prepared during his treatment concluded that he wasn’t a sexual predator, clearing the way for his reinstatement. Upon his return, Father Calicott described himself as “angry” that the church removed him and put him through “rigorous” counseling. The archdiocese did order that a monitor be present whenever he had contact with children, which today includes his work as a Boy Scout master and a grammar school teacher.
Palm Beach, Fla. ADMINISTRATOR JAMES MURTAGH
A longtime diocesan manager, he has been the acting bishop since his former boss, Bishop Anthony O’Connell, resigned in March after admitting he abused a seminary student years ago. Parishioners have complained about Father Murtagh getting the temporary appointment, saying that he played a key part in past administrations that protected abusive priests. As interim leader during a previous diocesan leadership transition in the early 1990s, Father Murtagh reassigned a priest who had been accused for years of sexually harassing women and had been the subject of at least one secret settlement. The Rev. Frank Flynn was later accused of sexually abusing a woman who came to him for counseling, and he transferred to Ireland. Father Murtagh has described the priest’s accusers as women who had been in “consensual relationships gone sour.” This spring, a woman accused Father Flynn of molesting her in the late 1970s and early 1980, beginning she was 12 years old. The priest denied her allegations; police are investigating. One prominent church fund-raiser has called on Father Murtagh to resign because of the Flynn matter and that of the Rev. William White. Father White was allowed to teach at a South Florida seminary and help out at parishes for more than four years after church officials in New York, in 1997, reached a settlement with one of his former students, whom he admitted molesting. The acting bishop has defended the diocese’s handling of both priests.
Newark, N.J. ARCHBISHOP JOHN MYERS During his time as leader of the Diocese of Peoria, Ill. - which he left last year - at least one priest was accused of sexual abuse and reassigned. A Peoria diocesan spokeswoman said the Rev. John Anderson was first accused of abuse in 1993 and removed from a parish. The archbishop, who was recently appointed to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops abuse committee, said he had no knowledge of the matter. Father Anderson, who served until recently as director of the diocesan office for Propagation of the Faith, has not commented publicly. He was among seven priests suspended in May by the Peoria Diocese. After those suspensions, accusers of a previously suspended Peoria priest said that Archbishop Myers had not responded to their complaints in the early 1990s until, after months of frustration, they talked to a local newspaper. And then-Bishop Myers later moved to reinstate the Rev. Francis Engels, then backed off when alleged victims complained. “I didn’t realize they would be so upset,” the archbishop recently said.
Venice, Fla. BISHOP JOHN NEVINS Despite numerous complaints about the Rev. Ed McLoughlin’s “touchy-feely” nature, a doctor’s directive that he stop working near children and several treatment stays, the longtime bishop kept the priest at work. A lawsuit alleged that Bishop Nevins ignored the warnings until 1996, when a former altar boy’s lawyer approached the diocese about sexual assaults. The bishop then suspended Father McLoughlin from his job at a parish with a school and later paid $500,000 to settle the case. The boy, in his early teens at the time, said he first turned to Father McLoughlin in 1992 after a church choir director had repeatedly assaulted him. Father McLoughlin told the boy that he needed punishment and spanked him, starting years of molestation. In 1993, a year after the abuse began, an Atlanta doctor cautioned the diocese that “it would be inappropriate” for the priest to work near children, yet he stayed on duty. Father McLoughlin’s personnel file also included complaints from parents, his co-workers and children about his inappropriate touching since the mid-1980s, when Bishop Nevins took over.
Phoenix, Ariz. BISHOP THOMAS O’BRIEN
He has a 20-year record of sheltering priests accused of abuse but has largely remained out of the national spotlight. Criminal investigators say he has been uncooperative - and a district attorney recently opened a preliminary inquiry into the diocese’s handling of sex-abuse allegations. Since the mid-1980s, at least four Phoenix priests have served jail time in connection with molesting children. The bishop has advocated lighter sentences and let one priest work after he was sentenced to probation. When the most recent abuse case surfaced this year, Bishop O’Brien criticized the Phoenix press for reporting a 1999 psychological evaluation that said the Rev. Patrick Colleary’s “history will be repeated in some way” and that he shouldn’t “work with minors or women.” Bishop O’Brien kept Father Colleary active until May despite knowing of six complaints - including that he raped and impregnated a young woman and that he fondled an altar boy. Father Colleary, who has received therapy, denied most of the wrongdoings and said his relationship with the woman was consensual. In the case of the Rev. Joseph M. Lessard, Bishop O’Brien dismissed previous complaints and assigned him to a teaching job. Father Lessard was later accused of performing oral sex on a 13-year-old in the boy’s room while his parents were down the hallway. When police investigated in the mid-1980s, Bishop O’Brien refused to tell them about a confession the priest made to him, according to court records. Father Lessard eventually admitted the molestation and was put on probation. After treatment, he transferred to the Midwest as a hospital chaplain. The diocese denied knowing his exact location not long after he left.
Brownsville, Texas BISHOP RAYMUNDO PENA
Police say that Bishop Pena and his staff didn’t help them find a priest who vanished last summer during their investigation into allegations that the priest had raped a 16-year-old mentally disabled incest victim. “It’s been like hitting a brick wall,” Lt. Guadalupe Salinas recently told The Brownsville Herald. “Church officials referred us to their legal counsel. That didn’t help anything.” The Rev. Basil Chukwuma Onyia, who is from Nigeria, is the target of an arrest warrant. A lawsuit filed in connection with the case alleges that the diocese has and continues “to cover up the incidents of priest sexual abuse of minors and prevent disclosure, prosecution and civil litigation.” Through his attorneys, Bishop Pena has denied wrongdoing. The lawyers have responded to the civil suit by saying that the court system has no jurisdiction over a church.The bishop also said in a published letter that the diocese has documentation showing that it cooperated with police.
San Angelo, Texas BISHOP MICHAEL PFEIFER Church documents now emerging in civil litigation show that the diocese let seminary candidate Agusti Huerres come to Texas from Spain in 1999 without getting what the bishop once called “the most important document” - a recommendation from the religious order he had left there or an explanation for his departure. Mr. Huerres began living and working at a San Angelo parish, where he was accused in 2000 of pulling down a teenage boy’s pants, touching his buttocks and taking his underwear. The boy’s family promptly went to the diocese and police, then agreed not to press charges after being summoned to a meeting with a prosecutor and Bishop Pfeifer’s representatives. The representatives sent Mr. Huerres back to Spain immediately. Church officials’ notes say that Mr. Huerres admitted the misconduct to them - “He said he had ‘lost control,’ that his ‘wires were crossed.’ “ The bishop has denied the family’s allegation of negligence. In early June, another of his priests was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a girl in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Rev. Miguel Esquivel was removed from ministry this spring after the accuser went to Bishop Pfeifer. Her attorney said that the diocese, which Bishop Pfeifer has headed since 1985, got other complaints about Father Esquivel about a decade ago but allowed him to keep working. Bishop Pfeifer acknowledged that several women had complained of sexual harassment and that he sent the priest into treatment, on to another parish and ultimately to his most recent assignment as a prison chaplain in New Mexico.
Cincinnati, Ohio ARCHBISHOP DANIEL PILARCZYK
In March, he said that a few accused priests were on the job but not working with children; he wouldn’t identify them or give other details. A county grand jury then began investigating, and the district attorney accused the archdiocese of censoring records he had subpoenaed. Archbishop Pilarczyk’s attorney denied the accusation. Recently, the archbishop acknowledged that three of the accused men were working in parishes - supervised by people “who know about the offender’s condition,” he said - and that a fourth was working at the Vatican. Documents that recently surfaced in civil litigation, meanwhile, show that the archbishop helped a pedophile priest keep working in different posts for nearly 20 years. The Rev. George Cooley was first accused of misconduct in 1971 at a seminary where he was a student and Archbishop Pilarczyk was rector. The accuser, like others after him, complained almost immediately to top church officials. Mr. Cooley has since served a short jail term and been defrocked.
Cleveland, Ohio BISHOP ANTHONY PILLA
He and his aides have long been accused of covering up for abusive priests. They kept Rev. Gary Berthiaume in a parish for most of the 1980s, for example, without telling the congregation about his prior molestation conviction in the Archdiocese of Detroit. A priest assigned to monitor him, the Rev. Allen Bruening, himself previously had been removed from a parish because of abuse allegations and made director of a Catholic high school. Father Bruening was accused of misconduct again in the mid-1980s and ended up in Texas, where he became one of the Amarillo diocese’s top administrators before being removed from ministry about 10 years ago. Father Berthiaume was also transferred again, to the Diocese of Joliet, Ill., where he recently lost his job as a hospital chaplain. Last year, he and Father Bruening were accused in a lawsuit of repeatedly ganging up on one boy in a shower in the 1980s in Cleveland. One of Bishop Pilla’s longtime top aides, Auxiliary Bishop A. James Quinn, advised a group of church lawyers in a speech 12 years ago to remove some documents from priests’ personnel files. “If there’s something you really don’t want people to see, you might send it off to the apostolic delegate [the Vatican embassy in Washington], because they have immunity,” said Bishop Quinn, who is also a lawyer. Some plaintiffs’ attorneys have since named him in lawsuits that accuse top Catholic leaders of racketeering. Bishop Quinn has said his speech was not about sexual abuse or any other crime. He serves on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ abuse committee and, like all auxiliary bishops, is a voting member of the conference. In late May, Bishop Pilla announced that any priests who abuse children in the future will be permanently barred from ministry in his diocese. But it wasn’t clear what would happen to several clerics who have been suspended because of past allegations.
Las Cruces, N.M. BISHOP RICARDO RAMIREZ
In an Easter letter to parishioners, he said that priests applying to the diocese are screened and that he “does not and will not tolerate sexual abuse of children.” The bishop also said that the diocese, in its nearly 20-year history, had not faced any abuse suits. By late April, however, the diocese acknowledged that Bishop Ramirez had let an admitted molester, the Rev. David Bentley, serve in a parish since 2000. Father Bentley’s home diocese of Albany, N.Y. (see more under that listing), had paid $70,000 in 1997 to a man who said the priest abused him and his siblings at a children’s home in the 1970s. Father Bentley was recently suspended and recalled to Albany. Bishop Ramirez has said that criticisms of his letter “are well-taken because we could have been clearer.”
Worcester, Mass. BISHOP DANIEL REILLY
More than 30 sex-abuse lawsuits have been filed in recent years alleging that he and other administrators took part in covering for accused priests during his tenures at three New England dioceses. Bishop Reilly, who also worked in Providence, R.I., and Norwich, Conn., has denied involvement in decisions to transfer clerics. He kept the Rev. Peter Inzerillo of Worcester active despite allegations of sexual misconduct with a young priest candidate in the mid-1980s. The man said the misconduct happened when he was 19 during counseling sessions with Father Inzerillo. He said he had confided to Father Inzerillo that another priest had abused him when he was 13. Father Inzerillo denied the allegation, but after a lawsuit was filed in 1994 the bishop at the time placed him on leave. Years later, Bishop Reilly settled the case for $300,000 and reinstated the priest at a church. Bishop Reilly continued to express support for Father Inzerillo and let him work until March. When parishioners demanded the priest’s removal, Bishop Reilly relented and put Father Inzerillo on leave again.
St. Louis, Mo. ARCHBISHOP JUSTIN RIGALI
As the Boston abuse scandal brought pressure on dioceses nationwide, he decided to remove two priests he had previously kept active. One was the Rev. Joseph D. Ross, who pleaded guilty in 1988 to sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy during a confession. Archbishop Rigali, however, has not dismissed three other accused clerics, two of whom have jobs near children. One, the Rev. Leroy Valentine, was working at a parish next to a school; four years ago the church secretly settled claims that he molested three brothers in their own home. The mother of the boys, who are now adults, said she went to St. Louis police in 1982. But they told her to work out the matter with the archdiocese. This year, the archdiocese issued a statement expressing continued support of Father Valentine. Weeks later, he quit as allegations surfaced that he assaulted an 8-year-old altar boy during a 1978 confession. The boy, now grown, said he was molested during the first time he received the sacrament of confession.
Biloxi, Miss. BISHOP THOMAS RODI
As a high-ranking priest in New Orleans in the late 1990s, he defended the archdiocese’s failure to tell police about a molestation allegation against Catholic schoolteacher Brian Matherne (see more under the Austin Diocese listing). Mr. Matherne stayed on the job and abused more students before being caught and sentenced to prison. Bishop Rodi later called for the archdiocese to review its policy on responding to abuse complaints, which he had helped draft. Recently, as head of the Biloxi Diocese, he said that the Catholic Church in general has not “been addressing these allegations as promptly as we should have.”
Paterson, N.J. BISHOP FRANK RODIMER
The longtime bishop apologized in April for his “own inadequacy” in failing to prevent abuse by at least four of his priests and a clergy colleague with whom he shared a Long Island beach house. Bishop Rodimer said he hadn’t known that the Rev. Peter Osinski, a friend from another diocese, had been molesting a young boy at the beach house beginning in the early 1980s. The bishop said the only contact he saw between the two was hugging, and he wasn’t aware of sexual misconduct until Father Osinski was arrested in 1997. The priest pleaded guilty and is serving a 10-year prison sentence. Even after Bishop Rodimer issued his apology this spring, he continued to express support for another priest who had pleaded guilty in 1988 to fondling two young brothers and was returned to ministry - as a hospital chaplain - in the early 1990s. When the allegations against the Rev. William Cramer first came to light many years ago, the bishop transferred the priest to two other parishes. After he was indicted in 1985, Father Cramer resigned from parish work. He continues to work as a chaplain with the bishop’s support. Bishop Rodimer had also investigated the Rev. Jose Alonso in the 1980s, but did not act. Years later, Father Alonso was sentenced to five years in prison for assaulting two altar boys. In another case, the bishop allowed the Rev. James Hanley to remain in place after the priest admitted he had abused a young boy. Mark Serrano, who in adulthood has become an outspoken critic of the bishop, said Father Hanley forced oral sex and masturbation on him for seven years, beginning when he was 9. The priest blamed his actions on alcoholism and promised Bishop Rodimer he would stop. The bishop removed Father Hanley in the mid-1980s - about a year after the victim’s family began pressing for action. After that, Father Hanley worked briefly at an Albany, N.Y., hospital with the approval of the bishop there. (See more under the Albany Diocese listing.)
Lubbock, Texas BISHOP PLACIDO RODRIGUEZ
In a March letter, he said that “no priest coming from outside the diocese may celebrate Mass or work in the diocese without presenting credentials that he is in good standing.” Yet until sometime this spring, the Rev. Anthony Eremito — who was accused of abuse in his home archdiocese of New York several years ago and forbidden to serve as a priest there — was working as Lubbock hospital chaplain. Through a spokesman, Bishop Rodriguez referred questions to the hospital and New York church officials, saying that they were responsible for the priest. The officials in New York won’t comment on why Father Eremito was forbidden to work there or why he was removed from duty in Lubbock. A hospital spokesman said he wasn’t familiar with the matter and couldn’t comment. The priest, who came to Lubbock in the late 1990s, has an unlisted phone number and could not be reached for comment. He faces no known civil or criminal charges. His accusers include the Rev. John Bambrick, who has said he was a 15-year-old aspiring priest when Father Eremito repeatedly abused him in 1980. Father Bambrick, now pastor of a church in New Jersey, said New York archdiocesan officials promised him in the mid-1990s that Father Eremito would never work again with their permission. But one of those officials, he said, recently told him that the archdiocese had arranged for him to transfer to Lubbock. That official did not return a call from The Dallas Morning News.
Grand Rapids, Mich. BISHOP ROBERT ROSE He kept the Rev. Dennis Wagner on the job until May - despite a 1983 guilty plea in connection with abuse of a 13-year-old boy and four more sex-abuse allegations that were made years later. In the first matter, Father Wagner had pleaded guilty to lesser charges and served two years’ probation. He also was removed from his pastoral duties and sent to treatment. Afterward, Father Wagner was assigned to interpret church law at diocesan headquarters, where he was working when four more claims of past abuse surfaced in 1993. The diocese confirmed them and ordered more counseling. Bishop Rose, who arrived in 1989, let Father Wagner continue working until the church substantiated the sixth complaint this year. In announcing the removal, the bishop said he “informed Father Wagner that he has no future in the priesthood.”
Monterey, Calif. BISHOP SYLVESTER RYAN
He has the Rev. Paul Valdez back at a parish job, despite having settled a lawsuit that accused the priest of touching a sixth-grade girl’s groin during confession in late 1998. No criminal charges were filed; a police report cited by The Monterey County Herald said that several other students in the girl’s Catholic school class also told their teacher that they didn’t want to go to confession with the priest. Police say that after the girl told a nun in writing about her encounter with Father Valdez, the nun berated her in front of the class, pressured her to demonstrate what had happened and warned children that the allegation could ruin the priest’s reputation. Another nun told a child welfare agency official that she had investigated and that no crime had occurred. The diocese has said that it cooperated fully with authorities, and Father Valdez’s attorney has called the lawsuit baseless. In 2001, meanwhile, Bishop Ryan settled a lawsuit with a family whose 15-year-old son was abused by a man posing as a monk. The church’s pastor, the Rev. Patrick Dooling, admitted in a deposition that he let Anthony Thomas Falco volunteer with youths for a year even he though he suspected the man was an impostor and knew that he had been arrested previously for possessing child pornography. Mr. Falco took teens from the church on a pilgrimage to Bosnia, where he drugged, bound, beat and molested the 15-year-old, according to the suit. He has been sentenced to prison for abusing that boy and another.
Anchorage, Alaska ARCHBISHOP ROGER SCHWIETZ
One of his top aides is the Rev. Timothy Crowley, who left a pastor’s job in 1993 in the Diocese of Lansing, Mich., after being accused of sexual misconduct with a boy. Church officials in Anchorage recently acknowledged that they knew about the priest’s past. They said they consulted with his therapists and let him have no contact with youths. Alaska newspaper accounts show that Father Crowley has served in recent years as Archbishop Schwietz’s liaison to a Catholic school and that he officiates at weddings and funerals. He has declined to discuss the allegations against him and has said he resigned in Michigan “for personal reasons.”
Santa Fe, N.M. ARCHBISHOP MICHAEL SHEEHAN
He’s been widely credited with cleaning up the archdiocese, whose previous leader had kept several abusive priests on the job, cost the church tens of millions in legal settlements and quit in 1993 after admitting affairs with young women. Yet Archbishop Sheehan, as bishop of Lubbock in the 1980s, let at least one accused man keep working in remote parishes for years - which was one reason that the West Texas diocese later had to settle lawsuits, too. He has said he sent the Rev. Rodney Howell into treatment for alcoholism in 1986 after a family alleged that the priest had molested two of their children while drunk. “I think it was true,” the archbishop has said. He returned Father Howell to duty, and the priest worked until he died of cancer in 1993. Parishioners have said Father Howell was sometimes assisted in celebrating Mass by his brother Gerald “Jerry” Howell - even though he had been suspended from the priesthood in New Orleans after a church tribunal investigated molestation allegations against him. Archbishop Sheehan has said he first learned of those allegations when a New Orleans television station reported in 1992 that several people had accused the Howells of abuse in the 1970s. Before going to Lubbock, Archbishop Sheehan was a high-ranking priest in the Diocese of Dallas. As head of Holy Trinity Seminary, he admitted Rudy Kos to the school after his predecessor had refused to do so. During the 1997 Kos civil trial, which resulted in the largest clergy-abuse verdict in history, the archbishop acknowledged that he didn’t review Mr. Kos’ annulment records. They quoted Mr. Kos’ ex-wife as saying Mr. Kos “has some problems” but did not get specific. She testified that she had told an annulment investigator that he was sexually attracted to boys, brought them to their apartment and never had sex with her. Mr. Kos’ two younger brothers testified that seminary officials did little to get information from them about their sibling, who they said had molested them and had spent time in juvenile detention for abusing another younger boy. Diocese officials have said they did their best to get information about Mr. Kos’ past before he entered the seminary.
Milwaukee, Wis. BISHOP RICHARD SKLBA Bishop Sklba played a key role in handling molestation allegations for Archbishop Rembert Weakland, and together they put several admitted abusers into ministerial jobs - where some have remained. (The archbishop recently quit after revelations that he spent $450,000 in church funds to pay a former theology student who accused him of sexual assault; he admitted an affair but denied abuse). Bishop Sklba was involved in the case of the Rev. David Hanser, whose victims were promised as part of a 1989 out-of-court settlement that he would not have access to children again. Bishop Sklba, who was named as enforcer of the agreement, let the priest work until this spring as chaplain of a hospital with a children’s unit. Some key current and former hospital staff members told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that they weren’t advised of restrictions on Father Hanser’s ministry, but the archdiocese said it kept top hospital officials apprised. Father Hanser, who served on the hospital’s ethics committee, retired in April and has not commented publicly, though he apologized as part of the 1989 settlement. Bishop Sklba, now the acting head of the archdiocese, has not commented. In 1994, the archdiocese paid a settlement to the victim of another priest who was kept on duty for years after admitting to Bishop Sklba that he had fondled a boy. That priest, the Rev. Peter Burns, began to see a therapist at the bishop’s behest but continued to have boys spend the night with him at his church home, according to court records. The first boy reportedly committed suicide in the early 1990s after Father Burns was charged with sexually assaulting another youth. Father Burns was sentenced to nine months in jail and 10 years of probation.
Trenton, N.J. BISHOP JOHN M. SMITH
In 1995, he arranged a meeting between Bishop Keith Symons of the Palm Beach, Fla., Diocese and a man who had accused Bishop Symons of molesting him years earlier. During the conversation, he listened as Bishop Symons admitted to the abuse, assured everyone that there was the only one victim and promised to get counseling. Bishop Smith, then of the Pensacola-Tallahasee, Fla., Diocese, seemed satisfied, and Bishop Symons returned to work. But as the years passed, the victim became increasingly bothered by church statements that incidents of clergy abuse were isolated. So the victim came forward again in 1998. By then, Bishop Smith had moved onto Trenton and his successor, John Ricard, took a different approach. Within weeks, Bishop Symons had conceded that he had molested five altar boys, and he was forced out in a move that the church hailed as demonstrating its swift response to clergy abuse. That summer, however, police records made it clear that Bishop Smith had failed to act on the first victim’s allegations in 1995. The bishop had little comment, other than to describe the meeting he had set up as one “to effect a spiritual reconciliation.” Prosecutors, citing statutes of limitation, didn’t file charges against Bishop Symons. By 1999, Bishop Symons had returned to ministry in the Lansing, Mich., Diocese with permission of the bishop there and the Vatican (see more under that listing).
Fresno, Calif. BISHOP JOHN STEINBOCK
He recently told a Fresno newspaper that other bishops “may have made some wrong decisions” in dealing with accused priests but defended his own actions regarding the Rev. Donald Kimball. As leader of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, Calif., Bishop Steinbock let Father Kimball go back to work in 1987 after the priest admitted fondling girls and got counseling. He suspended him a few years later after another victim came forward. Father Kimball recently was convicted of molestation and sentenced to seven years in prison. The Santa Rosa diocese said it has spent $1.6 million to settle a lawsuit with one of Father Kimball’s victims. Previously, as auxiliary bishop in Orange, Calif., Bishop Steinbock allowed the Rev. Richard Coughlin to serve after he was accused of abuse in the Boston archdiocese. Boston church officials have said they told Bishop Steinbock about complaints against the priest; the bishop has said he doesn’t recall. After the bishop went to Fresno, Father Coughlin was suspended in Orange when former members of a boys choir he founded there accused him of abuse. He denied the allegations and was not prosecuted.
Reno, Nev. BISHOP PHILLIP STRALING In 1993, as bishop of the Diocese of San Bernardino, Calif., he assigned the Rev. Joe Fertal to a parish despite a warning letter from the priest’s religious order. Father Fertal, the order said, had spent months in treatment for “sexual identity anxieties” and should not have a youth ministry or “spend inordinate amounts of time with young people.” By 1995, according to a lawsuit that the diocese confidentially settled, he had molested a 16-year-old boy he met in a religion class, given him alcohol and raped him. Father Fertal recently denied wrongdoing and said the diocese paid the accuser “to make sure the bishop isn’t deposed.” (See more under the San Bernardino Diocese listing.) In the late 1980s, Bishop Straling helped the Rev. Gustavo Benson transfer to a parish in Mexico after the priest was sentenced to probation for molesting an altar boy. The bishop told his counterpart in the Diocese of Tijuana that Father Benson should never work with adolescents, according to a 1987 letter. But in a recent interview with The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif., the priest said he was ministering to children. About the same time, a priest who had been Bishop Straling’s spokesman in San Bernardino said the diocese “never knowingly shuffled any priest ... to another country.” The spokesman also said that the diocese, under Bishop Straling, had not told police about years-old molestation complaints against other priests. “We did not handle them correctly,” the spokesman said. Authorities got information from the diocese in April.
Richmond, Va. BISHOP WALTER SULLIVAN
He allowed Brother August Ludwig to keep working despite another bishop’s warning that the man faced decades-old allegations of abusing teenage boys while he was a Catholic school principal in Washington state. Bishop Sullivan assured the other bishop that he would keep Brother Ludwig away from children. Brother Ludwig was removed as headmaster at an all-boys high school and ordered to undergo an evaluation. The diocese even asked Richmond police to investigate at the time; one sergeant recalled recently that he “turned up absolutely nothing” in Virginia. But after Brother Ludwig finished treatment, Bishop Sullivan let him work a few years later at another parish - one that operated a grade school. Officials there insisted Brother Ludwig had limited contact with children. When one of Brother Ludwig’s alleged victims from Washington state discovered he was still active in 1998, he called Richmond police and the diocese. The cleric was then moved to a monastery and then another treatment facility, where he remains. The brother has apologized to one of his estimated five victims but has denied abusing the others
Pueblo, Colo. BISHOP ARTHUR TAFOYA
In the mid-1990s, he confidentially settled lawsuits that accused the Rev. Delbert Blong of infecting two men with the AIDS virus during sexual relationships that began when the victims were adolescents. One expert who worked on the case said he knew of three more men who died of AIDS after sexual encounters with Father Blong, who has since died. One of the plaintiffs, Thomas Perea, said he had an 11-year relationship with the priest that began after he sought counseling in the eighth grade. The diocese admitted no wrongdoing in the settlements; a spokesman would not say whether it had received other complaints against the priest. Father Blong admitted having AIDS and having had a relationship with Mr. Perea, whom he accused of infecting him.
Laredo, Texas BISHOP JAMES TAMAYO
As a high-ranking priest in the Diocese of Corpus Christi in 1987, he and two colleagues were assigned to investigate a mother’s allegations that a deacon had tried to seduce her 15-year-old son. They later recommended the man, John Feminelli, for ordination to the priesthood, even though he acknowledged that he had given the boy money, clothes, a guitar and other gifts. Mr. Feminelli - now Father Feminelli - denied an allegation that he pressed the boy to travel out of town and wrestle in a motel room. The three investigators told other priests that the accuser, Paul Kelly, had recanted - which Mr. Kelly disputed in a 1992 interview with The Houston Chronicle. The investigators also urged that Father Feminelli, who was assigned to duty at a retirement home, get “intense counseling with regards to his prudence and his ability to form adult relationships.”
Scranton, Pa. BISHOP JAMES TIMLIN
In a federal lawsuit filed this spring, the longtime bishop is accused of ignoring past allegations against two priests working as chaplains at a boys school and of failing to properly investigate a more recent complaint that they molested a student. Bishop Timlin temporarily removed the priests in January after receiving a letter from that student’s father and forwarded the allegations to prosecutors a month later. The priests have denied molesting the victim, who was a junior when the alleged abuse began in 1997. The victim said the Rev. Eric Ensey gave him alcohol and tobacco before coercing him into sexual acts on several occasions. The victim said that he had to resist further advances Father Ensey made three years later, while the young man was studying to become a priest himself. He sought a secure place to sleep, and the Rev. Carlos Urrutigoity offered his room. But after a few nights, the victim said, Father Urrutigoity also began touching him as well. The lawsuit contends that the diocese knew Father Ensey had been accused of molesting a seminarian in Argentina and that Father Urrutigoity had faced similar allegations while he was in Winona, Minn. The diocese also had known of past allegations against one other priest that it recently removed from ministry. Several years ago, the Rev. Thomas Skotek was sent to treatment following a complaint and reassigned to parish work. An evaluation at the time had determined that he wasn’t a predator, the bishop said. This spring, after another accusation from the past surfaced, Father Skotek was removed as pastor of two parishes. The diocese said he admitted to “some improper conduct” decades ago with a teenage girl.
Erie, Pa. BISHOP DONALD TRAUTMAN
In March, he said that his diocese had none of the scandals that had hit Catholic leaders elsewhere. “All the problems here have been addressed,” Bishop Trautman said. “That I can say before the Lord.” A month later, the Rev. Robert Bower resigned after a local newspaper reported that he had been arrested on child pornography charges in 1999. The district attorney said the case was dropped because police mishandled evidence. More recently, Bishop Trautman initially refused to comply with the prosecutor’s demand for records on suspected abusers, but later agreed to surrender some files. The bishop said his review of those records led him to suspend some priests, whom he would not identify.
Saginaw, Mich. BISHOP KENNETH UNTENER
The Rev. John Hammer had been deemed unfit for the Youngstown, Ohio, Diocese and struggled throughout the late 1980s to find another bishop willing to employ him. In 1990, Bishop Untener gave him that chance, although he knew the priest had molested an altar boy. The bishop did so on the advice of Youngstown Bishop James Malone, the man who had removed the priest. Bishop Malone, who has since died, sent Father Hammer’s records to his colleague and said the priest was ready to minister again after receiving treatment. Bishop Untener said he also reviewed the cleric’s case with two doctors before hiring him. Father Hammer led two Michigan churches until this spring, when a victim called on the diocese to remove him. The priest admitted the past molestation to his parishioners, and the diocese initially kept him on the job, but he later resigned.
Sacramento, Calif. BISHOP WILLIAM WEIGAND He has said that three accused priests remain on the job “because the allegations were not sustainable.” But in one of the cases, the diocese paid the Rev. Vincent Brady’s accuser $350,000 in 2000 to drop a lawsuit. Susan Hoey-Lees said that more than 20 years ago Father Brady molested her - beginning when she was 11 and continuing until she was 16. On one occasion when he was baby-sitting her, she said, her parents walked into her room to find the priest in bed with her. Both parents support her account. A diocesan spokesman said the presence of two witnesses was “damning,” but that was outweighed by Father Brady’s denial. The priest said he had no memory of being in the girl’s bed or of baby-sitting her. The diocese spokesman also cited other factors - including that the parents did not complain at the time and that no one else had ever accused the priest. The parents said they regret not acting immediately. Bishop Weigand has refused to identify the other accused priests who are still working.
Pittsburgh, Pa. BISHOP DONALD WUERL
Early this year, he removed from ministry several priests he had allowed to keep working in spite of “credible” abuse allegations. The bishop and his spokesman would not identify the men or say how many there were or characterize the accusations. The priests had been kept on the job after church investigators could not substantiate the claims against them, a diocesan spokesman said. Now, he explained, “we raised the bar.”
Amarillo, Texas BISHOP JOHN YANTA
He employed the Rev. Richard Scully, who was removed in 1988 from a parish in the Diocese of Yakima, Wash., after a lawsuit accused him and another priest of molesting a teenage boy. That case and a similar one were settled confidentially in recent years, The Seattle Times reported. For the last several years, Father Scully has been pastor of a church in the Panhandle town of Dumas. He was suspended in March for reasons that the diocese wouldn’t discuss with The Dallas Morning News. “I don’t think I should go there,” said the Rev. Harold Waldo, who handles priest personnel matters for Bishop Yanta. He said that Father Scully “did not offend here.” Bishop Yanta recently told an Amarillo reporter that he would not discuss whether abuse allegations had been made against priests in his diocese or whether accused clergymen had been transferred there from elsewhere. He referred to a church law that says: “No one is permitted to damage unlawfully the good reputation which another person enjoys nor to violate the right of another person to protect his or her own privacy.”
Bismarck, N.D. BISHOP PAUL ZIPFEL
Until March, he allowed the Rev. Steve Zastoupil and the Rev. Norman Dukart to serve in parishes “despite substantiated allegations of sexual molestation of minors which took place many years ago,” according to a statement issued through his attorney. The lawyer, Tom Bair, said the diocese had been aware of the cases for years. He said the diocese receives molestation complaints against priests “from time to time” and would not say how many settlements it has paid to victims. A month before the priests were removed, one of Bishop Zipfel’s top aides said she knew of no cases of sexual misconduct by the diocese’s priests.
Let’s make a deal! You clean out the Catholic Church and I’ll clean mine. Gird up your loins; you’ve got a hellava job on your hands.
No deal necessary. Stop the spontaneous, ignorant and hypocritical opprobrium of other people's faiths and start making your own better, and you'll actually be doing Christ's work instead of carrying on like a hater. In case you missed it, He HATES haters more than anything.
Are you sure you don't want to tell me what perfect church you are attending? Saint Paul instructs us that we are compelled to do so. You were probably more in your element when you were making lame boner references.
There are none so blind as those who will not see.
You are like a broken record with your straw man argument. No one is saying the Catholic Church does not have problems. That's one of my main points, actually: The media can't wait to print the next accusation, no matter how thin. However, we know that Catholicism is not unusual for having pedophiles in the clergy. You seem to already know this, which is why you are too much of a coward to identify your own religion. Its going on there too. The fact that you're not doing anything about it there means that you couldn't care less about abused children and are hiding behind a manufactured public scandal to conciliate your fear, insecurity and bigotry. Your persistence here is the antithesis of Christian reasoning. Everything you're doing here is the exact opposite of what Christ instructs us to do.
Everything you’re doing here is the exact opposite of what Christ instructs us to do.
———————————————————————————————First off, I don’t have to show you mine, yours is out there for the world to see. The enormity and the ubiquity of the foul deeds of pedophile priests overwhelms any of your “so’s your Mama” arguments. Ask not me, but your satanic priests WWJD?
Sure you do. Your rabbis/ministers/imams/witch doctors/whateverthef-ckyoucall them are doing the same thing. And is similar percentages. They just don't get the press the RCC does, because your religion is not at the forefront of the pro life movement, the pro private charity movement, the pro family movement, the pro private education movement, and the anti homosexual movement. But I repeat myself. Again. The liberal media is using benighted monomaniacs such as yourself.
You are not going after your guys for the same reason you are not going after public school teachers, coaches, day care workers, or foster parents (all of who are also more likely to molest kids than priests: You could care less about the kids. That's not what this is about. This is about your personal ignorance and insecurity, which manifests itself as bigotry towards the Catholic Church. You don't have confidence in your own religion to identify it (which is, to me, the saddest part of this whole conversation), but I am familiar enough with the statistics to safely conclude that the sane tiny minority your clergy is equally guilty of the same crimes. But, again, you do nothing. The only thing that matters to you is attacking the Catholic Church.
I have some bad news for you: The Catholic Church has been around since Christ called Peter, and the succession of popes has run unbroken for 2000 years, the longest unbroken line of succession in human history. It has faced much larger challenges than this one, and it still in continues to be the undisputed greatest force for good in the world today. It is the world's largest religion, and its theology remains such that it and its adherents want nothing but prosperity for your own religion and its followers. That means you. And it has very publicly addressed the current scandal, and continues to move on to countless other equally difficult and important tasks. That's EXACTLY what Jesus would have done.
You may have a problem with that “So’s your Momma” argument if I’m an atheist.
Not at all. Atheism is its own religion. You have kids? Do you send them to public school? Do you send them to private school? Do you send them to camp? Did you send them to day care? Did you send them on "play dates?" Do they play sports? Did your family have kids? Are there kids living in your neighborhood? Where you a kid once? Are you a Secular Humanist? Are you an American Free Thinker? If you aren't already addressing the issue of pedophilia in each of these areas, you're full of crap.
You're also full of crap about being an atheist, this isn't about me criticizing your religion or your way of life. This is about you not lifting a finger for the children you actually could help, and then ripping into those who you perceive as acting the same way? Where you molested as a child? That might actually might help your argument?
Did you ever play the kid’s card game “War”?
Give me the name of a non-Catholic pedophile and I’ll give you the name of a priest.
Let’s see who runs out of cards first.
All of your catterwalling about charging me with the duty to find a possible pedophile in every place my child might go, you should nut up and clean out the known pedophiles in the Catholic church.
I’ll get right down to bedrock with you. I’m a 68 year old grandfather with seven glorious grandchildren and I was born and raised in the Cumberland Mtns. I vowed, when my first son was born, that the safest place for anyone who assaulted my children or grandchildren would be in prison for their natural life. If they ever got out they would not have to wait long for God’s judgment. I won’t deny, obfuscate, or alibi my actions. I will just stand in judgment of my peers and accept their verdict.
Stupid game. There are thousands of catholic priests who have been accused of sexual misconduct. Maybe hundreds who have been accused of actual pedophilia (with a child as opposed to a gay teenager). On the other hand, there are millions of pedophiles. And the vast majority of cases of statutory rape between a gay man and a gay teenager go unreported, because there's no real perceived money in it. And there really is an organization called NAMBLA. Google it yourself if you like. The numbers on this one are so totally and completely against you, I'm beginning to think you are actually far stupider than I first suspected. A 2005 census reported that there were half a million RC priests. Ann Coulter (who is not Catholic) reports an abuse rate of 0.15% among Catholic priests. Nobody really knows for sure, and I would concede that the number may be significantly higher. However, it certainly does not begin to approach the possibly 3% of the population in general who are pedophiles.
I agree with your story: If someone molested my kid (or even one of my nephews or nieces, I'd waste the dude and let society judge me for my action). However, it is clear from your story that the Catholic Church has never given you a problem in that area. Therefore, the basis of your hatred of Catholicism also clearly lies elsewhere. All you're doing here is digging yourself a deeper hole.
I don’t hate Catholicism, I just despise pedophile priests and those who make excuses for a church that has concealed their behaviors.
I getting bored going over the same bit.
I am happy to go over the same bit forever, because I am love the truth, and I love my one true faith: If you really did give a crap about kids or the pedophiles who prey on them you would be attacking the problem where it was the most noxious, or where your position might actually make a difference. Instead, you are content to take potshots at the Catholic Church, the undisputed greatest institutional force for good in man's history. You do this with bullets supplied by godless liberals. On a conservative website. You can deny your fear and loathing for Catholicism all you like. Your intentions are clear. I feel sorry for you, but only because you refuse to be helped.