Skip to comments.Priest's affidavit accuses late bishop
Posted on 05/02/2002 7:48:10 AM PDT by history_matters
ATLANTIC CITY - Three years before his death in 2001, a priest said he wanted to end "the silence of the decades" regarding alleged sexual abuse by his colleagues in the Camden Diocese.
So Monsignor Salvatore J. Adamo, then 78, went to the office of an attorney who had filed a class-action suit on behalf of victims and gave an affidavit in which he said the diocese promoted homosexual priests and ignored allegations of abuse to avoid moral responsibility and financial liability.
He said the late Bishop George Guilfoyle - who he said was known as "the Queen of the Fairies" - put his lovers in high positions in the diocese.
"As the years of my earthly journey are ebbing, I am compelled to speak the truth as to the germination of tragic incidents of pedophilia and sexual abuse that is known to have become incessantly rampant within the Diocese of Camden throughout the decades," Adamo said.
"I share years of personal knowledge and observations as a priest of the Diocese of Camden and servant of the Lord in rendering my opinion. I do so not to disgrace anyone or anyone's memory. I do so in the interests of disclosing the truth, to the extent that I know it, and in the interests of vindicating the victims of abuse," Adamo said.
The suit, which is being litigated in Superior Court, was filed in 1994 by 18 people who say they were molested by priests. It accused the diocese of covering up the abuse and in at least one case, transferring an accused priest to a new parish as a show of faith in his innocence.
Among the defendant priests is retired Monsignor Philip Rigney, 85, who allegedly molested two altar boy brothers for years.
Adamo's 1998 affidavit contains no details of firsthand knowledge of the alleged abuse and was barred from being admitted as testimony in the case.
It does appear in court documents.
"It is full of unsubstantiated claims and untruths," said Andrew Walton, a diocesan spokesman. Adamo was an "angry, bitter man" who had lingering resentment over having been passed up for promotions, Walton said.
Adamo served as executive editor of the diocese's weekly newspaper - the Catholic Star Herald - before being fired by Guilfoyle in 1977. He left the priesthood in 1991. He died in January 2001 of pneumonia.
According to his affidavit:
* Once Guilfoyle became bishop, there was a noticeable change in regard to "sexual expression in the Diocese. ... Guilfoyle's sexual preference was apparent. [He] came to be referred to as the 'Queen of the Fairies.' He was ... prone to promote his alleged male 'lovers.'"
* His "spiritual adviser" was the Rev. Patrick Weaver, an alleged pedophile who Adamo said was protected by the diocese "to avoid scandal and to cover up the record in Rome."
* Rigney served as Guilfoyle's "pimp," using his position as director of vocations for the diocese to fill vacancies with "priests having a homosexual propensity."
* Guilfoyle's successor, Bishop James T. McHugh, coerced Adamo into remaining silent on the topic, threatening to remove him as pastor of St. Vincent Palloti parish in Haddon Township and withhold pension money.
Walton would not comment Tuesday on the Adamo affidavit's allegations specifically, but disputed the assertion that McHugh tried to silence Adamo.
"Bishop McHugh wrote to him to insist that he stop writing about some of these issues because he so consistently and repeatedly misrepresented and mischaracterized the church's position on a whole range of issues," he said.
Walton noted that after Guilfoyle died in 1991, Adamo praised him as a gentleman and a model Christian in a newspaper column.
"Bishop Guilfoyle goes into eternity with the sign of the cross etched on his soul. He deserved to be loved more than he was," Adamo wrote in the column.
Rigney could not be reached for comment. A woman who answered the telephone at his home in Palm Beach County, Fla., hung up.
I have to admit, the moving of the AP wire story on Mahoney's hospitalization had me roaring.
How much more -- and how far back does it go? I hope someone (fairminded, thorough and -- hopefully -- orthodox) is working on a definitive work.
I did a google search on Guilfoyle: he became bishop of Camden in 1968. Before that, from 1964 he was an auxiliary bishop in New York (where he was born). Is that during the time Spellman was in charge? I ask because that Shanley (the NAMBLA priest here in Boston) left a letter saying something about being molested in the seminary by the "predecessor to one of the cardinals" now accusing him. Most have taken this to refer to Medeiros or O'Connor, but someone on FR notes that, given his likely years in the seminary, he must mean Spellman or Cushing. I've never heard (and, more to the point, even Howie Carr never heard) any hint that Cushing was homosexual.
It just came over Fox that Shanley has been arrested in San Diego. I'll be back.
How about answering her question?
HANG HIM HIGH!
I know one presumes innocence until proven guilty, but this guy is a vile, filthy, guilty piece of human garbage (God forgive me). If there is any doubt, all you have to do is read some of the documents that the Boston Globe put on their website. They document what Shanley was advocating, some of what he wrote and some letters that were written to him. Not for the fainthearted.
That doesn't mean I agree with their methodology...just my guess at their motivation. They probably noticed that the sheer volume is less if it is in the religion forum. So, if they see the word "Catholic" or "priest," into the ghetto it goes.
Because we've the benefit of understanding all too well how human are the Moderators, we can be a voice of reason as eventually (and I suspect it will happen) others end up asking the same questions and getting no answers.
(I have to admit I find it HYSTERICAL that -- for all the comparisons between this and LF of late -- it's the Libertarians who feel no need to segregate topics thus. I'm certainly not one to complain about their not practicing what they preach where the "keeping private" of all things religious is concerned. Turns out that in practice they're more like conservatives than conservatives themselves ... if this board's any indication. Quite a riot, if you ask me.)