Category Archives: Archdiocese of Albany
Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League being sued for defamation against priest abuse survivor
Missouri (USA): Catholic church dares to defame a man after he accuses priest of sex abuse, claiming he is a drug-abusing murderer
INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI (USA) — The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights defamed a man who says he is a victim of priestly sex abuse as a drug-abusing murderer and a Catholic-hating bigot, the man claims in court.
Jon David Couzens Jr. sued The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, its President William Donohue, the KC Catholic League, KC Catholic League President Joe McLiney and KC Catholic League Capacity Secretary James O’Laughlin, in Jackson County Circuit Court.
Couzens claims Donohue defamed him in statements responding to the Kansas City Star’s three-part series on priestly abuse, written by Judy Thomas in December 2011.
The series centered around Couzens’ claims – and subsequent lawsuit against the KC Diocese, Msgr. Thomas O’Brien and Fr. Isaac True – that he and three other altar boys, one of whom committed suicide, were sexually abused in the early 1980s.
“Thomas’ entire soap-opera yarn concerns the allegations of Jon David Couzens,” Donohue said in a statement posted on the Catholic League’s website.
“He says that a priest molested him and three other altar boys back in the early 1980s. But why should we believe a man who only now is coming forward with his tale – he never told a single soul – especially given the fact that he has been implicated in a murder? Thomas never told readers that on the night Mark Trader was murdered about a dozen years ago, Couzens got into a fight with him over a botched drug deal, and although another man was convicted, on appeal it was alleged that Couzens and two other men had ‘motive to commit the murder and the opportunity to do so.’ This is public record, so why the cover up?”
Couzens’ attorney, Rebecca Randles, told Courthouse News she has no idea where Donohue came up with the drug and murder implications. Randles said in an interview that that to her knowledge Couzens has never been subject to any drug or murder-related charges.
In the lawsuit, Couzens claims that he reported Trader’s murder in April 1992 to police, after the killer confessed to him. He claims in the lawsuit that he received a commendation from now-Sen. Claire McCaskill for his good citizenship in the murder investigation and trial.
Donohue ramped up his criticism in another statement on Dec. 8, 2011, speculating on the timing of Couzens’ abuse lawsuit with the emergence of a lawsuit filed earlier that year against the K.C.
Diocese and priest Shawn Ratigan. That lawsuit claimed the Diocese waited nearly 6 months before reporting child pornography found on Ratigan’s computer.
“Couzens may be a hero to the Star, but his character is indeed questionable: he was implicated in a murder,” Donohue said in the statement. “Why hasn’t the Star revealed this to its readers? Does it want to ‘silence’ its critics? Why did Couzens wait 30 years before he told his ‘wrenching’ tale? Because the time was ripe to cash in after Fr. Ratigan’s name hit the papers?”
Randles said her client is not a gold-digger, and that the 30-year delay that Donohue finds suspicious is actually quite normal.
“If the memories are repressed or suppressed, there is no way to bring forth the accusations earlier,” Randles said in the interview. “Also, the average age of (priest) abuse is 12. The average age to report is 42. So 30 years is a common time frame.”
Couzens claims that Donohue’s statements falsely portray him as a drug-abusing killer and a Catholic hating bigot. Donohue’s statements were intended to incite and inflame people to confront Couzens, the lawsuit states.
As a result, Couzens says, he has been physically assaulted, cursed at on the streets, suffered emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life.
Couzens said in a statement that he did not come forward just for himself.
“In the big picture it is a very sad thing that William Donohue and the Catholic League are attacking those who the Priesthood has already abused,” Couzens said in the statement. “I am not doing this just for me. I now understand why other victims don’t come forward. The things said about me are so cruel and offensive they cut to the core of my being. Others who don’t have my support would cower under these attacks.”
Randles said that statements such as Donohue’s are a common tactic by the Catholic League against those who claim to be abused by priests. She said the Catholic League attempts to bully and harass victims to deter them from moving forward.
Catholic League officials did not respond to a request for comment.
Couzens seeks actual and punitive damages for defamation, invasion of privacy, and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
“Mr. Donohue has been an outspoken and pugnacious defender of the church,” Randles said. “It’s our hope that he will align himself with things that are factually true.”
Randles said Couzen’s abuse lawsuit filed in 2011 against the KC Diocese and O’Brien is set for trial in April. The suit against True has been settled.
What the church documents reveal
But those aren’t the only stories revealed in some 6,000 pages of documents the church had kept confidential for decades. The documents also shed light on issues pedophile priests were dealing with both before and after they abused children. They include letters to priests from archbishops who failed to face the issue of child abuse head on. And they reveal the anguish of the victims and the victims’ parents.
The documents, which were released July 1 as part of the church’s bankruptcy case, reveal the human side of the scandal.
Some of the priests said they had been sexually abused as children. The victims were often insecure and searching for guidance. And archbishops, in addition to trying to protect the church, felt a pastoral responsibility to priests who were abusers.
Only a few of the accused priests were criminally charged; many denied they did anything wrong. Most left the priesthood with severance pay or were allowed to retire with a pension, health benefits and a place to live. Of the dozen priests included in this story, three are still alive but have been stripped of their priestly ministry: Franklyn Becker, Michael Krejci and Thomas Trepanier, according to archdiocese records.
This story is based on a close review of the pedophile priest files, which include candid letters exchanged between accused priests and archbishops; sexual abuse intake reports; psychological assessments; letters from archbishops to the Vatican seeking counsel or formal action against priests; and letters from victims and their parents.
The pedophile priests
The documents show that many of the priests did not consider themselves criminals, but victims. Some were addicted to alcohol or pornography. They did good work in the church and helped many people. But they also had a dark side they either struggled to control or did not acknowledge.
Many did not express guilt or remorse; they couldn’t understand why they were treated severely after they had accepted counseling and done everything the archdiocese asked of them. Some acknowledged conflicted sexual orientation, loneliness, self-loathing, an inability to form healthy adult relationships. Psychologists concluded that at least one priest’s emotional development was stunted.
Father Eugene Kreuzer confessed to members of an unidentified parish in an undated letter:
“…There were allegations of my sexual abuse of minors some 30 years ago in a different parish. I express remorse and repent of these actions. However, for the good of the community I have decided that my continued presence at the parish is not helpful. I have been fully cooperative with the restrictions placed upon me. I do not exercise anyministry and am living out my life in a spirit of prayer and penance.This is a strong and loving parish community and I know you will respond to thisannouncement in the manner that is most appropriate, by praying for all those involved….”
Father Andrew Doyle sought a financial settlement in a letter to then-Archbishop Rembert Weakland:
” …you had indicated that you would grant me an unspecified amount of money as a severance. Because I have regular bills and a house payment, I ask that if it becomes necessary for a release from my orders, at that time you would consider an amount of $30,000 … I have tried to cooperate with the Archdiocese…I regret any pain I have caused you; I also have been in much myself.”
A letter from then-Archbishop Dolan to then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger at the Vatican offered his impressions of Father Franklyn Becker, who Dolan said refused to voluntarily give up his ministry rights as a sign of repentance:
“Father Becker has admitted that a number of these acts of sexual assault occurred… While he attempts to present a defense based on cooperation and need for sustenance, in interviews with him, there is little display of repentance. His sorrow is not over what effect his immoral and abusive behaviors had on others, so much as it is remorse that he has lost a sense of status…”
Several priests were referred for intensive treatment of alcoholism and psycho-sexual issues. A treatment progress report for Father Michael Krejci concluded, among other things:
“…Normal inhibiting mechanisms, such as guilt or remorse, do not appear to impede Michael’s problematic sexual behavior…”
Each archbishop had his own way of addressing accused priests.
Archbishop William Cousins wrote terse, formal letters to inform priests they were being transferred, which occurred frequently and quietly during his tenure from 1959 to 1977. Cousins did not document much, reflecting a time when sex abuse accusations against priests were not openly discussed.
Weakland, archbishop from 1977 to 2002, consistently expressed concern for the priests’ well-being and told them he was doing what was best for them and the church. He also exchanged letters with victims, acknowledging the bad effects of what had happened and encouraging them to forgive because “forgiveness brings spiritual growth.”
Weakland resigned in 2002 amid revelations that he had used church money to pay a $450,000 settlement to a man with whom he had had a sexual relationship years earlier.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan, whose tenure from 2002 to 2007 coincided with a change in direction by the Vatican in dealing with sex abuse cases, wrote stern letters to priests about their actions, while expressing concern for their well-being. In his letters to victims, Dolan apologized for their pain and offered them counseling services.
One internal exchange at the archdiocese was especially frank. This excerpt of a 2006 letter from Archdiocese Chancellor Barbara Anne Cusack to Dolan was about Father Michael Benham:
“Although Michael has apparently expressed remorse to you, I have not seen that remorse translate into action. The victim in this case requested a token amount of money as a gesture of recognition of the harm he had caused; Michael has consistently and adamantly refused to do so…This was not a one-time incident of indiscretion.
“There have to be consequences to actions. I do not doubt that an all-merciful God has forgiven Michael but an all-just God will also probably require some purgation for these actions…Michael’s life of solitude is made possible because we are paying his subsidy and could be doing so for the next 10 years until he is eligible for pension…I am not sure how we can justify this as ‘good stewardship’ of the resources people have entrusted to us… How do I honestly look a victim-survivor in the face in mediation and say we are acting consistently with Pope John Paul II’s statement that ‘there is no place in the priesthood for those who would harm a child?'”
A letter Dolan wrote in December 2002 to parishioners at an unspecified church about Father Thomas Trepanier acknowledged the need for accountability.
“We forgive those priests who have been guilty of this crime and sin, once they admit it — as most do, painfully and admirably — ask for mercy and repent. We know God forgives them; we must forgive them too; and I hope they can forgive themselves.
“Forgiveness, however, does not eliminate the need for those accused to take responsibility, to be held accountable for their behavior.”
One month before Dolan wrote to parishioners about forgiveness for Trepanier, he wrote to Trepanier:
“…While we await clearer resolution from the Holy See and the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, I just wanted you to know that I have not forgotten about you, and that you have my love, concern, and prayerful solidarity…”
Dolan added a handwritten note in the margin: “Thanks for the green tea! I’ll be in touch soon.”
Seven years earlier, in 1995, a letter from Weakland to Father Eldred Lesniewski reflected a much different tone:
“…Every time you appear in public this way at the altar, Eldred, you risk stirring up people who have brought allegations. The network of such victims is enormous and very aggressive. You risk much unfortunate bad publicity against yourself, the priesthood and the Diocese…”
They were altar boys. Kids in need of a friend or a counselor. Boys and girls who for whatever reason caught the eye of the priest at school or in church. Perhaps the priest initially made them feel special with gifts or extra attention — a sleepover or a vacation on a Caribbean cruise. One priest invited boys to go up north on a camping trip in a hearse.
A man who said he was molested as a boy by Father Lawrence Murphy at St. John’s School for the Deaf finally confronted the priest decades later in a letter copied to Archbishop Weakland and Pope John Paul II:.
“…I cannot keep our secret about your life as a terrible molester at our school…You made us hate the Catholic church because we couldn’t understand how you could be such a hypocrite of a priest who taught us about God while you were the secret molester…
“I would lie awake every night shaking in fear that this would be a night you would touch me …Jesus on the cross on the wall saw you coming every night to molest us. He must have been shocked and grieved every time. I hope he cried like we did, because we were innocent children… The depth of your destruction is like a deep, dark, bottomless pit that has no end…The very least you could do is be sorry, but you aren’t…
“God lets no one into heaven who is not deeply, truly, and shamefully sorry for his sins — in your case, atrocities…My shame and my dirty secret are back where they belong, with you, their creator.”
The mother of one of Father Franklyn Becker’s victims wrote to Weakland in 1994, after accusations about pedophile priests began being reported by newspapers. Her son was abused by Becker at the Holy Family parish in Whitefish Bay in the 1970s, she said.
“As I later found out, this priest had a record in his previous parish and after leaving Whitefish Bay, continued on his merry way in parish after parish, both here and out of state….
“At the time that his offense against my son occurred, I was (redacted) very vulnerable and very committed to seeing that my children be educated in Catholic schools. That’s how he came to know my sons; we took him into our hearts and into our family…
“At no time did it ever occur to me to sue the Archdiocese or the priest… Money could never heal the scars left by one priest’s indiscretion. However, Archbishop Weakland, don’t for a minute smugly think that the only cases of clergy abuse out there are the ones that sue/or run to the media. All I really wanted over the past years was an acknowledgment by you and the Archdiocese that this problem existed and the seriousness of it….
“In addition to a deep sense of guilt for allowing, or even encouraging this to happen to my son some years ago, I have in the past few years experienced a loss of faith, an indifference to the church I was brought up in and now a real bitterness that this particular priest had been ‘rewarded’ with early retirement for a lifetime of botched assignments due to his fondness for the altar boys.”
Father George Nuedling gained sympathy from in-the-dark parishioners one day for an injury he sustained after molesting a victim, according to this letter the victim wrote to the archdiocese:
“…I fought as hard as I could for what seemed an eternity, and fortunately when he lost his grip on me I was able to run away. He tried to give chase but must have pulled something in his calf or hamstring area and fell to the ground (Jesus must have been with me).
“The next day in church it just galled me to hear other parishioners express their concern over Father Nuedling’s ‘bad limp’ and how it must have hurt…I just wonder how many other little boys this evil man harmed?”
Father George Etzel sent a Christmas card in 1992 to a victim, who by then was an adult. “I’m sad and sorry, and I wonder why,” he wrote.
The victim responded: “Thank you for the card and thoughts at Christmas… By the tone of your note…I see that you are also reflecting on your past life…and you know exactly what I am talking about.As I stated earlier, it is a time for forgiveness and hope. I forgive you for the things you have done to me. I hope you can make peace with your god…”
When it was time for his first confession, a 9-year-old victim thought he could anonymously tell a trusted adult about Father Siegfried Widera. But something stopped him, according to a letter he wrote as an adult on Aug. 1, 2002:
“…As I entered that booth, I was determined to end this. It was only to my horror that I entered the confessional and heard that voice that could belong to only one man. I can still to this day feel the devastation that entered me that day and the thought that it was a sign from God to keep my mouth shut. I went home that night and cried. A memory that burns in me to this day.
“A sense of relief only came after I found out he was gone. No explanation to the students and none that I can remember hearing about to the adults… I already know that this man was transferred to another church and he did it again. I live with the thought that I could have stopped this if only I had come forward sooner. And now I know that this man is on the run…
“I only wish I believed enough in prayer to pray for any child he comes across.”
Less than a year after the letter was written, Widera leaped to his death from a hotel balcony in Mexico as officials closed in to arrest him. He had been on the run for more than a year, and authorities considered him one of the most wanted sex-crime fugitives in the Western Hemisphere.
The Catholic church should be outlawed forthwith
JohnB on outlawing the Catholic church today
From the link: http://www.molestedcatholics.com/
Talking whilst driving with my son today and I began to relate to him some details about a foot injury I had as a child. He had come home and shown me a blister on his foot; I told him he had not spent enough time in bare feet – that was the prompt, my topic could be my right foot or how long/harmful/life distorting the repression of the day to day Catholic cover up are – its part of the healing journey and a son who smiled today when he listened to me about this – its the story of how I had to cover up the injury even though I had to have ongoing medical attention and purpose made boots it was always done in the name of something else – my injured foot which had left me with a distinct limp because I walked with my foot turned in as it had been injured seriously when the car door was repeatedly slammed on my foot on the day the priest raped me at a little church in the beautiful hills of Central Victoria – its about how every Catholic knew what the cause was and every Catholic knew I was not permitted to speak about it – they were able to assist me with my pigeon toed-ness but they were not able to help me with my injured foot due to being slammed in the lock of the car door as that was a lie that would send me to hell – that’s why other kids parents were permitted to beat you if they heard you speak about it being what it in fact was. This was a conscious campaign by every catholic in that town, nuns and priests, knights of the Southern Cross, bishops, the local Catholic Policeman, the Editor of the local newspaper included – they all knew and participated – that to me is what the cover up was and the to me is what the cover up is today – that is what Catholic parishes across the world participate in still today – that is the Catholic cover up in action. It is bigger and stronger than just the Catholic hierarchy because so many have built their careers and their fortunes on.
The part skepticism plays in helping to clarify those truths and facts of your life – you realize that your own brothers and sisters were blackmailed in the same way over this and over dozens of other crimes that had occurred and were covered up – there was a regular murmurous uproar as another instances of sexual abuse was gossiped and whispered about and some kid bullied into fear of their life until the rules of secrecy were instilled (rather this repression was the enforcement of denial into the entire catholic population.
If society does not turn away from the path of the Catholic church and if it does not freeze its assets, its businesses then the vast majority of the real crime in our society will never be addressed and the world will never have had a real chance to raise our children in a peaceful, loving and truthful environment. Lets make 2011 the year we all come together to unite in the single cause of demanding our government ceases to trade with and Catholic or religious entity until democracy is restored in our country.
There is no precedent that permits a sector of society to enact genocide on its followers on the basis of religion. That is what we have today and what we have today is insidious and at the core of the ability of society to progress in the areas of human rights, dignity, respect, individuality, freedom of expression of thought and the freedom of speech.
While ever the Catholic church continues to exist and to be able to function as an organized religion it will be in the process of enacting the genocidal practices of the religion against some portion of society and it will continue to enable wars just as any organized religion can and repeatedly to the detriment of society does. The Catholic church is our most obvious example. We can either help the Catholic church to prevail or we can help our children to prevail. For every person on the planet the real choice they have to make is whether they will support the Catholic church or will they support the children.
2011 must be the year when those of us across the world who have an understanding of this and for us to collectively demand our governments brings it to a halt and never permits it to occur again. That is a part of their moral obligation to society. Any politician who today stands in support of the Catholic church should be collectively condemned through our united and collective voices.
Make 2011 the year when you connect up with a proactive survivor who speaks clearly and directly about the needs and the means of providing the safety and the protection our children and our society need.
The Catholic church and those who follow it today need to stand back and permit reason and justice to prevail, to permit each and every person within the boundaries of their country to live with the legitimate right to live in a free and democratic country free of repression and child abuse.
The Catholic church stands condemned as a psychopathic pariah and must be rejected in all forms wherever it is not regulated and policed.
The Church’s Errant Shepherds
By FRANK BRUNI Published: July 6, 2013
BOSTON, Philadelphia, Los Angeles. The archdioceses change but the overarching story line doesn’t, and last week Milwaukee had a turn in the spotlight, with the release of roughly 6,000 pages of records detailing decades of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests there, a sweeping, searing encyclopedia of crime and insufficient punishment.
But the words I keep marveling at aren’t from that wretched trove. They’re from an open letter that Jerome Listecki, the archbishop of Milwaukee, wrote to Catholics just before the documents came out.
“Prepare to be shocked,” he said.
What a quaint warning, and what a clueless one.
Quaint because at this grim point in 2013, a quarter-century since child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church first captured serious public attention, few if any Catholics are still surprised by a priest’s predations.
Clueless because Listecki was referring to the rapes and molestations themselves, not to what has ultimately eroded many Catholics’ faith and what continues to be even more galling than the evil that a man — any man, including one in a cassock or collar — can do. I mean the evil that an entire institution can do, though it supposedly dedicates itself to good.
I mean the way that a religious organization can behave almost precisely as a corporation does, with fudged words, twisted logic and a transcendent instinct for self-protection that frequently trump the principled handling of a specific grievance or a particular victim.
The Milwaukee documents underscore this, especially in the person of Cardinal Timothy Dolan, now the archbishop of New York, previously the archbishop of Milwaukee from 2002 to 2009 and thus one of the characters in the story that the documents tell. Last week’s headlines rightly focused on his part, because he typifies the slippery ways of too many Catholic leaders.
The documents show that in 2007, as the Milwaukee archdiocese grappled with sex-abuse lawsuits and seemingly pondered bankruptcy, Dolan sought and got permission from the Vatican to transfer $57 million into a trust for Catholic cemetery maintenance, where it might be better protected, as he wrote, “from any legal claim and liability.”
Several church officials have said that the money had been previously flagged for cemetery care, and that Dolan was merely formalizing that.
But even if that’s so, his letter contradicts his strenuous insistence before its emergence that he never sought to shield church funds. He did precisely that, no matter the nuances of the motivation.
He’s expert at drafting and dwelling in gray areas. Back in Milwaukee he selectively released the names of sexually abusive priests in the archdiocese, declining to identify those affiliated with, and answerable to, particular religious orders — Jesuits, say, or Franciscans. He said that he was bound by canon law to take that exact approach.
But bishops elsewhere took a different one, identifying priests from orders, and in a 2010 article on Dolan in The Times, Serge F. Kovaleski wrote that a half-dozen experts on canon law said that it did not specifically address the situation that Dolan claimed it did.
Dolan has quibbled disingenuously over whether the $20,000 given to each abusive priest in Milwaukee who agreed to be defrocked can be characterized as a payoff, and he has blasted the main national group representing victims of priests as having “no credibility whatsoever.” Some of the group’s members have surely engaged in crude, provocative tactics, but let’s have a reality check: the group exists because of widespread crimes and a persistent cover-up in the church, because child after child was raped and priest after priest evaded accountability. I’m not sure there’s any ceiling on the patience that Dolan and other church leaders should be expected to muster, especially because they hold themselves up as models and messengers of love, charity and integrity.
That’s the thing. That’s what church leaders and church defenders who routinely question the amount of attention lavished on the church’s child sexual abuse crisis still don’t fully get.
Yes, as they point out, there are molesters in all walks of life. Yes, we can’t say with certainty that the priesthood harbors a disproportionate number of them.
But over the last few decades we’ve watched an organization that claims a special moral authority in the world pursue many of the same legal and public-relations strategies — shuttling around money, looking for loopholes, tarring accusers, massaging the truth — that are employed by organizations devoted to nothing more than the bottom line.
In San Diego, diocesan leaders who filed for bankruptcy were rebuked by a judge for misrepresenting the local church’s financial situation to parishioners being asked to help pay for sex-abuse settlements.
In St. Louis church leaders claimed not to be liable for an abusive priest because while he had gotten to know a victim on church property, the abuse itself happened elsewhere.
In Kansas City, Mo., Rebecca Randles, a lawyer who has represented abuse victims, says that the church floods the courtroom with attorneys who in turn drown her in paperwork. In one case, she recently told me, “the motion-to-dismiss pile is higher than my head — I’m 5-foot-4.”
Also in Kansas City, Bishop Robert Finn still inhabits his post as the head of the diocese despite his conviction last September for failing to report a priest suspected of child sexual abuse to the police. This is how the church is in fact unlike a corporation. It coddles its own at the expense of its image.
As for Dolan, he is by many accounts and appearances one of the good guys, or at least one of the better ones. He has often demonstrated a necessary vigor in ridding the priesthood of abusers. He has given many victims a voice.
But look at the language in this 2005 letter he wrote to the Vatican, which was among the documents released last week. Arguing for the speedier dismissal of an abusive priest, he noted, in cool legalese, “The liability for the archdiocese is great as is the potential for scandal if it appears that no definitive action has been taken.”
His attention to appearances, his focus on liability: he could be steering an oil company through a spill, a pharmaceutical giant through a drug recall.
As for “the potential for scandal,” that’s as poignantly optimistic a line as Listecki’s assumption that the newly released Milwaukee documents would shock Catholics. By 2005 the scandal that Dolan mentions wasn’t looming but already full blown, and by last week the only shocker left was that some Catholic leaders don’t grasp its greatest component: their evasions and machinations.
A version of this op-ed appeared in print on July 7, 2013, on page SR3 of the New York edition with the headline: The Church’s Errant Shepherds.
UN tells Vatican to hand over details of child sex abuse cases
A United Nations committee has demanded that the Vatican reveal potentially explosive details about the systematic cover-up of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy.
Campaigners have called on Pope Francis, who was elected in March, to make tackling the issue of sexually abusive priests an urgent priority of his papacy.
The UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child released its demands for information from the Holy See on Tuesday.
The committee said that “in the light of the recognition by the Holy See of sexual violence against children committed by members of the clergy, brothers and nuns in numerous countries around the world, and given the scale of the abuses”, the Vatican should provide detailed information on all cases of child sexual abuse committed by clergy.
The Vatican was told to show whether it had implemented measures “to ensure that no member of the clergy currently accused of sexual abuse be allowed to remain in contact with children,” amid claims from around the world that bishops often moved abusive priests from one parish to another.
The UN committee demanded to know about specific cases in which bishops or other Catholic leaders had failed to report suspected abuse to the police.
The Vatican was also urged to divulge details of its investigation of alleged sexual abuse and the outcome of those investigations, including any financial compensation or psychological counselling for victims.
The committee wants to know what measures the Holy See has taken “to prevent further sexual violence from taking place in institutions run by the Catholic Church.” The Vatican has until January to compile all the information, in time for an open meeting of the UN committee in Geneva at which Vatican officials will be questioned.
Despite being a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Holy See had largely ignored requests for information, said Keith Porteous Wood, the executive director of the National Secular Society, who gave evidence to the committee last month.
“One of the requirements of a signatory is to compile a five yearly report on compliance – or in the Vatican’s case non-compliance – with the convention. The Holy See has grossly failed to do this for something like 12 years,” he told The Daily Telegraph.”They allowed sexual abuse on an unbelievable scale and it hasn’t all come out yet – we expect many, many more cases to emerge in the developing world.”
Pope Francis’s apparent determination to crack down on allegations of corruption and money-laundering within the Vatican bank gave hope that he might take a tough line on sexually abusive clergy, Mr Porteous Wood said.
“I think it’s a good sign,” he said. “Child abuse is a major issue, along with corruption, that he needs to sort out. His legacy will be judged, I think, on his ability to deal with these immensely difficult problems.”
Geoffrey Robertson QC, the human rights lawyer, who has strongly criticised the Catholic Church’s cover-up of sex abuse scandals around the world, said: “The committee’s enquiries will inevitably lead it to conclude that the Vatican has broken multiple articles of the convention on a huge scale in many countries. The result in human suffering is incalculable.
“Francis’s papacy could well be defined by the world’s verdict on his response – more handwringing apologies or calls for a line to be drawn under the past will no longer wash.
“He will fail unless he initiates bold tangible actions, for example lifting the veil of secrecy that has protected so many clerical rapists, engaging secular authorities and offering rather than resisting appropriate compensation.”
Diocesan Cases of Albany
[19 offenders identified, 46 listed]
Bentley affair Rev. David G. Bentley (1942-), ordained 1975, was accused of molesting at least three children in Albany in mid-1980s and removed from priestly duties in 1986, but was allowed by Bishop Hubbard to work in Africa and elsewhere outside the diocese until April 2002. Because no new complaints surfaced, the Albany Diocese said, Bishop Hubbard let Bentley serve for the last few years at a parish in Deming, NM, which is part of the Las Cruces Diocese. The priest spoke of his pedophilia in confession in 1974, received therapy in 1978, but the diocese has said it learned of Bentley’s abuse in 1986. He never faced criminal charges, dismissed 28 June 2002.
- Oathout allegation Rev. David Bentley, and 3 other priests, abused Curtis Oathout from age 9-16 years starting in 1973 when he was in the Albany Home for Children as were his two brothers. Oathout, who complained in 1993, had to hire attorney John Aretakis after the diocese refused to help him identify all of his abusers, received a confidential settlement of $150,000 in 1994, followed up by additional payments of $150,000 and $75,000. His two brothers also received settlements.
Bertolucci affair Rev. John Patrick Bertolucci (1938-), ordained 1965, former vice chancellor of the diocese, pastor and faculty member at high schools and colleges, dismissed as a pedophile, 28 June 2002,
- Bertolucci lawsuit Filed October 2002 says Bertolucci abused a man from 1976 to 1979 when plaintiff was 12. Suit filed after Plaintiff said that priest harassed his parents by phone so that they would retract the claims against the priest. Bishop and Diocese dismissed from suit in July 2003; suit against priest dismissed October 2003. Bertolucci admitted sexually abusing teenagers in 1970s but not how many. Active until spring of 2002 and then asked for early retirement. Diocese permanently removed his facilities in June 2002.
Broderick case Rev. John W. Broderick), ordained 1989, arrested February 2008; charged with abusing 4 children (ages 5-11) from one family in 2007 in Nicolville. He was assigned to Syracuse diocese. Privileges removed earlier in 2008 by Syracuse for “incidents unrelated to sexual abuse.” Staying at Holy Name of Jesus Academy when he was arrested. At least 1 more possible victim. He filed suit against accusers November 2008, suit dismissed January 2010. Found guilty of 1 misdemeanor but acquitted on 2 felony charges February 2009. Court vacated conviction April 2009.
Casper affair Rev. Bernard Casper accused of abuse of twin boys.
Cawlings affair Rev. Neil Cawlings, English priest working as extern in Albany diocese in 1970s. Accused in 2003 of ‘improper sexual advances’ in late 1970s with male teen allegedly supplied by Alan Jupin. Suit 7 May 2003 accused Jupin of intimidating complainant and 25 August 2003 suit accused diocese of slandering him. DA investigated intimidation charge at bishop’s request. Suits were dismissed 30 January 2004 without determining validity of abuse charges. Jupin and other accused priests were reinstated.
Celeste affair Rev. Charles R. Celeste, ordained 1980, pastor at Holy Family Parish in Little Falls, Herkimer County was accused of sexually abusing a male student 1984-1987, who attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and later became a monk. Celeste at the time was chaplain to the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, where the victim was a member. He was 18 when he met Celeste, who at the time lived in the rectory of nearby St. Paul the Apostle Church. Lawsuit 11 November 2003. Celeste granted a leave of absence November 2003. He admitted that his conduct was inappropriate and wrong but the plaintiff was legally an adult. He also admitted a relationship with another student at the school in 1980s.
Connolly affair Rev. John F. Connolly, ordained 1964, accused of abuse. Complainants came forward July 2002 and March 2003 to allege abuse as high school students. Finally placed on leave April 2003. Connolly had served as chaplain of diocesan cemeteries and on Priests Retirement board. Classmate and friend of Bishop Hubbard and supervisor of at least two other abusers at Cardinal McCloskey High School. Connolly denied all allegations and requested a canonical trial.
DiPasquale affair Rev. Ralph Di Pasquale (d. 2004), Francisan, ordained 1956, woman filed civil suit in 2004 which alleged abuse by DePasquale at a Schenectady home for troubled teens between 1979-1982. Suit alleged that Order and diocese knew as early as 1976 that DiPasquale had molested children but still allowed him to work with children. He was working as priest in Florida at the time of his December 2004 death.
Douglas affair Rev. Louis E. Douglas (d. 2011), ordained 1958, left Albany’s St. Catherine of Siena in 1992 and moved to Wilmington, Delaware in 1996 after retiring from the Diocese of Albany, NY. Douglas celebrated Masses at St. Thomas the Apostle, St. Elizabeth, Christ Our King and St. Patrick’s churches in Wilmington, Delaware, whenever a priest was sick or otherwise unavailable, was asked by the Diocese of Wilmington not to perform public ministry after learning that a 42-year-old Albany man accused him of sexual abuse 26 years earlier May 2003 (Jupin affair). The plaintiff’s lawyer says the diocese was aware that there was something in his past. Diocese officials admit that they were informed of a complaint but were told it had been investigated and cleared of all wrongdoing. Allegations against Douglas were investigated in the early 1990s by the Diocese of Albany and in 2002 by the Diocesan Misconduct Review Panel, both concluded no sexual abuse occurred. The diocese acknowledged it gave financial assistance and counseling to an individual who made a complaint.
- John Doe accusation Douglas was accused with three other Albany priests of sexually molesting, abusing and preying upon a boy (1961-) when he was under 18 between 1975 and 1979. The Supreme Court lawsuit, which asks for $600,000 in damages, also accuses the 74-year-old priest of molesting other adolescent males both before and after the late 1970s. Most of the abuse occurred at the rectory of St. John the Baptist Church in Schenectady, where Jupin was pastor.
Ethier case Rev. Raymond J. Ethier (1957-), ordained 1985, a priest from Columbia, at St. John Vianney in Churchtown, was arrested by federal authorities and charged with receiving and possessing child pornography, 10 May 2007. Diocese of Albany placed Either on administrative leave. He was sentenced to four years federal prison following his guilty plea to a charge of possession of child pornography, 9 June 2008, Additionally, he was sentenced to 10 years supervised release. He was also ordered to have no unsupervised contact with minors; to participate in a sex offender program; and to register with the state sex offender registry program in US Northern District Court in Albany.
Fitzpatrick affair Rev. John F. Fitzpatrick, ordained 1964, was accused of abuseed in 1993 in an anonymous letter to Bishop Hubbard of sexually abusing one child. When confronted, admitted to abusing 3 children and was sent to Paracletes for treatment. Then worked in chancery until 1996, when allegations grew to at least 5, and he was asked to resign. Hubbard, Fitzpatrick, and accused Albany priest John Connolly were seminary classmates.
Garcia affair Angel Garcia, a deacon, was removed from assignment at Church of the Holy Family in Albany in August 2010. Diocese determined that a single recent allegations that he had abused a minor was credible. Allegation dates back to early 1990s befor he trained and was ordained as deacon. Garcia has denied the allegations. Also removed from position as chaplain at the state’s Greene Correctional Facility.
Genevive affair Rev. Frank Genevive (1957-), a Franciscan brother, ordained 1983, was assigned to St. Anthony’s Church in Troy, NY., where Mark Lyman was abused 1977-83, beginning when he was 13. Genevive videotaped hours of sexual misdeeds, took provocative Polaroid snapshots of him as a child and frequently offered him alcohol. Genevive later served at two Cape Cod churches. Genevive resigned from posts at St. Anthony’s Church in Troy and the La Salle Institute in North Greenbush in the 1980s for unknown reasons. In 2004, Franciscan officials said Genevive had been sent to the Mount Alvernia friary in Wappingers Falls, Dutchess County. Genevive is facing four felony counts of child rape involving two victims. One victim was allegedly abused between 1977 and 1980, the other between 1987 and 1989. “Both of them were in their early to mid-teens at the time of the offenses.”
- Mark Lyman accusation “It started when I was 13 right up until just before my 18th birthday,” Lyman said. “It’s significant for me in that I can no longer be referred to as an alleged victim. The people of the commonwealth heard my testimony and came down with three felony charges.” In June 2006, a Massachusetts judge dismissed a $5 million lawsuit Lyman filed against the Albany diocese. The judge backed the diocese’s contention that Genevive was a Franciscan friar and members of that order are not employees of the Albany diocese.
- Genevive lawsuit Genevive had a lawsuit filed against him and the Diocese of Albany, The Franciscan Province of the Immaculate Conception, and Bishop Howard Hubbard by attorney John Aretakis, in Massachusetts Superior Court since the alleged abuse took place when the priest took the 13-year-old youth across state lines. “The statute of limitations are not a bar to these 15 and 20 year old cases as they are in New York State, so we have found a lot of success in pursuing these cases in a state where the actual sexual occurred, which in this case is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” 6 December 2004. The church had known about the complaint for two years.
- Genevieve in Massachusetts Frank Genevieve taught at the former Christopher Columbus High School in Boston’s North End and was an assistant priest at St. Margaret’s Parish in Buzzard’s Bay in the late 1990s.
- Genevive trial Frank Genevieve, who lives in a Franciscan retreat in Wappingers Falls, NY, was charged with abusing two boys between 13 and 16 years old. One boy was raped three times and another boy once at an unnamed rectory in the North End or in Genevieve’s car in downtown Boston, from his Troy, NY, parish on field trips to Massachusetts. He pleaded guilty to four counts of rape and another count of rape and assault, 23 July 2008. Sentenced to 8-10 years in prison (suspended for 5 years).
Gingras affair Rev. Jerome Gingras was accused of sexually abusing the music director of a Rensselaer County church on 21 December 2003, in a lawsuit by John Aretakis, January 2005.
Haight affair Rev. Mark Haight, ordained 1983, history of sexually abusing boys and two confidential settlement agreements that the diocese entered into with his victims. One victim suffered near-daily sexual abuse between the ages of 11 and 17 and he said he could not find a lawyer willing to take his case, until he found attorney John Aretakis in 1996 who negotiated nearly $1 million settlement, even though the statute of limitations had expired and any lawsuit could have been dismissed. Haight’s case also marks the fourth instance that the diocese assigned a pedophile priest to a hospital ministry, in his case at a Glens Falls hospital. Haight left the priesthood in 1997. May be at least 6 more victims.
Heim case Rev. William Heim, a former priest working as a school guidance counselor, was arrested March 2002 on charges of inappropriately touching (sexual contact) on an 11 year old boy for over a year. His last church assignment was 1972. In August 2002 he was sentenced to two years in state prison. In May 2002 he pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography on his home computer and received a sentence of 5 years probation (this was in another county).
Hubbard affair Bishop Howard J. Hubbard, ordained 1963, accused in 2004 of paying teen for sex twice in 1970s. Bishop denied allegation. He commissioned an investigation to examine this charge, as well as other allegations of sexual misconduct with adult males. The investigation, which did not have access to the complainant, found no credible evidence that Hubbard had violated his vow of celibacy.
Jupin affair Allegation that Rev. Alan D. Jupin and three other priests, the Rev. Louis E. Douglas, of Delaware, the Rev. Donald Ophals and the Rev. Neil Cawlings, who was visiting from England when the alleged abuse occurred, sexually abused a teenager 1975-79 when he was under 18. Most of the abuse occurred at the rectory of St. John the Baptist Church in Schenectady, where Jupin was pastor. Unable to prosecute because of statute of limitations. The lawsuit, which also said the priest contacted the victim in 2002, sought $600,000. Jupin reinstated when review board found no ‘reasonable grounds’ for believing 2 charges. Placed on admin leave March 2011; reinstated November 2011.
- Jupin stalking accusation It is also claimed that Jupin stalked and intimidated his victim in February 2003, threatening to kill himself if the man lodged the complaint, saying “I’m not like all of those priests who go after little children.”
- Sawicki allegations Timothy Sawicki claimed that Rev. Alan Jupin stalked and harassed him to keep him and he further charged Jupin engaged in the activity on behalf of Rev. Donald Ophals, Rev. Louis Douglas and Rev. Michael Hogan, all of whom Sawicki said abused him in the 1970s.
Kelly affair Rev. James E. Kelly (1923-), ordained 1957, chaplain for Father Flanagan’s Boys Town near Omaha, Neb., 1975-1983, where he is accused, along with family counselor Michael Wolf (d. 1990), of sexual abuse at the home for troubled and handicapped youth 1978-79. Kelly was accused of sexual misconduct while working in Rensselaer in the 1980s. Kelly was appointed prison chaplain at three Carson City correctional centers in 1995 until January 2003. Kelly was moved from place to place every few years and there is an allegation that he abused young people in Albany, New York, his home diocese. Five other men have made sex abuse allegations against Kelly and Wolf, but none sued. Bishop Hubbard called Kelly to notify him of his removal on administrative leave, one day after the bishop learned about the new lawsuit filed in Omaha, Neb., 3 February 2003. Kelly adamantly denied the allegations since a diocesan review panel determined the claims against him to be credible.
Klebie affair Rev. John P. Klebie (changed from, Klebauskas) (d. 1981) who ran a church-sponsored overnight summer camp for underprivileged children ages 7 to 14, Camp Scully, on Snyder’s Lake in North Greenbush, 1958-70. He is the subject of sexual abuse allegations by at least 7 victims dating back to 1958. Removed from ministry in the 1970s.
LeFevre affair Rev. Robert J. LeFevre, ordained 1966, pastor of St. Peter’s Church in Saratoga Springs was accused by two brothers who said LeFevre unsuccessfully propositioned them for sex on separate occasions in 1969, while he was a priest at St. Margaret’s parish in Rotterdam Junction. The brothers were 15 and 17 at the time. The diocese’s Sexual Misconduct Review Board rejected the allegations and he “remains a priest in good standing in the Albany Diocese and will remain at his current assignment.”
Leroux affair Rev. Edward Leroux (1930-2005) dismissed 28 June 2002.
- Hesler accusation John Hesler for three decades, silently struggled with the after effects of being sexually abused by the Rev. Edward Leroux, late 1960s. Hesler was an altar boy, lector and a member of the CYO at Guilderland’s St. Madeleine Sophie, where Leroux was serving. He turned to the diocese for help and justice, a quest that began in 1992 after Leroux neglected to answer a 1989 letter. “I have been dutifully working (for years) within the system to ensure that others would not be abused,” he stressed. “But I am reluctantly coming forward to expose what I believe is a still-festering infection in my church…. I believe the community needs to know what is going on with real victims of abuse, not just nameless statistics.”
McDevitt case Rev. James J. McDevitt (1947-), ordained 1997, pastor of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Margaretville, charged with 20 counts connected to the alleged sexual abuse of six males has been served with a civil suit filed by four of the alleged victims. McDevitt turned himself in and pleaded not guilty during an appearance at Middletown Town Court on 16 July 2009.
- McDevitt lawsuit Attorney Michael Jacobs said he filed a civil suit on behalf of the victims in Delaware County Supreme Court. The suit seeks damages from both McDevitt and from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.
- McDevitt trial Rev. James McDevitt pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of forcible touching in connection with the abuse of two boys who were around 11 years old at the time, May 2010.
McMahon affair Rev. Sean McMahon (1934-), ordained 1997, from County Kerry, Ireland, , was ordained there in 1962, began his work in the Diocese of Albany in 1963. He served at parishes in Johnstown, Troy, Whitehall and Schenectady, in addition to his post as associate pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Cairo, Green County, where he served from June 1974 until Bishop Howard Hubbard announced McMahon had been permanently removed ministry on the recommendation of the Diocesan Sexual Misconduct Panel, after he admitted to sexually abusing a child in the 1970s, after the victim contacted the diocese early 2003, announced 13 April 2003.
McNerney affair Rev. James C. McNerney, ordained 1981, was removed from ministry accused of abusing minors. He adamantly denied the allegations since a diocesan review panel determined the claims against him to be credible.
Maher affair Rev. Daniel J. Maher, ordained 1962, was subject to a lawsuit by former altar boy, Thomas Clements alleging he raped him twice during a church retreat in 1973, May 2005. An internal investigation by the diocese found, “no reasonable cause” for the allegations, September 2005.
Mancuso affair Rev. Joseph A. Mancuso (1942-), ordained 1970, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Schenectady, NY, accused of abuse, Placed on leave June 2002 after recent allegations of past sexual abuse. Woman came forward in early 2002 to say that Mancuso abused her in late 1960s beginning when she was 14. Mancuso admitted to “some misconduct.” No criminal prosecution because beyond statute of limitations. Mancuso initially told his parish that he was leaving for short time to undergo surgery but it was announced three weeks later that he had been removed because of the allegation, dismissed 28 June 2002.
Mataconis affair Rev.Richard Mataconis (Richard Matikonas or Philip Mataconis), Salesian, ordained 1970, accused of abuse. Sued in 2002 by two men who accused him of abusing them at a New York junior seminary in the 1970s. Suit dismissed after missed filing deadline. Living in Rome in 2004 and conducting tours of Catacombs of St. Callistus.
Mea affair Rev.John Mea (d. 1984) accused of abuse, dismissed due to statute of limitations. Sued 2003.
Mechanicville priest Young mother, Donna aged 19 who was struggling through a rocky time in her marriage when a priest at a Mechanicville parish in 1984 forced her to have sex about 20 times and for years, she believed the priest had fathered one of her daughters. Bishop Howard Hubbard arranged for the $100,000 payment after she threatened to hire a lawyer or speak out publicly about the priest’s alleged misconduct as part of an agreement that prohibited her from speaking publicly about her alleged sexual abuse, 1999. Reported 28 March 2003.
Mercure case Rev. Gary J. Mercure, ordained in 1975, pastor of Sacred Heart and St. William Parishes in Troy, previously served St. Mary’s Church in Glens Falls, St. Mary’s in Clinton Heights, Our Lady of the Assumption in Latham and St. Teresa of Avila. Mercure had served St. Mary’s and the Queensbury church for about 12 years until leaving St. Mary’s in 1995 for “health reasons,” having left the Queensbury church previously. He was placed on a paid leave of absence February 2008 when allegations of sexual misconduct involving a teenage boy were made when Mercure served as associate pastor of Our Lady of the Annunciation Parish in Queensbury during the 1980s. The diocese’s Sexual Misconduct Review Board investigated the allegation, which was reported to the diocese January 2008.
- Mercure accusations Four more men came forward to accuse Mercure of sexual misconduct more than 25 years ago. Michael Flynn of Clifton Park and Lake George, accused Mercure of engaging in sexual misconduct when Mercure was assigned to St. Teresa of Avila Church of Albany during the 1970s as did another man who did not want to be identified. Two other men who said they wished to remain anonymous also claimed they were abused by Mercure, saying the abuse started when they were 8 years old and continuing until they were 14 or 15. One of the men, now 35, claims that Mercure raped him when he was vacation with the alleged victim’s family in South Carolina.
- Watkins accusation Mercure gave pornographic photos of himself to John Watkins who alleges that the priest manipulated him into a sexual relationship. Watkins filed a lawsuit against Father Gary Mercure, Bishop Howard Hubbard and the Albany Catholic diocese, 23 May 2008.
Miller case Rev. Michael J. Miller (1957-), ordained 1987, last assigned as a prison chaplain at Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Washington County, was arrested 21 August 2001, in a downtown Troy parking lot after police said he approached the 14-year-old boy and pressured him to have sex. Miller underwent residential treatment in 2002 and did not return to ministry in the Albany Diocese and he pleaded guilty to the felony before Judge Patrick McGrath, who sentenced him to five years probation and ordered to stay away from the boy, 17 December 2003.
Nunan affair Rev. Jeremiah Nunan, ordained in Ireland in 1963, Irish pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Cairo, Greene County. Whilst at St. Mary’s Church in Hudson, he is accused by Rev. Mark Jaufman of molesting him as a boy from 1967 to about 1970.
- SNAP accusation 2006 sexual abuse allegations were filed against Rev. Jeremiah Nunan, the priest “absconded to Ireland where he hid until the victim in that case, Father Mark Jaufmann, died and the case was dropped.”
- Jaufmann accusation Rev. Mark Jaufmann (1957-2008), a Californian priest with the Ecumenical Catholic Communion, announced that he was abused by Rev. Jeremiah Nunan, . He was sexually abused by Nunan multiple times over the course of three years starting when he was 9 years old and a parishioner at St. Mary’s Church in Hudson. the physical abuse he suffered from Nunan and the emotional abuse at the hands of his own father have caused a lot of the dysfunction in his life. He likened the abuse to the death of a victim’s emotional and spiritual well-being. Nunan took a leave of absence in February 2006 from his work as a priest at Sacred Heart Parish in Cairo and Our Lady of Knock Mission in East Durham. The allegations against him are being investigated by the Independent Mediation Assistance Program, or IMAP, which was created by the Diocese of Albany in 2004 to look into allegations of abuse against young people by current or former priests or deacons in the diocese. Jaufmann, who is represented by local attorney John Aretakis, is suing the Diocese of Albany’s IMAP mediation panel, alleging the agency set up to help victims of clergy sex abuse fraudulently claimed it was independent of the diocese, is seeking $2 million in his federal court action filed on his behalf and that of other unnamed victims. “The leadership of the church has to stand for truth if it is going to have any kind of moral or ethical credibility in this country,” Jaufmann said.
- Additional accusations New suit April 2012 by 2 brothers re abuse as minors led to 2nd removal without privileges. Nunan paid one of the men in 2010-2012 to keep quiet.
Ophals affair Rev. Donald J. Ophals, ordained 1961, accused in 2003 of ‘improper sexual advances’ in late 1970s with male teen allegedly supplied by Rev. Jupin. Suit 7 May 2003 accused Jupin of intimidating complainant and 25 August 2003 suit accused diocese of slandering him. DA investigated intimidation at bishop’s request. Suits dismissed 1/30/04 without deciding validity of charges. Review board found in 2004 no ‘reasonable grounds’ for 2003 allegation, without interviewing complainant. Ophals reinstated. Placed on admin leave March 2011 Reinstated again November 2011.
Pizzutti affair Rev. Lawrence Pizzutti (d. 1970s), Franciscan, accused of abuse by a man who came forward in 2003 to allege abuse for many years by Pizzutti and a 2nd deceased priest. He notified the Albany diocese in c. 2001 and they offered him counseling and $4,000. He refused. Abuse began at age 15. Second man came forward 7/03 to report that he had notified the Diocese in 2002 that Pizzutti had abused him once at age 15. Diocese offered him counseling and in April 2003 they gave him a check for $7,000 to settle his claims without telling him of earlier claim.
Pratt affair Rev. Edward C. Pratt (1944-), ordained 1972, pastor of Corpus Christi in Ushers, NY, accused of abuse, dismissed 28 June 2002.
Puello affair Br. George Puello, Salesian, was accused of abuse in a. seminary, sued.
Purcell affair Rev. Robert H. Purcell, ordained 1972, in March 2011, Diocese removed Purcell, 76, retired pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Margaretville, Delaware County, after recent abuse claim dating to 1957, 17 years before his ordination. He has denied the allegation. DA’s office did not pursue criminal charges.
Rodino affair Rev. Salvatore Rodino (1951-) at St. Jude, where he had been since 2005, was placed on administrative leave after a sexual misconduct review board for the Diocese of Albany found “reasonable grounds to believe he sexually abused a minor about 27 years ago.” At the time of the alleged incident, which involved a teenager, Rodino was at Blessed Sacrament parish in Albany. Announced 25 October 2009.
Romano affair Rev.Joseph R. Romano, ordained 1966, accused of abuse in 1998 but authorities found the complaint unfounded. In 2002 and again in 2003 additional complaints were received. Placed on leave February 2003. Civil suit filed October 2005. Requested canonical trial August 2005. He served as a prison chaplain from 1984 to 1999 when he retired and moved to Florida. Romano served as assistant principal at former Cardinal McCloskey High School during mid-1970s and also served as Fire Dept. Chaplain from 1967 to 1984.
Rosch affair Rev. James J. Rosch, pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Fort Edward, NY, accused of abuse, dismissed 28 June 2002.
Shinos affair Rev. Robert S. Shinos, ordained 1963, placed on leave March 2004 over allegations of sexual abuse of a boy in 1960s in Albany. Diocese review board says that the accusations were credible. Original accusation received anuary 2004. Shinos had been pastor of same church since 1977. Plaintiff filed a civil suit July 2004 against Albany Diocese and Boston Archdiocese saying he had been abused by Shinos and at least two other priests while he was growing up. He also alleged abuse by another priest as an adult.
Slavin affair Monsignor William M. Slavin (d. 1985), was accused of molestation at Williamstown, Lenox and Great Barrington where the alleged crimes occurred in the 1950s in a lawsuit filed by Edmund Zampier (attorney, John Aretakis), 29 November 2004.
- Zampier accusation Edmund Zampier, (1943) recalled a five-year period from 1959 to 1964 in which he claims he was molested by Slavin and several other priests, who were not named in the suit, who went on to high levels in the diocese. The alleged acts against Zampier occurred in New York, Vermont, Massachusetts and Canada.
Starks affair Rev. Donald Starks (deceased), ordained 1949, in Oct. 2004 man filed suit claiming abuse in 1976 in both Albany and Boston. Man said that he was abused beginning at age 14 by Starks and Fr. Mark Haight at St. Francis de Sales Church in Colonie. Says abuse took place in Albany and Boston areas. 2nd suit filed March 2005 re abuse in same time frame.
Stone case Rev. Carl Stone (d. 2006), ordained 1942, was announced in July 2008 that Albany had placed Stone on leave in 1981 after he pleaded guilty in County Court to sodomy charges stemming from an indictment that alleged sex with two teenage brothers in Colonie. Allegations also made when he worked for Ogdensburg Diocese. Went on to work in Canada until 1985 when Bishop Larocque terminated him after new allegations. Larocque knew of earlier allegations when he hired Stone. Died 11/06.
Urban affair Rev. Carl Urban (1940-)), ordained 1966, pastor of St. Adalbert’s Church in Schenectady, accused Attorney John Aretakis of making false statements about him during a May 2004 speech in which Aretakis said Urban was picked up by police for inappropriate sexual conduct. According to Urban there is no record of this. In response to Urban’s complaint, Aretakis accused him of being one of the most notoriously sexually active priests. Urban says that the allegations made against him by Aretakis are “absolutely false and defamatory”.
- DeSantis accusation Michael DeSantis (1977-) accused of Urban along with four priests — Alan Jupin, 73 (Jupin affair); Louis Douglas, 82 (Douglas affair); Donald Ophals, 77 (Ophals affair); and John Bertolucci, 73 (Bertolucci affair) of sexual abuse in separate incidents at Jupin’s former apartment in Colonie or at Our Lady of Mercy church in Colonie, August 2011.
Wilson affair Rev. Dozia J. Wilson, a black priest, was ordained in the Albany Diocese in 1972, served at Sacred Heart parish in Albany, was arrested in 1976 having been caught molesting two young boys in a local motel room but not prosecuted, instead he was served with an “Ultimatum from police to Bishop Broderick – get him out of Albany.”
- Desire for a change Broderick transferred Wilson to Cardinal Humberto Medeiros of Boston noting the priest “has expressed a desire to work among his own people.” Wilson was later accused of drinking and carousing with boys at the St. Joseph church rectory in Roxbury, including molesting teenage boys who lived with him at the rectory where he was assigned 1976-79. Wilson was then sent to priest treatment centers, then back to Albany. But none of that stopped Cardinal Humberto S. Medeiros and Bishop Thomas V. Daily, then vicar general of the archdiocese, from writing a total of three nearly identical letters of recommendation as Wilson sought to continue in ministry in the dioceses of Richmond, VA, and Tulsa, OK, in 1979, and Medeiros wrote to the US Navy in 1978. “He has expressed to me his desire for a change,” Daily wrote. Wilson returned to Albany in 1979. One victim from age 14 to 19, a basketball player and guitarist, recalled being the vulnerable product of a broken home in 1980. “He said that played into Wilson’s manipulation. He said the priest often plied him with alcohol and marijuana and then fondled him when they practiced music for Sunday liturgies at St. Ann’s Church in his hometown.” Yet it was not until 1997 that Bishop J. Hubbard “first received from a victim an allegation of sexual misconduct by Dozia Wilson,” according to a statement from the diocese. Diocese of Albany, after “extensive mediation,” agreed to pay the victim who was abused for two years from 1976 and occurred in the Archdiocese of Boston, $500,000. “When I look at this case it gets me more angry at Hubbard than Wilson, because Wilson is a sick, sick man and Hubbard knew it, and sent him off to an out-of-the-way church where he wasn’t watched and was able to molest more victims,” said attorney John Aretakis. Wilson was defrocked in 1993, then became spiritual director at St. Christopher’s Inc., an adolescent residential program in Dobbs Ferry, but was fired after being beaten in his apartment by an 18-year-old man he picked up in Manhattan 2003.
Priest placed on leave
4/19/2012 9:01:00 AM
The Albany Diocese has placed a Greene County priest on administrative leave from ministry pending the outcome of investigations into allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. The Diocese has referred the allegations to the Greene County District Attorney’s Office.
Rev. Jeremiah Nunan, 74, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Cairo and Our Lady of Knock Mission in East Durham, is temporarily barred from officiating at any sacraments, wearing clerical garb or presenting himself as a priest.
The Diocese acted after a civil lawsuit was filed claiming that Father Nunan sexually abused an individual between 1996 and 2003 when the individual was a minor and between 2007 and 2011 when the individual was an adult. The lawsuit named as defendants Father Nunan, one of the parishes and the Diocese. Father Nunan has denied the allegations.
The Diocese has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual abuse of children by clerics. Any priest or deacon against whom an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor is substantiated at any time is permanently removed from ministry.
This is the second time Father Nunan has been placed on administrative leave by the Diocese during an investigation of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. The previous allegation, received in 2006 and involving alleged abuse in the late 1960s and early 1970s in Hudson, was investigated by the Independent Mediation Assistance Program and could not be substantiated. As a result, the Diocese restored Father Nunan to ministry.
Father Nunan joined the Albany Diocese in 1963 after graduating from a seminary in Ireland, and has served at St. Henry’s parish in Averill Park, St. Mary’s in Little Falls, Our Lady of the Assumption in Latham and St. Mary’s in Hudson, and as chaplain for the Columbia Memorial Hospital School for Nursing.
The Diocese is arranging for other priests to celebrate Mass and perform other ministerial duties at the two parishes in Father Nunan’s absence.
The Diocese urges anyone who as a child was sexually abused by a Catholic priest or deacon to report the matter to a law enforcement agency or to the Diocese. To report an incident of abuse or to seek help, please contact the Diocese’s assistance coordinator, Theresa Rodrigues, at (518) 453-6646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.