Category Archives: Bishop David Zubik

Catholic priest sentenced to 50 years for child porn


Catholic priest sentenced to 50 years for child porn

9/12/13 By Associated Press

From the link: http://news.msn.com/crime-justice/catholic-priest-sentenced-to-50-years-for-child-porn?stay=1

The Rev. Shawn Ratigan pleaded guilty in August 2012 to five counts of producing or attempting to produce child porn.

The Rev. Shawn Ratigan pleaded guilty in August 2012 to five counts of producing or attempting to produce child porn.

Prosecutors had asked that he get 10 years in prison for each of five victims after he pleaded guilty to five counts of producing and trying to produce child porn.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City-area priest whose child pornography case led to a criminal conviction against a Roman Catholic bishop was sentenced Thursday to 50 years in federal prison.

Prosecutors had asked that the Rev. Shawn Ratigan be sentenced to 10 years in prison for each of five young victims after he pleaded guilty in August 2012 to five counts of producing and trying to produce child porn.

Ratigan, 47, was charged in May 2011 after police received a flash drive from his computer containing hundreds of images of children, most of them clothed, with the focus on their crotch areas.

Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, was convicted last September of one misdemeanor count of failing to report suspected child abuse to the state.

Prosecutors said the diocese learned about the photos on Ratigan’s computer on Dec. 16, 2010, after a technician found them on the priest’s laptop and alerted church officials. A day after the images were found, Ratigan missed Sunday Mass and was found unconscious in his garage with his motorcycle running and a suicide note nearby.

Instead of reporting Ratigan or the photos to law enforcement, as required by state law, Finn waited until the priest was released from the hospital and sent him out of state for psychiatric counseling.

When Ratigan returned to Missouri, Finn ordered him to stay at the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Eucharist, a facility in Independence, where he could say Mass for the sisters.

The diocese turned the photos over to police in May 2011 after receiving reports that Ratigan had violated Finn’s order to avoid contact with children.

For Minnesota Catholics, troubling new abuse scandal


For Minnesota Catholics, troubling new abuse scandal

By Amy Forliti of Associated Press

From the link: http://news.msn.com/us/for-minnesota-catholics-troubling-new-abuse-scandal?ocid=msnnw

Unlike other abuse revelations that have rocked theJennifer Haselberger, the allegations in Minnesota aren’t decades old or involve perpetrators long retired or dead.

ST. PAUL, Minn.  — When Jennifer Haselberger uncovered what looked like recent, troubling sexual behavior by several Minnesota priests — a stash of possible child pornography on one priest’s computer hard drive, another with a well-documented history of sexual compulsion still leading a parish — she tried to ring alarm bells at the top ranks of the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese.

But Haselberger, who resigned last April as the archdiocese’s chancellor for canonical affairs, said she felt ignored. She has since gone public with concerns that Minnesota’s archbishop and top deputies failed to truly reform how they handle problem priests, despite repeated promises to do so.

“I do not believe it can be said that the archdiocese is honoring its promise to protect” children and young people, Haselberger said last week in a statement to the media.

Unlike many of the abuse revelations that have rocked the U.S. Catholic Church, the allegations Haselberger brought to light aren’t decades old or involve perpetrators long retired or dead. They all happened after 2002, when U.S. bishops held a high-profile meeting in Dallas and approved broad policy changes meant to quickly remove predatory priests from parishes and restore the church’s tattered credibility with millions of Catholics.

“They weren’t just going to sweep stuff under the rug. They weren’t going to move him around,” said Joe Ternus, who in 2004 found what he called “a ridiculous amount of pornography” on the hard drive of a computer he purchased at a church rummage sale and that had belonged to Jonathan Shelley, a parish priest.

Ternus, whose parents and sister attended Shelley’s church, turned the hard drive over to archdiocesan officials.

“I was given assurances that this wasn’t going to happen, but that’s exactly what happened,” Ternus said.

Haselberger’s allegations have the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese playing defense. Last week, Archbishop John Nienstedt accepted the hasty resignation of his top-ranking deputy, the Rev. Peter Laird, who wrote in his resignation letter that he hoped to “repair the trust of many, especially the victims of abuse.” Nienstedt also convened what he said would be an independent task force to examine the way church leaders officials have handled accusations of sexual misconduct by priests.

But church leaders weren’t initially so eager to deal with the cases. Minnesota Public Radio News obtained a letter from Nienstedt to Cardinal William Levada, the now-retired Vatican official who ran the office that oversees errant priests, spelling out who an archdiocese investigator found pornographic images on Shelley’s hard drive that were at least “borderline illegal, because of the youthful looking male images.”

“My staff has expressed concern the fact that CD-ROMs containing the images remain in the cleric’s personnel file could expose the archdiocese, as well as myself, to criminal prosecution,” Nienstedt wrote to Levada.

The archdiocese declined to make Nienstedt or Laird available for interviews. Spokesman Jim Accurso said media coverage of the recent allegations “leave a false impression about the commitment of the archdiocese to identify and address sexual misconduct by priests.” He said eliminating any form of abuse is the “highest priority” for the archdiocese.

Tom Wieser, an attorney for the archdiocese, has called Haselberger “a disgruntled former employee.” She worked at the archdiocese from 2008 to last April, when she resigned because of concerns about the way sexual abuse allegations were handled.

According to a police report, Haselberger found computer discs and a white three-ring binder in the vault last year that appeared to be evidence from a 2004 internal investigation into the images. A police report said Haselberger told Laird what she found, and was instructed to “put them back in the vault.”

Shelley’s lawyer said there was no child pornography on the disc. And an attorney for the archdiocese said a computer forensics expert also found no evidence to support Haselberger’s allegations. Police also found no evidence of child pornography, but acknowledged they didn’t have the computer itself.

Police received new information from Ternus on Friday, and on Tuesday afternoon they announced they were reopening the child pornography investigation. In his initial report, lead investigator Sgt. William Gillet openly wondered whether the archdiocese turned over all the pertinent evidence.

In the other case at issue, the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer was allowed to remain in ministry despite ample evidence that archdiocesan leaders knew of sexual misconduct. He is now in prison for sexually abusing two children and possessing child pornography.

Haselberger told The Associated Press in an email Tuesday that she raised concerns with her superiors in 2008, and again last year.

“Having worked on similar cases in other dioceses, I was completely unprepared for the responses I received in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis,” she wrote.

The new policies formulated by bishops in 2002 were specifically designed to quickly root out problem priests. One church leader instrumental in that process was Harry Flynn, Nienstedt’s predecessor in St. Paul-Minneapolis. Flynn is implicated in some of the decisions that Haselberger brought to light; he could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

“Since 2002, there was a real sea change, and I believe most bishops got it,” said Nicholas Cafardi, a former church canon lawyer who was involved in drawing up the new policies. Now a professor at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Cafardi said he would be personally shocked to learn that top officials in any diocese sheltered potential abusers since then.

Cafardi cautioned that he’s not familiar with the new allegations, and noted in particular that finding a priest in possession of legal pornography raises thorny questions for his supervisors in the church. But if it’s proven that church leaders failed to live up to the 2002 policies, he said, it would damage the church’s efforts to move beyond past scandals.

“Any diocese that’s not following that makes people question the credibility of the policy,” he said. “That then harms the entire church in the U.S., because people will think if this bishop does it, then is another bishop doing it?”

Pope Francis urges decisive action against sex abuse


Pope Francis urges decisive action against sex abuse

4/5/13 By Philip Pullella of Reuters

From the link: http://news.msn.com/world/pope-francis-urges-decisive-action-against-sex-abuse?ocid=msnnws

In a meeting with the Holy See’s doctrinal chief, the new pope declared that combating sexual abuse was important “for the Church and its credibility.”

VATICAN CITY— Pope Francis wants the Catholic Church to “act decisively” to root out sexual abuse of children by priests and ensure the perpetrators are punished, the Vatican said on Friday.

Francis, in a meeting with the Holy See’s doctrinal chief, Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, had declared that combating sexual abuse was important “for the Church and its credibility”, a statement said.

Francis inherited a Church mired in problems and a major scandal over priestly abuse of children. It was believed to be the first time he had taken up the issue of sex abuse with a senior member of his staff since his election on March 13.

Mueller is head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican department which includes the office of the “promoter of justice”, or sex crimes prosecutor, which investigates cases of sexual abuse and decides if priests are to be defrocked.

Francis said the department should continue to “act decisively as far as cases of sexual abuse are concerned, promoting, above all, measures to protect minors, help for those who have suffered such violence in the past (and) the necessary procedures against those who are guilty,” a statement said.

It said the pope wanted Catholic bishops around the world to promote and put into place “directives in this matter which is so important for the witness of the Church and its credibility”.

A victims’ group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said the statement did not go far enough and criticized it for saying that the Church’s stance against sexual abuse was “a continuation” of the line wanted by Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict.

“Action, not discussion, is needed,” SNAP said in a statement.

“We can’t confuse words with actions. When we do, we hurt kids. We must insist on new tangible action that helps vulnerable children protect their bodies, not old vague pledges that help a widely-discredited institution protect its reputation,” it said.

SNAP and other victims groups say there is much still to be discovered about how the Church behaved in the past and want more bishops who were aware of abuse to be held responsible.

The Catholic Church’s crisis began in Boston in 2002 when media began reporting how cases of abuse were systematically covered up and abusive priests shuttled from parish to parish instead of being defrocked and handed over to civil authorities.

Since then, the Catholic Church in many countries has set up new guidelines to deal with cases of past abuse, prevent new cases, report abuse to police, and stop potential abusers from entering the priesthood in the first place.

Church whistleblower says she ‘didn’t do enough’


Church whistleblower says she ‘didn’t do enough’

By Amy Forliti of Associated Press

From the link: http://news.msn.com/us/church-whistleblower-says-she-didnt-do-enough

ST. PAUL, Minn. — After she made her First Communion as a little girl, Jennifer Haselberger was distraught to learn the Catholic church had no saint Jennifer, and she had no saint to call her own. So her mom opened up a book and pointed to Joan of Arc.

“There. That’s yours,” she said.

Years later, Haselberger is in a fight of her own after going public with claims that archdiocese leaders in St. Paul mishandled allegations of clergy sexual misconduct. Turns out, Haselberger may have borrowed a little bravery from the headstrong French heroine she has long admired.

Haselberger, a former canon lawyer for the archdiocese, took on leaders of the church she loves after she felt her warnings about troubled priests were being ignored, setting off a firestorm in the local church.

“If a child was hurt, Jenny would do everything within her power to stop that. The lengths that she went to were probably heroic,” said Anne Maloney, Haselberger’s former college adviser.

Haselberger resigned in April after she says Archbishop John Nienstedt and others did not respond appropriately when she found pornography, including images of possible child pornography, on computer disks that once belonged to a priest who was still in ministry. This came after she says church leaders ignored her repeated warnings dating back to 2008 about another priest who went on to molest two boys in his camper in 2010.

“I can never undo what happened to those boys, and that hangs incredibly heavy on me,” Haselberger told The Associated Press. “I didn’t do enough.”

Haselberger said she resigned because church leaders weren’t listening, and she went to authorities and to the media because they wouldn’t change. Since then, Nienstedt’s top deputy has stepped down, and the church set up an independent task force to review its policies. Police are also investigating.

“I came to the conclusion that I was going to do whatever it took, that this was not acceptable … and let the chips fall where they may,” she said.

Haselberger has gone to law enforcement about two priests, and she says she had brought concerns about others to church leaders. She declined to elaborate, but said she expects more details will emerge.

Jim Accurso, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, said he could not comment on Haselberger or her resignation because it is a personnel matter. Accurso has said the information portrayed in the media is incomplete because it has been presented without context.

Tom Doyle, founder of the Catholic Whistleblowers group, said it is still rare — and risky — for someone from within the church to come forward and challenge bishops, who he likened to absolute rulers.

“Everyone I know of who has been a whistleblower has sacrificed their career,” said Doyle.

Haselberger, a Minnesota Wild fan and equestrienne, grew up in a Polish-Catholic family with a great uncle and a great aunt who both went into religious life. While she never considered that herself, she calls the church her “home,” and still stands behind it and the many clergy she respects and considers heroes.

While an undergrad at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, she earned a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy. She also became a leader of a student group that opposed abortion and advocated for valuing human life, Maloney said.

“I never once saw Jenny back down from a conversation or dispute,” Maloney said. “She believed being anti-abortion was the best way to be a feminist.”

Inspired by a religious sister, she also began writing to a man on death row in Angola, La. She is against capital punishment and became his spiritual director. The man’s death sentence was vacated when Hurricane Katrina destroyed prison records, but she said the experience taught her about striking a balance between caring for offenders and protecting the innocent, something she says could also apply to accused clergy.

“I despise the acts that they committed, but I don’t hate them,” she said.

Haselberger earned her doctorate of philosophy at the University of London. While waiting to defend her thesis, she began taking classes at Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium, where she earned her licentiate in canon law and graduated with highest honors in 2004.

While living in a prestigious academic community in London, Haselberger organized a lecture about a woman who went to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which investigated atrocities committed during the apartheid era, to seek amnesty not for violence or any other crimes — but for her apathy in apartheid-controlled South Africa. Her example inspired Haselberger.

“That really resonated with me at the time … it’s such a phenomenal example of personal accountability,” Haselberger said.

When Haselberger began working for the archdiocese in 2008, Nienstedt called her “studious” and “thoughtful.”

That contrasts with statements made after her allegations. Archdiocese attorney Tom Wieser said in a recent court hearing that Haselberger was a “disgruntled former employee” who was unauthorized to investigate allegations of child pornography but did so anyway, something he called “unsophisticated and imprudent.” According to a court transcript, Wieser said Haselberger decided for herself that the images were illegal, and went to authorities, who found no evidence of child pornography. St. Paul Police have since reopened their investigation.

Now outside the chancery walls, Haselberger is a consultant, available to help victims of abuse, or others, navigate the ins and outs of canon law.

She knows she’ll likely never work for the church again, and her eyes get watery when she talks about how much she would have loved serving in the church of Pope Francis. But she said her only regret is not speaking out sooner.

“I certainly always attempted to make my points using facts and reason and to do so respectfully,” she said. “But I would hope that people would say that ‘She was incredibly passionate about this.’ Because I would be disappointed in myself if I wasn’t.”

 

Pastor of West Side Cleveland church charged with soliciting sex while being HIV-positive


Pastor of West Side Cleveland church charged with soliciting sex while being HIV-positive

By Ron Rutti, The Plain Dealer
on October 12, 2013 at 6:40 PM, updated October 12, 2013 at 9:50 PM

From the link: http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2013/10/pastor_of_west_side_cleveland.html

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Rev. James McGonegal, pastor of a West Side Cleveland Catholic church, was charged today with soliciting sex while being HIV-positive. He had been arrested Friday in Edgewater Park.

In the incident report released today, an off-duty Cleveland Metroparks ranger said McGonegal offered the ranger $50 to help him “get off,” then exposed himself and masturbated, all while sitting inside his late-model Jeep SUV.

The report said McGonegal had three sex devices in his Jeep when he was arrested around 12:45 p.m.

The priest, 68, was released on personal bond from Cleveland City Jail this morning other media reports said. He has not been arraigned as the charges were not filed until around noon.

McGonegal has been pastor at St. Ignatius of Antioch Church, at Lorain Avenue and West Boulevard, since the mid-1980s. He has been a priest since 1971.

At a mass this evening at the church, the only mention of the incident was at the start when a lector greeted the 140 people in attendance and said, “Today we pray for this parish, and our pastor.” A priest in residence at St. Ignatius said the mass.

St. Ignatius was on the chopping block in March 2009, when the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland decided to close a number of parishes. St. Ignatius parishioners and their pastor, however, were able to convince Bishop Richard Lennon to keep open the church, which has a towering steeple that can be seen from many parts of the city’s West Side.

After the mass, parishioners approached for comment declined to talk.

McGonegal was also charged with public indecency and abusing harmful intoxicants.

The report said inside the Jeep was a bottle that contained an intoxicant. During questioning after his arrest, the priest said he bought the product at a sex shop and smells the contents to get “a buzz.”

Later Friday, McGonegal told workers at the jail that he is HIV-positive, the report said.

The report said McGonegal made eye contact with the ranger as the priest drove his black SUV into a parking lot at Edgewater. The ranger was off-duty and wearing civilian clothes.

The ranger said he walked to a trail, then looked back and saw that McGonegal had rolled down the driver-side window of the Jeep, and was tapping on the door frame and waiving at him.

The ranger wrote that he continued walking until he was out of sight, waited two minutes, then headed back.

By then, the report said, McGonegal was pulling out to leave the area, but returned to the parking spot when he saw the man returning.

When the ranger got near the Jeep, the two began to talk, with McGonegal saying he was “cruising.”

The report said the ranger asked McGonegal if he wanted to go for a walk, but the priest declined, stating he knew of people who had been arrested in the park by rangers.

The ranger wrote that after he refused an offer to get into the Jeep, the priest suggested that they go to his nearby home.

The two then shifted the conversation to what McGonegal wanted and how much he would pay, the report said.

A HIV positive priest, Rev. James McGonegal has been arrested for soliciting and masturbating in public.


A HIV positive priest, Rev. James McGonegal has been arrested for soliciting and masturbating in public.

Rev. James McGonegal is arrested for soliciting sex and masturbating.

A HIV positive priest, Rev. James McGonegal has been arrested for soliciting and masturbating in public.

The priest of  St. Ignatius of Antioch Church on the west side of Cleveland came to be arrested this past Friday after he he went on to unwittingly offer an off duty Cleveland Metroparks ranger a fun trick to the tune of $50.

Offering the ranger $50 to get him off in a crowded parking lot, Rev. James McGonegal went on to masturbate before being arrested.

The reverend’s subsequent disclosure that he was HIV positive also came after being booked.

Goes on to explain gawker:

The police report makes the whole incident even sadder, as it inventories the priest’s cruising stash of poppers and cock rings:

While conducting a tow inventory of McGonegal’s vehicle three sexual devices, commonly referred to as “cock rings,” were located. One of these rings was wrapped around the lid to a bottle labeled “Pig Sweat.” The bottle logo was of a pig/man figure wearing buttocks-free chaps. Below the name of the bottle was writing stating the product was nail polish remover. The labeling also indicated that the product contained isobutyl nitrate, a harmful intoxicant.

Asked to explain what ‘Pig Sweat’ referred to, Rev. James McGonegal went on to tell he would buy the sweat from a sex shop and smelling the product would give him “a buzz.”

McGonegal, who has been a priest since 1971 and the pastor at St. Ignatius since the 1980s, now faces charges of soliciting after positive HIV test, public indecency, and abusing harmful intoxicants. He was released Saturday morning on a personal bond.

At the 11 a.m. mass Sunday morning at his Cleveland parish, McGonegal was absent and no mention was made of his arrest other than a prayer: “Today we pray for this parish, and our pastor.”

Commentators on the web have gone on to speculate whether the reverend had planned to tell a potential partner if he was HIV positive and to what degree he could be held in contempt for his behavior. Others have gone on to express dismay that the reverend has gone on to abuse his post whilst others wonder if the church itself has served to perpetuate a kind of warped and latent sexual yearning that the reverend felt he had no recourse but to explore…. and how.

Trial Transcripts and Statements for Father Robert Kapoun


Trial Transcripts and Statements for Father Robert Kapoun Trial

These are links to the statements and trial transcripts to the Trial of Father Robert Kapoun. These transcripts show the evil perpetrated upon victims of child rape and how the leaders covered up these crimes and rewarded the pedophile rapist priest and punished the victims.

Deposition of Archbishop John R Roach

http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/784191-deposition-of-archbishop-john-r-roach-july-24-1989.html

HIGHLIGHTS:

Archbishop Roach: “At the same time that he was complaining of back problems… he was also directing a band called the Polka Padres…” pg. 3
Archbishop Roach: “I really wasn’t sure he wanted to be a priest…” pg 4
“[Fr. Srnec] felt that there was something clearly wrong with him…” pg 4
“I would see billboards of the Polka Padre out with his accordion and here’s a guy who wasn’t performing.” pg 5
Archbishop Roach testimony: Difficulty remembering pg 7
“I wanted to know, really, what I could do to be some help to him.”  pg 14
“Was there any question by you about [the victim] and how he was doing…?” pg 14
Archbishop Roach: “Those things certainly I would have tried to do.” pg 17
Jeff Anderson: “You also I think this morning talked about a vault…” pg 17
“He is probably right about Kapoun.”  pg 19

Msgr Stanley J Smec Disposition:

http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/784190-msgr-stanley-j-srnec-deposition-july-7-1989.html

Highlights:

Msgr. Srnec recalls a parishioner alerting him to “impropriety between Father Kapoun” and a boy  pg 5

Father Robert Kapoun Court Documents I

http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/784213-court-documents-1995-96.html

Highlights:

Dale Scheffler initiates lawsuit against Kapoun and archdiocese, Sept. 2, 1994. pg 1
Scheffler complaint, Sept. 2, 1994.  pg 2
Andrew Eisenzimmer signs for summons, Sept. 7, 1994. pg 10
Dale Scheffler’s allegations against the Rev. Kapoun  pg 10
Archbishop John Roach deposition, pp. 68-81, July 24, 1989. pg 68
Judge grants punitive damages claim against Kapoun in 1989 suit, April 20, 1990. pg 89
Judge grants punitive damages claim against Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 1989 suit, April 20, 1990. pg 90
Kapoun 1989 deposition, pp. 105-137 
A jury awards Scheffler $550,000 in damages. pg 140
A jury finds archdiocese liable for $600,000. pg 141
Scheffler awarded reimbursement of legal fees. pg 143
Scheffler awarded reimbursement of legal fees. pg 144
Judge rules for Scheffler and against the archdiocese in the amount of $1.2 million. pg 147
Judge amends case title to identify Dale Scheffler, July 3, 1996.  pg 149
Trial dates. pg 154
Judgment of Aug. 9, 1996 I.  pg 154
Judgment of Aug. 9, 1996 II. pg 155
Court of Appeals ruling, legal fees, Aug. 20, 1997. pg 158
Court of Appeals reverse lower-court ruling – syllabus. pg 161
Court of Appeals reverse lower court decision I, May 20, 1997. pg 167
Court of Appeals reverse lower court decision II, May 20, 1997.  pg 168
Judgment, March 1, 1996. pg 174
Mark Schutz deposition, pp. 228-246 , April 20, 1994. pg 228
Scheffler complaint, pp. 292-299. Sept. 2, 1994 pg 292

Father Robert Kapoun Court Documents II

http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/784217-court-documents-1995-96-ii.html

Highlights:

James Drummond complaint, suit commenced on June 23, 1994; filed Feb. 7, 1995.  pg 2
Kapoun signs receipt for Drummond summons, Aug. 12, 1994. pg 10
Archdiocese signs receipt for Drummond summons, June 27, 1994. pg 12
James Drummond deposition, March 17, 1995, pp. 22-40.  pg 22
Lttr. regarding the Rev. James Porter, Aug. 24, 1967. pg 63
Lttr. regarding the Rev. James Porter, Oct. 9, 1968. pg 64
Lttr. regarding the Rev. James Porter, Aug. 6, 1969. pg 65
Lttr. regarding the Rev. James Porter, Nov. 3, 1970. pg 66
Lttr. regarding the Rev. James Porter, undated.  pg 67
Mark Schutz, jury award, March 25, 1996 pg 69
Kapoun deposition, pp. 97-115, March 7, 1995. pg 97
Victim describes the nature of the abuse pg 121
Victim describes the nature of the abuse (cont.) pg 122
Judgment against Mark Schutz in favor of archdiocese for $3,312.04, Aug. 2, 1996. pg 172
Order amending title of Schutz lawsuit, allowing Schutz to be namd, Aug. 2, 1996. pg 173
Judgment against Schutz due to statute of limitations, March 28, 1996. pg 176
Kapoun responses to interrogatories, Drummond case. pg 177
Kapoun parish-assignment timeline, Dec. 12, 1994. pg 180
Deposition of Curt Raymond, April 14, 1995. pg 370
Judge dismisses Drummond’s case, June 13, 1995. pg 390
Judge in Drummond case uses Mark Schutz case to make decision. pg 392
Drummond case judge rejects argument that sexual abuse perpetrated by a few priests does not require archdiocese to be suspicious of all priests. pg 393
Mark Tuma initiates his lawsuit against Kapoun and the archdiocese, Sept. 15, 1993. pg 395
Archdiocese lawyer, Andrew Eisenzimmer, signs receipt for summons, Sept. 29, 1993. pg 396
Kapoun signs summons receipt, Sept. 23, 1993. pg 398
Mark Tuma deposition, pp. 404-406. pg 404
Mark Tuma complaint, Sept. 15, 1993. pg 406
Deposition of Mark Tuma, pp. 463-471, May 20, 1994.Untitled Note pg 463
Mark Tuma answer to interrogatories, Feb. 1, 1994. pg 472
Deposition of the Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, pp. 509-515, July 1994. pg 509
Deposition of Jane Steinhagen: Kapoun turned religion class to sexual topics, April 30, 1995. pg 521
Steinhagen deposition: Kapoun likened Communion with intercourse with Christ, April 30, 1995. pg 522
Judge dismisses Tuma suit against archdiocese, June 9, 1995 pg 532. 
Judge rules that archdiocese should not have known that Kapoun posed threat to Tuma. pg 534
Judge rules that archdiocese should not have known that Kapoun posed threat to Tuma. pg 536

Father Robert Kapoun Trial Transcripts I

http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/784474-kapoun-trial-transcript-vol-i.html

Highlights:

Jeff Anderson says Kapoun abused several parish children, took them swimming and on overnight trips 
Archdiocese lawyer asks judge to block testimony by other alleged victims of Kapoun 
Archdiocese lawyer: Kapoun was not acting as an employee of the archdiocese when he sexually abused children 
Anderson says Archdiocese knew Kapoun sexually abused a boy in 1973 and did nothing 
Kapoun takes two boys to his cabin, sexually abuses them, attorney says 
Kapoun abuses a sleeping boy at the cabin 
Kapoun’s victim “suffered in secrecy, silence and shame and told no one for years” 
Mother tells a priest in 1973 that Kapoun sexually abused her son 
John Roach, future archbishop, dismisses abuse report in 1973, “Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not” 
Attorney for victim: The archdiocese swept the allegations under the rug, allowed the abuse to continue. 

Father Robert Kapoun Trial Transcripts II

http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/784217-court-documents-1995-96-ii.html

Highlights:

Archdiocese lawyer: Kapoun wasn’t acting as a priest when he took the boys to the cabin 
Kapoun’s attorney blames the media for putting priests in a “very unenviable position,” says Kapoun “has a black cloud hanging over his head” 
Kapoun’s attorney says there’s no evidence of the abuse, just the testimony of Kapoun and “the accuser” 
“Why Father Kapoun? Father Kapoun is the polka padre.” 
Archbishop Roach says the vicar general “has always played a very rigorous part in the administration of the diocese.” 
Archbishop Roach says he doesn’t remember the report about Kapoun in 1973 
Roach says he knew Kapoun had emotional problems in the 1970s 
Attorney Jeff Anderson asks Archbishop Roach why he suddenly recalls a conversation he previously said he forgot 
Roach says Polka Padre spent most of his time playing the accordion and made excuses for skipping mass 
Another victim testifies that Kapoun manipulated him after his father died 
Victim recalls how Kapoun would try to touch him while swimming in the lake 
Victim tells his mother about Kapoun’s actions 
Victim says he was scared that Kapoun would hurt him again 
Victim says he heard nothing from the archdiocese after he reported sexual abuse 
Priest tells Roach of abuse, says Roach said, of abuse allegations against Kapoun, “Well, maybe he did and maybe he didn’t” 
Priest says he was confident in Roach’s ability to know whether someone was lying about abuse 
Kapoun admits that he was sexually attracted to boys, but says he no longer feels that way 
Kapoun claims he didn’t realize that he was harming the boys  
Kapoun says he took a boy to his family cabin “just to have a good time.” 
Kapoun says he didn’t abuse one boy because he “just didn’t have any curiosity” about him 
Kapoun says he dropped a raw egg down a boy’s pants  
Kapoun says he exercised with a boy in his underwear 
Attorney to Kapoun: “Did you have a sexual interest in this boy?” Kapoun: “Yes, minimum” 
Kapoun offers vague testimony on his sexual interest in boys 
Kapoun explains why he asked a boy to stay overnight, “It was a curiosity of about his genitals.” 
Kapoun claims that a boy touched him in a car, says he didn’t ask the boy to do it 
Kapoun says he brought a boy to his parents’ home and asked him to get into the shower because of his “curiosity” 
Kapoun again claims that a minor touched his genitals without any prompting 
Kapoun admits to touching a boy 
Kapoun of one victim: “I would say he had more interest in me than I did in him.” 
Kapoun admits that he invited a boy to stay with him overnight “probably to see him undressed” 
Kapoun says he didn’t have any sexual interest in Dale Scheffler 
Kapoun says the Archdiocese knew that boys tried to lock him out of their bedrooms 
Another man describes how Kapoun tried to sexually abuse him as a child 
Curt Raymond tells Kevin McDonough about the abuse in 1988 or 1989 
Victim recounts being confused by Kapoun’s abuse. “I was thinking to myself, is this a sacrament?” 
Kapoun victim watches TV report on clergy sex abuse. “It was like somebody hit me with a baseball bat between the eyes.” 

Father Robert Kapoun Trial Transcripts III

http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/784482-kapoun-trial-transcript-vol-3.html

Highlights:

Michael Dearing describes Kapoun taking him to the Cold Spring cabin 
Plaintiff expert says victim Dale Scheffler has a “classic and severe learning disability” 
Plaintiff expert says trauma can make a learning disability more severe 
Therapist says Dale Scheffler “was afraid that the abuse was continuing and feared for the kids” 
Dale Scheffler’s therapist describes how the abuse led to other problems in Scheffler’s life 
Therapist describes Scheffler’s fear that the church will retaliate against his family; describes how Scheffler saw Kapoun by chance on the freeway 
Therapist says Scheffler used alcohol and drugs to push away memories of the abuse 
Therapist says Scheffler will likely need at least 150 hours of therapy over five years 
Archdiocese attorney questions victim’s commitment to therapy 
Archdiocese attorney suggests the lawsuit, not the abuse, was the source of Scheffler’s stress 
Archdiocese lawyer grills therapist on the reasons why Scheffler started drinking and using drugs 
Archdiocese lawyer claims that the victim’s father was an alcoholic 
Attorney asks why a boy’s parents allowed him to stay with Kapoun at the cabin. “Because he was our priest and supposedly it’s supposed to be safe.” 
Archdiocese attorney picks apart details about the overnight trip to the cabin, focuses on whether Kapoun’s mother was there and whether one of the boys slept in a sleeping bag 
Archdiocese attorneys asks a man to describe the cabin he visited when he was 11 years old 
Kapoun’s attorney grills a witness about the details of the overnight trip to the cabin 
Kapoun’s attorney asks a witness to recall a visit to Kapoun’s cabin when he was 11 years old. Asks what the boys ate, and whether the food was cooked or cold 

Father Robert Kapoun Trial Transcripts IV

http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/800661-transcript-vol-4-from-anderson.html

Highlights:

Next Dale Scheffler describes how his family trusted Kapoun and allowed the priest to take him on an overnight trip when he was about 13 years old 
Previous Next Scheffler describes how Kapoun abused him while swimming in the lake  
Previous Next Scheffler, recounting abuse, “I felt nothing. I don’t know what to feel.” 
Previous Next Archdiocese attorney questions Scheffler about his dating history 
Previous Next Archdiocese attorney questions Scheffler about whether his father is an alcoholic 
Previous Next Archdiocese attorney grills Scheffler on whether the other boy at the cabin slept in a sleeping bag 
Previous Next Archdiocese attorney asks Scheffler if he told his mother specifically that “Father Kapoun had touched you with his penis and had tried to put it in your butt?” Scheffler says, “I don’t know … I was a little kid.” 
Previous Archdiocese attorney suggests Scheffler may have been traumatized by his father’s struggles with arthritis 

Father Robert Kapoun Trial Transcripts V

http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/784486-kapoun-trial-transcript-vol-5.html

Highlights:

Kapoun explains how he got the nickname “Polka Padre” 
Kapoun says his behavior with Michael Dearing was “very very wrong” 
Kapoun claims he slept in between two boys because he “didn’t want any horseplay between the two individuals” 
Kapoun: “I never abused Dale Scheffler.” 
Anderson asks a doctor to compare the stress of the lawsuit to the stress of knowing that Kapoun remained a pastor; Archdiocese attorney objects 
Archdiocese attorney says the lawsuit may have caused Scheffler’s stress 
Expert witness for the archdiocese says Scheffler was not severely mentally ill 
Expert witness for the archdiocese lists Scheffler’s stressors; he includes “litigation over alleged abuse by priest,” does not include the abuse itself 
Expert witness for the archdiocese says Scheffler blamed others for his problem “and until he starts taking some responsibility for making changes in his life, I was not optimistic that he would respond to treatment” 
Expert witness for the archdiocese says Scheffler’s progress in therapy should be closely tracked because “there is always the danger of someone who has a problem with depression and who is being very blaming and having a lot of old baggage … [will] continue to dwell on that …” 
Jeff Anderson fires back at archdiocese expert about whether Scheffler has taken responsibility for making changes in his life 

Expert witness for archdiocese says, “There are some people who don’t really want to be happy.” 

Father Robert Kapoun Trial Transcripts VI

http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/800662-transcript-vol-6-from-anderson.html

Highlights:

Archdiocese’s attorney: “If he was abused, we are not saying he wasn’t harmed by that to some extent.” 
Archdiocese attorney: Victim knew right away that he had been sexually abused 
Archdiocese attorney says a reasonable person in the victim’s situation would’ve realized that being sexually abused led to shame, guilt and personal problems.. 
Archdiocese attorney: If Kapoun sexually abused Scheffler, he wasn’t acting as a priest when he did it. 
Archdiocese attorney expands on argument that Kapoun wasn’t acting as a priest when he abused children. 
Archdiocese attorney: Any abuse by Kapoun took place during Kapoun’s time off. 
Archdiocese attorney tries to cast doubt on testimony about the church’s knowledge of the abuse in the 1970s. 
Archdiocese attorney says someone has to be mistaken about the overnight trip with Kapoun and two boys because witnesses have different recollections of whether they took a shower or slept in a sleeping bag. 
Instructions to the jury: “What sum of money will fairly compensate dale Scheffler for his damages up to the date of trial?” 
Archdiocese lawyer tells the jury that Scheffler should receive no more than $2,548 for past medical, therapy and counseling expenses. 
Archdiocese attorney says jurors have no proof that Scheffler lost earnings because of the abuse. 
Archdiocese attorney advises jury to award no more than $80,000 for compensatory damages. 
Archdiocese attorney: Scheffler does not appear to be suffering financially because he took a vacation to the Black Hills. 
Archdiocese attorney tells jury that they should award no more than $40,000 for future damages. 
Kapoun’s attorney: Abuse allegations are “15 years stale” 
Kapoun’s attorney cites conflicting testimony on whether the boys had sleeping bags 
Previous Next Kapoun’s attorney says alleged victim was looking for someone to blame for his personal problems 
Previous Next Kapoun’s attorney suggests the alleged victim could be making false accusations to get money 
Previous Next Kapoun’s attorney says Scheffler and his mother should’ve known it was abuse right away if the story was true 
Previous Next Jeff Anderson to jury: “I will not be eloquent but I will be honest.” 
Previous Next Jeff Anderson: “Bringing this case … has been and is one of the gravest responsibilities I have ever taken or undertaken as a person and as a lawyer” 
Previous Next Jeff Anderson says pedophiles like Kapoun need to be punished and removed from ministry 
Previous Next Jeff Anderson: “Dale after the abuse began a descent into hell and there is no question about that.” 
Previous Next Jeff Anderson, of Scheffler after the abuse, “He began these processes of burying and copying and without a clue why his life was so messed up. He isolated, he changed his friends, he began to use drugs and alcohol. All the while thinking there is something wrong with him and not knowing or having a way to know why this is.” 
Previous Next Jeff Anderson calls the suggestion that Scheffler should’ve immediately known it was sexual abuse “offensive” 
Previous Next Jeff Anderson says mother allowed her child to spend time with Kapoun because he was a priest, “the man they were taught to worship God through.” 
Previous Next Jeff Anderson casts doubt on Archbishop Roach’s testimony 
Previous Next Jeff Anderson suggests that jurors award Scheffler $134,000 for future loss of earnings 
Previous Jeff Anderson asks jurors to decide in favor of his client “to share in the rage and to be a part of his recovery and how he walks that road ahead” 

Father Robert Kapoun Trial Transcripts VII

http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/784496-kapoun-trial-transcript-vol-7.html

Highlights:

Attorneys discuss how Kapoun had previously admitted sexually abusing another boy in 1969 
Archdiocese attorney says “there was no proof” that Kapoun was “acting in the scope of employment” when he took the boys to the cabin 
Archdiocese attorney claims that punishing the church would violate the U.S. Constitution 
Jury awards victim $277,742 for damages that occurred prior to trial 
Jury awards victim $272,258 for future expenses, lost earnings, disability, emotional distress and embarassment 
Judge Gary Larson threatens to sanction Archdiocese lawyer $1,000 a day until Archbishop Roach returns from Florida to testify 
Judge Gary Larson shows frustration, suggests he wouldn’t be surprised if Archbishop Roach had left the country 
Archdiocese lawyer: Archbishop Roach is actually leaving the country 
Attorney Jeff Anderson offers to charter a plane to fly Archbishop Roach to Minnesota to testify 
Judge Gary Larson explains that jurors need to determine whether it’s likely the archdiocese “acted with willful indifference to the rights or safety of others.” 
Judge Gary Larson explains how the jury should decide the amount of punitive damages 
Kapoun meets with top church leaders in 1984 and admits to touching a boy; Church leaders ask Kapoun to resign from his parishes 
Kapoun resigns as pastor to prevent a victim’s family from calling police 
Kapoun says he talked with Bishop Carlson in 1987 about his sexual abuse of boys, Carlson asks Kapoun to seek a psychological evaluation 
Kapoun tells his parishioners he’s going on a vacation, spends that time receiving a psychological evaluation for child sexual abuse 
Top church deputy Kevin McDonough asks Kapoun in 1989 if he sexually abused one boy, Kapoun admits it 
Kapoun says Bishop Carlson told him in 1987 that the statute of limitation had expired on some of his unreported crimes 
Kapoun says church officials told him in the late 1980s not to spend time with boys but did not restrict him in any other way 
Kapoun says vicar general Kevin McDonough required him to attend therapy and confess his sins once a month 
Kapoun says he realized in therapy that he had a compulsive sexual interest in boys 
Archdiocese attorney asks Kapoun to assure jurors that his conduct at a parish since 1984 “has been above reproach” 
Archdiocese attorney asks Kapoun for his opinion on whether the church has put enough restrictions on him to protect children; Kapoun says restrications were “absolutely sufficient” 
Anderson asks Kapoun if he’s considered the impact of denying that he abused young men who are coming forward about abuse as children; Archdiocese lawyer objects 

Father Robert Kapoun Trial Transcripts VIII

http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/800665-transcript-vol-8.html

Highlights: None

Father Robert Kapoun Trial Transcripts IX

http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/784498-kapoun-trial-transcript-9.html

Highlights:

Jeff Anderson cross examines Archbishop John Roach 
Archbishop John Roach: “Would it help you if I would tell you a little bit about my style of administration?” Jeff Anderson: “No, it would help me if you would answer the question.” 
Jeff Anderson to Archbishop Roach: “You were gambling not with money but with children’s lives, weren’t you?” Roach: “Not intentionally.” 
Archbishop Roach says he transferred Kapoun out of St. Patrick’s Church because the victim’s parents were threatening to call police 
Archbishop Roach admits that “it was certainly a gamble” to reassign Kapoun knowing that he had sexually abused children in the past 
Archbishop Roach says he never met with anyone abused by Kapoun 
Archbishop Roach: “I made a judgment that there had been a dramatic change in Father Kapoun’s life and in his pattern and that he was safe in dealing with other people as proved to be true.” 
Anderson asks Archbishop Roach what he did to help the victims of Kapoun; Roach says, “I am sure we were concerned about them and I can’t tell you, Mr. Anderson, what we did about them.” 
Archbishop John Roach claims God intervened and changed Kapoun’s heart and soul 
Archbishop Roach says Kapoun was a “dramatically changed person” who was believable, holy and honest about his past actions 
Archbishop Roach says he hasn’t met with any of Kapoun’s victims and doesn’t know whether anyone on his staff has done so, either 
Vicar General Kevin McDonough: “Mr. Anderson has taught us a lot of things, and the victims he has represented have taught us a lot of things.” 
Vicar General Kevin McDonough describes restrictions placed on Kapoun 
Vicar General Kevin McDonough says parishioners weren’t told anything about Kapoun’s past until a victim sued 
Vicar General Kevin McDonough says Kapoun has already been “punished by public disclosure of his offenses … limitation on his ministry … mandated assessment and mandated treatment.” 

Jeff Anderson asks McDonough: “When you continued (Kapoun) in the parish, you in effect allowed him to continue to deny the abuse of all of those boys publicly?” McDonough: “That’s correct.” 

Father Robert Kapoun Trial Transcripts X

http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/784500-kapoun-trial-transcript-10.html

Highlights:

Archdiocese “avoided scandal” by keeping abusive priests in ministry 
Archdiocese attorney says, “Certainly the attitude and the conduct of the Archdiocese at times has been inappropriate and lacking in the type of response we would all today expect from the Archdiocese.” 
Church lawyer says, “Certainly the Archdiocese has been punished over and over for these mistakes of the past.” 
Church lawyer says the archdiocese “has been punished severely” by clergy abuse lawsuits 
Church lawyer says the archdiocese has “clearly learned from these mistakes of the past” and should be encouraged, not punished 
Church lawyer says “hope has emerged … that the church has seen the path that leads in the direction of prevention of future harm” 
Jeff Anderson says the church profitted by keeping clergy sex abuse secret 
Jeff Anderson says the archdiocese “create a danger and a menance, and it has been there for every day since.” 
Jeff Anderson says his earlier lawsuits “have had no affect on the way they are doing business … the way they are gambling with the lives of these kids every time they put a predatory priest in a parish.” 
Jeff Anderson asks jurors, “Did you hear Father McDonough say shockingly that when these come forward now we report them to the police if they are recent but not if they are older. What is going on here?” 
Jeff Anderson tells jurors they have a “solemn obligation to … serve as an example and to return a verdict that strikes the bell and delivers a blow, and that is no less than ten million dollars.” 
Jury finds that the archdiocese should pay $600,000 in punitive damages 

 

Father John P. Connor


Father John P. Connor

From the link: http://www.bishopaccountability.org/reports/2005_09_21_Philly_GrandJury/Philly_05_08_Connor.pdf

Father John P. Connor
Father John P. Connor, an admitted child molester in his home diocese of Camden, New Jersey, served from 1988 until 1993 as assistant pastor of Saint Matthew parish in
Conshohocken.
He did so thanks to an understanding described by Cardinal Bevilacqua’s assistant from his tenure in Pittsburgh as a “tradition of bishops helping bishops.” That “tradition” led Cardinal Bevilacqua to help his friend, Bishop George H. Guilfoyle of Camden, by assigning Fr. Connor to a diocese where parishioners did not know that the priest had molested a 14-year-old student.
Bishops Guilfoyle and Bevilacqua agreed to place Fr. Connor first in the diocese of Pittsburgh and later, after Bevilacqua’s transfer, in Philadelphia, each time with access to a fresh group of children unprotected by informed parents.
When Archbishop Bevilacqua assigned Fr. Connor to duties at Saint Matthew Church, it was with the directive to “educate youth.”
Cardinal Bevilacqua tried to justify his actions to the Grand Jury by claiming that he first learned that Fr. Connor’s 1984 arrest was for sexual abuse of a minor by reading about it in a newspaper in April 2002. The Grand Jury finds that this testimony was untruthful.
In 1985, before he accepted the priest into the Diocese of Pittsburgh, then-Bishop Bevilacqua handwrote on a memo that Fr. Connor could present a “serious risk” if assigned there.
In 1993, when Fr. Connor’s New Jersey victim threatened to sue the Camden diocese and expose Fr. Connor’s abuse, Cardinal Bevilacqua was fully aware of the potential scandal and acted quickly to have Fr. Connor transferred out of the Philadelphia Archdiocese and back to Camden.
Cardinal Bevilacqua’s decision to place this dangerous New Jersey priest in a Philadelphia-area parish, coupled with his refusal to inform its pastor or parishioners of the priest’s predilections, certainly put the children at Saint Matthew at “serious risk.”
Indeed, a year after Fr. Connor returned to Camden, a priest and a teacher from Saint Matthew warned Secretary for Clergy William J. Lynn that Fr. Connor was continuing a “relationship” he had developed with an 8th-grade boy at the Conshohocken parish.
Monsignor Lynn acted promptly – notifying the Chancellor in Camden and the Archdiocese’s attorney, John O’Dea. He did not notify the boy’s mother who, in 1994, had no way of knowing the priest she trusted with her son was an admitted child molester.
Father Connor is arrested in 1984 in New Jersey for molesting a minor.
Ordained in 1962, Fr. John Connor was a 52-year-old theology teacher and golf coach at Bishop Eustace Preparatory School in Pennsauken, New Jersey, when he was arrested for molesting a 14-year-old student in October 1984. According to an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Fr. Connor befriended the victim, “Michael,” when he was a freshman honors student at Bishop Eustace. The priest invited the boy to Cape May for a weekend to play golf and help repair the roof on Fr. Connor’s trailer. The boy’s mother agreed, she said, because “he was a priest.”
The priest and student played a round of golf and then went to Fr. Connor’s trailer. There, the priest served beer to the 14-year-old and announced he was about to have a “religious experience.” Michael described the experience to prosecutors as mutual masturbation.
When the priest attempted another sleepover the next weekend, Michael’s mother alerted police. With Michael’s assistance, they caught the priest in a sting operation and recorded an incriminating phone call with the boy. Father Connor was arrested in the principal’s office at Bishop Eustace.
The priest did not, however, go to jail or even trial. Lawyers for the Diocese of Camden negotiated a pretrial intervention with the Cape May Prosecutors’ Office. The terms of the deal Connor cut were that he would admit molesting the boy in exchange for having the record of his arrest erased if he were not rearrested within one year.
Michael’s mother later complained to a newspaper reporter that, while Fr. Connor’s life and career went on as if nothing happened, her son was so humiliated that he fled school, changed his name, and moved far away. In the April 21, 2002, Philadelphia Inquirer article, she referred to the year of his abuse as “the year my son died.”
Cardinal Bevilacqua, then Bishop of Pittsburgh, agrees to accept Father Connor into the Pittsburgh Diocese to accommodate Bishop Guilfoyle of Camden, New Jersey.
After his arrest, Fr. Connor spent much of the following year in treatment at the church-affiliated Southdown Institute outside of Toronto. As the priest’s release neared, Fr. Connor’s bishop in Camden, Bishop Guilfoyle, wrote to Bevilacqua, who was then Bishop of Pittsburgh. In a confidential letter of September 5, 1985, Bishop Guilfoyle asked Bishop Bevilacqua whether he would consider accepting into the Pittsburgh Diocese a priest who had been arrested and was coming out of Southdown Institute, a facility that treated sexual offenders. He stated in the letter that he would call Bishop Bevilacqua with details. Bishop Guilfoyle explained to Bishop Bevilacqua later that he could not keep Fr. Connor in Camden because of scandal.
According to documents from the Pittsburgh Diocese, Bishop Bevilacqua consulted with his personnel aide, Fr. Nicholas Dattilo, and showed him Bishop Guilfoyle’s letter. Father Dattilo raised several appropriate concerns about bringing Fr. Connor to Pittsburgh. In a memo dated September 11, 1985, Fr. Dattilo told Bishop Bevilacqua that they needed more information about the nature of Fr. Connor’s “problem.” Assuming there must be “scandal to necessitate an assignment outside the diocese,” Fr. Dattilo wanted to know, “what happened?” He noted that “if the problem is homosexuality or pedophilia we could be accepting a difficulty with which we have no post-therapeutic experience.” He concluded: “If, after you have talked to Bishop Guilfoyle you believe there is no serious risk in accepting Fr. Connor, we will do everythi ng we can to keep the tradition of bishops helping bishops intact.” (Appendix D-16)
After speaking to Bishop Guilfoyle, Bishop Bevilacqua wrote on Fr. Dattilo’s memo: “I cannot guarantee that there is no serious risk.” Despite this acknowledgement, and after receiving reports from Southdown that spoke of Fr. Connor’s “sexual preference for late adolescent males,” Bishop Bevilacqua agreed to give Fr. Connor an assignment in Pittsburgh.
The file contains no further detail about the basis for his decision, and Cardinal Bevilacqua could provide none when the Grand Jury questioned him about the matter. Rather, the Cardinal tried to place blame on Fr. Dattilo (who died recently, after becoming Bishop of Harrisburg): “It’s the responsibility of the Clergy office to follow up any kind of concerns.” Memos from Pittsburgh’s files, however, suggest that Fr. Connor was hired at Bishop Bevilacqua’s insistence. Father Dattilo said in his memo of September 11, 1985, to Bishop Bevilacqua: “If, after you have talked with Bishop Guilfoyle you believe there is no serious risk….” Father Dattilo’s “recommendation” to accept Fr. Connor, written one day after his bishop responded, “I cannot guarantee there is no serious risk,” was less than enthusiastic. Father Dattilo listed, prominently, among the reasons for the recommendation, “what [he] perceive[d] as [Bishop Bevilacqua’s] inclination to assist Bishop Guilfoyle and Fr. Connor.”
Cardinal Bevilacqua also refused to admit in his Grand Jury testimony that he was aware of the nature of Fr. Connor’s crime at the time he hired him. But the Southdown Institute report, which Bishop Bevilacqua received, specifically warned against giving the priest responsibility for adolescents. Father Dattilo’s September 18, 1985, “recommendation” cited the “serious consequences of a recurrence” given “the nature of the incident for which he was apprehended.” Bishop Bevilacqua initialed this memo, adding a note that: “He must al so be told that his pastor/supervisor will be informed confidentially of his situation.” There is, therefore, excellent reason to believe that Cardinal Bevilacqua did know the nature of Fr. Connor’s crime when he agreed to accept him.
Father Connor stays in Pittsburgh only so long as Bishop Bevilacqua is there; Archbishop Bevilacqua then finds a parish for him in Conshohocken.
Father Connor began work in Pittsburgh in October 1985 after his release from Southdown. He remained there three years, first in a hospital chaplaincy, then in a parish. From the start he was anxious to return to Camden, but, as reflected in a May 12, 1986, memo from one of Bishop Guilfoyle’s aides, Msgr. Buchler, to his bishop, Bishop Guilfoyle repeatedly put him off.
Efforts to find other dioceses willing to take Fr. Connor were unproductive. As noted in the same memo: “Ordinaries of dioceses are beginning to become somewhat ‘gun shy’ about accepting priests from other dioceses. The potential for legal ramifications are becoming more and more prohibitive.” September 1986 memos from Bishop Guilfoyle’s aides, Frs. Frey and Bottino, to their bishop recorded that some dioceses, such as Baltimore, were so wary of taking on Fr. Connor that they said they would require the extraordinary protection of an “indemnity agreement” whereby the Camden diocese would agree to “exonerat[e] them from any incident and damages caused by any acts of Pedophilia on the part of Father Connor . . ..” After Bishop Bevilacqua left Pittsburgh, Fr. Dattilo revoked Fr. Connor’s assignment. A 1988 letter from Fr. Connor to Bishop Guilfoyle recorded that Fr. Dattilo cited “legal complications” and suggested Fr. Connor apply to Philadelphia since Archbishop Bevilacqua had been willing to accept the priest before.
TO FINISH READING THE REPORT PLEASE CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK:

http://www.bishopaccountability.org/reports/2005_09_21_Philly_GrandJury/Philly_05_08_Connor.pdf

PRESS RELEASE Bevilacqua strikes from the grave


PRESS RELEASE Bevilacqua strikes from the grave
Mike Ference

Mike Ference

 

I sent this out on April 14, 2013. Bishop Zubik still gets a free pass from DA Stevie Blunder Zappala. The Pittsburgh Diocese simply does not have to account for their crimes. Please consider passing this forward.

PRESS RELEASE

Bevilacqua strikes from the grave

Pittsburgh , PA — April 14, 2013 — Since the start of the year, hardly a week goes by where Father Ron Lenguin doesn’t have to explain the sexual shenanigans of another Catholic priest or cleric from the Pittsburgh Diocese. Here it is, early April and the accusations are coming almost every other day.

The newest allegation for Lenguin to address dates back to the time of Bishop Anthony Bevilacqua’s tenure as leader of the Pittsburgh Diocese. For now, the survivor chooses to remain anonymous.

Here’s what we know. John Doe met with a detective from the Northern Regional Police Department in Allegheny County (724-625-3157) on March 21, 2013 at 11:00 am. John Doe made a statement which should have been turned over to Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala, Jr. for further review and possible investigation.

The alleged abuse occurred approximately from early 1986 to mid 1987. Father John (Jack) Connor was named in the complaint. St. Alphonsus in Wexford , PA is the parish where Father Connor was serving at the time of the alleged assault.

Father Connor, an admitted child molester served in the Pittsburgh Diocese from 1985 to 1987. Originally from the diocese of Camden , NJ , Connor came to Pittsburgh with the blessing of Bevilacqua. It was to help his close friend, Bishop George H. Guilfoyle of Camden . Keeping Connor in New Jersey could lead to more scandals and a probable law suit by one of Connor’s victims.

It’s called a “tradition of bishops helping bishops.” Some call it “passing the trash.”

During his term in the Pittsburgh Diocese, Connor was assigned as a hospital chaplain, possibly Sewickley Hospital , St. Alphonsus Parish in Wexford and St. James Parish also in Sewickley.

For more information on Father John Connor visit Bishop-Accountability:http://www.bishopaccountability.org/reports/2005_09_21_Philly_GrandJury/Philly_05_08_Connor.pdf

What the church documents reveal


What the church documents reveal

Opinion