Roman Catholic sex abuse cases by country

Roman Catholic sex abuse cases by country

This page documents notable Roman Catholic sex abuse cases by country.


Archdiocese of Sydney

*Ross Murrin - Catholic brother plead guilty to sexually abusing eight male students. [ [ Catholic brother to plead guilty to abuse - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) ] ]

Archdiocese of Melbourne

*Michael Charles Glennon - sentenced to at least 15 years in jail for sexually abusing four Aboriginal boys between 1984 and 1991 [ [ Applause as 'evil' priest gets more jail - National - ] ]
*Wilfred James Baker - sentenced to four years in prison (parole after 2 years) for 16 counts of indecent assault and one of gross indecency, involving eight boys, aged 10 to 13, over a 20-year period between 1960 and 1979. [ [ Press Release - Sex predator: the priest who got away SINS OF THE FATHER ] ]
*David Daniel - sentenced to six years jail, with parole after 4.5 years, for molesting four boys, a girl and an adult male. [ [ Star News Group - Hear the truth - By Kath Gannaway ] ]
*Rex Elmer - abuser sentenced in 1998 to five years jail (with parole after 3 years 4 months) for molesting 12 boys at St Vincent's orphanage in South Melbourne. [ [ 104 Australian Catholic clergy sentenced in Broken Rites cases ] ]

Archdiocese of Brisbane

*Francis Edward Derriman - sentenced in 1998 to 12 months jail (suspended after serving four months) after being found guilty of indecently dealing with a teenage girl. [ [ perpad ] ]

Archdiocese of Perth

*Gerard William Dick - self-confessed sexually abusive priest sentenced to three and a half years jail in 1995 for ten incidents of indecently dealing with boys aged eight to ten at a Christian Brothers orphanage in Western Australia. [ [ Politicians are being deceived ] ]

Archdiocese of Townsville

*Neville Joseph Creen - molested young girls while he served as a priest at Mount Isa, north-west Queensland (in the Townsville diocese), from 1973 to 1981. In Brisbane District Court on 12 September 2003, Creen (aged 63) was sentenced to three-and-half years' jail (suspended after 14 months) after admitting to 34 indecent dealing charges involving 18 girls under the age of 13. One girl was aged just five when Creen abused her at a youth camp and later at the home of her grandparents. [ [ Poynter Online - Abuse Tracker ] ]

Archdiocese of Ballarat

*Gerry Francis Ridsdale - has pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a total of 40 children (comprising 39 boys and one girl). He is serving a jail sentence of 19 years (minimum), with parole possible in the year 2013. [ [ Former priest pleads guilty to child abuse - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) ] ]

Archdiocese of Bunbury

*Adrian Richard Van Klooster - plead guilty to four counts of indecently dealing with children under the age of 13, and was found with child pornography on his computer under the heading, "Parish Business" [ [ Bishop's plea after priest convicted ] ]

Archdiocese of Wagga Wagga

*Vincent Kiss - was sentenced to ten and a half years in jail (eligible for parole after seven years) for sex crimes against four teenage boys. He pleaded guilty to three charges of buggery and ten of indecent assault. [ [ Father Kiss pleads guilty to sex charges - ] ]

Marist Fathers of Tasmania

*Gregory Ferguson - was sentenced on 15 May 2007 to two years jail (eligible for parole after 12 months), for offences in 1971 against two boys aged 13 at Marist College, Burnie, Tasmania. On 13 December 2007, he was sentenced to an additional three years' jail for offences against a third boy, making a total of five years' jail. [ [ Pedophile May Get Parole after One Years Prison, Catholic News [Australia, May 17, 2007 ] ]


Archdiocese of Vienna

* In 1995 Cardinal Hans Hermann Groër stepped down as head of the Roman Catholic Church in Austria following accusations of sexual misconduct. In 1998 he left the country. He remained a Cardinal. [ [ BBC News | EUROPE | 'Exile' for disgraced Austrian cardinal ] ]


Diocese of Antwerp

* 22 July 2008 former parish priest Bruno Vos of Nieuwmoer parish in Kalmthout was officially charged with rape of a minor by the Belgian judiciary. There are also allegations of possession of child pornography included in the charge. [Belga, 22 July 2008]

Diocese of Bruges

* On 14 November 2005, former religious brother Luc D. of the Congregation of the Fratres Van Dale was sentenced by a Belgian court to 10 years imprisonment for sexual abuse of 20 mentally handicapped persons over a period of 16 years. [ België: ex-broeder veroordeeld voor seksueel misbruik [ Actualiteit | Katholiek Nederland ] ]
* On 14 November 2005, former religious brother Roger H. of the Congregation of the Fratres Van Dale was sentenced by a Belgian court to 10 years imprisonment for sexual abuse of mentally handicapped persons.
* On 18 December 2006, former parish priest Robert Borremans was sentenced to five years in prison for sexual abuse of an 11-year-old boy from 1994 until 2001. He had previously been convicted for indecent exposure. He gained public notoriety as choir leaderhuh during the marriage mass of Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium and his wife Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz. [] ]

Diocese of Liège

* On 25 September 1992, parish priest Louis Dupont of Kinkempois parish near Liège was convicted to three years imprisonment and five years in case of repetition by a Belgian court for the rape of a minor girl and boy in 1990. [ [] p. 9] [ [ège+pédophilie+prêtre&hl=nl&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=be] ]

Diocese of Namur

* On 25 October 2000, former parish priest André Louis of Ottré parish near Namur was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment for the rape of 26 children over a long period of time. [ [] ]


Diocese of Anápolis

* In 2005 Brazilian priests, Fr. Tarcísio Tadeu Spricigo and Fr. Geraldo da Consolação Machado were convicted of child molestation while Fr. Felix Barbosa Carreiro was arrested and charged with child sexual abuse in the northeastern state of Maranhão after police seized him in a hotel room with four teenage boys. [ [ Brazil - Brazzil Mag - Close to 2000 Brazilian Priests Caught in Sexual Misconduct ] ] [ [ Sex abuse in Brazil: abuser priest provides checklist for selecting victims | National Catholic Reporter | Find Articles at ] ]


Diocese of Arundel and Brighton

*In July 2000 the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor (later a cardinal), acknowledged he had made a mistake while he was Bishop of Arundel and Brighton in the 1980s by allowing a pedophile to carry on working as a priest. The priest at the center of the controversy, Father Michael Hill, was jailed in 1997 for abusing nine boys over a 20-year period. [ FACTBOX: Roman Catholic Church sex scandals in Europe, U.S. | Reuters ] ]

Buckfast Abbey School

*In 2007, two former monks from Buckfast Abbey were sentenced for sexually abusing boys. [ [ Monk jailed for schoolboys abuse] (BBC News)] [ [ Jail for child sex abuse teacher] (BBC News)]


Archdiocese of St. John's

* In the 1990s, criminal proceedings began against members of the Christian Brothers in Newfoundland. The proceedings were based on allegations of sexual and physical abuse against boys at the Mount Cashel Orphanage. It was alleged that the Brothers were allowed to escape prosecution at the time (1980s) if they left Newfoundland. [ [ Religious Life Without Integrity - Part 2 ] ] Several Brothers left Newfoundland and went to teach at St. Thomas More Collegiate in British Columbia. These included Joseph Burke, Edward English, Edward French, and Kevin Short. [ [ Presented to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Criminal Justice System June 28, 1989 - June 29, 1990 - Exhibits ] ] The subsequent lawsuits [ [ Mount Cashel ] ] by the Mount Cashel victims against the Christian Brothers organization threatened to close STMC in 2004. []


Archdiocese of Zagreb

*Ivan �uek convicted [ [ Vjesnik on-line - Crna kronika ] ] in 2000 for sexual abuse of 37 young girls, sentenced to three years in prison, but later the Croatian Supreme Court reduced the sentence [ [ Kratke vijesti ] ] to one and a half years in case he commits such crime again

Archdiocese of Rijeka

*Drago Ljubii - detained [ [ Croatian priest detained on pedophile charges - International Herald Tribune ] ] and later sentenced (in 2007) to three years in prison for sexually abusing 5 boys (10-12yrs). [ [] ]

Czech Republic

Archdiocese of Olomouc

*In 2000 Fr. Frantiaek Merta and Olomouc Bishop Jan Graubner were charged after allegations were made by a theology student, Václav Novák, that Merta had sexually abused altar boys since 1995. Novák persuaded a group of victims to come forward with their allegations against Merta. In 2001, Merta was found guilty of sexually abusing more than 20 boys and given a suspended sentence of two years. When he was a priest in Moravia, Archbishop Jan Graubner failed to report him. Instead, Graubner moved him from location to location whenever problems appeared. A book about Merta's child sexual abuse cases, "KYií Hlasem Zrady" (They Are Shouting the Voice of Betrayal), was published in March 2001 by Václav Novák. [ [ The Prague Post Online: News ] ]


Archdiocese of Paris

* François Lefort - sentenced to eight years in prison for the rape of six Senegalese minors. [ [ -> JUSTICE - PEDOPHILIE: Le père Lefort condamné à 8 ans de prison ] ]
* Pierre Dufour - sentenced to 15 years in prison for rape and sexual assault. [ [ French priest convicted of sex abuse | National Catholic Reporter | Find Articles at ] ] [ [ Agressions sexuelles: L'abbé Dufour, un "prédateur" devant les assises - L'Express ] ]

Archdiocese of Besançon

*Jean Luc Heckner - sentenced to 16 years in jail on charges of raping seven young boys (11-14yrs) between 1992 and 1998. [ [ - French priest gets 16 years for rapes ] ]


Archdiocese of Regensburg

* Diocesane priest Peter K, parish priest of Riekofen, Bavaria, was convicted of sexual abuse of minors in 2003. The priest was already convicted to a jail sentence and damages for multiple abuse of a minor in 2000.


* Several priests who abused children in the United States were Irish Nationals, notably Patrick Colleary, Anthony O'Connell and Oliver O'Grady.

Archdiocese of Dublin

* Fr. Paul McGennis, Dublin, Ireland. He abused M Collins when as a 13-year-old she was in "Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children" in 1961. Collins was later told that McGennis had admitted abusing children. However the Cardinal Archbishop of Dublin, Desmond Connell, refused "on legal advice" to supply his file on McGennis to the Irish police. McGennis was nevertheless convicted and gaoled. Collins subsequently received an apology from Cardinal Connell.

Diocese of Ferns

The Ferns Inquiry 2005 - On 22 October 2005 a government-commissioned report compiled by a former Irish Supreme Court judge delivered an indictment of the handling of clerical sex abuse in the Irish diocese of Ferns. The report revealed over 100 cases of child sex abuse in the diocese, involving a number of clergymen, including Monsignor Micheál Ledwidth, the former head of the National Catholic seminary, Maynooth College.

Among the facts revealed were:
* The failure of Bishop Donal Herlihy to exclude clearly unsuitable candidates from the priesthood;
* His failure to report incidents of proven sexual abuse to the legal authorities and his failure to acknowledge that abusers needed to be kept from children;
* The failure of his successor, Brendan Comiskey, to report incidents of abuse and remove abusers from positions where they worked with children.

Among the cases revealed were:
* The rape of teenage girls on the altar of a church by one priest;
* The use of blackmail by another priest to force children to perform sex acts on him;

The report was also highly critical of the failure of the Garda Siochána (police) to properly investigate reported incidents. It noted with concern the disappearance of one police file detailing serious incidents of clerical sex abuse. It stated that the local health authorities failed to protect children even when aware of allegations.

Some survivors of abuse praised the actions of the new Apostolic Administrator (acting bishop) for instituting wholesale reforms, including the toughest anti-abuse rules in any diocese in the Catholic Church, and also his willingness to hand over all files and all information to the inquiry. Victims' spokesman and himself one of the victims of one of the abusers, Colm O'Gorman praised the administrator and compared his actions with the inaction and incompetence of his predecessors.Fact|date=July 2007

Between 1960 and 1980 the Diocese of Ferns treated child sexual abuse by priests exclusively as a moral problem. Priests against whom allegations had been made were transferred to a different post or a different diocese for a period of time but then returned them to their former position. The Irish government held an official inquiry into the allegations of clerical sexual abuse in the Irish Catholic Diocese ehich led to the Ferns Report. It identified more than 100 allegations of child sexual abuse made between 1962 and 2002 against twenty-one priests operating under the aegis of the Diocese of Ferns.

:Multiple allegations of abuse were made against the following priests (those still alive have not been identified in the The Ferns Report):

:* Fr Donal Collins, transferred from St Peter's College in Wexford to London in 1966 but returned to the College in 1968:* Fr James Doyle, ordination postponed in 1973 but Doyle was ordained one year later.

:These three are deceased: :* Fr James Grennan, sexually molested girls in Monageer church, County Wexford while he heard their confessions:* Canon Martin Clancy, molested his female victim in her own home:* Fr Seán Fortune, ministered in the village of Poulfour in Co. Wexford, in Belfast and in Dundalk. Allegations of abuse were made against him in all three places. [ [ Ferns Report ] ]

Archdiocese of Tuam

A eight-year (1999-2007) enquiry and report by Dr Elizabeth Healy and Dr Kevin McCoy into the Brothers of Charity Congregation's "Holy Family School" in Galway, the major city of the archdiocese, and two other locations was made public in December 2007. 11 brothers and 7 other staff members were alleged to have abused 21 intellectually-disabled children in residential care in the period 1965-1998. By 2007, two members of staff were convicted of abuse, eight had died and the rest had retired. It emerged that the congregation had attempted to transfer at least one accused brother to another place.

Dr Jimmy Devins, a junior government minister, regretted that "some of the most vulnerable people in society were let down in the past". Brother Noel Corcoran F.C., head of the congregation's services in Ireland, apologized sincerely. However the report was criticized for not naming the sex offenders who were convicted or dead, and for interviewing just 21 out of 135 complainants. [Irish Times, 12 December 2007, p.6.]


* It is difficult to ascertain the correct statistics for clerical sexual abuse in Italy because the Italian Government has a treaty with the Vatican that guarantees areas of immunity to Vatican officials, including bishops and priests. [ NPR: Critics Press Italy, Church on Clergy Abuse ] ]

* Before 2001, all cases were handled privately within Dioceses. In 2001 then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger sent a letter to all bishops ordering all sex-abuse cases be transferred to the Vatican. He imposed total secrecy on the proceedings, with the penalty of excommunication for any violations.

* In May 2007 the Panorama Documentary Episode Sex Crimes and the Vatican was only allowed to run on the state run television station with equal time for church officials.

Diocese of Brixen

An Italian priest has been condemned in an Italian court op appeal to 7.5 years in prison for sexual abuse of a 9 year old child. The abuse took place during a church organised summercamp. Damages in the amount of ¬ 700.000 are due paid. [ [ De Morgen: Buitenland - Italiaanse priester in cel voor misbruik 9-jarige (246809) ] ]


* Fr. Marcial Maciel founded the Legion of Christ, a Catholic order of priests originating in Mexico. Nine former seminarians of his order accused Maciel of molestation. [ [ ReGAIN Website ] ] One retracted his accusation, saying that it was a plot intended to discredit the Legion. Maciel has maintained his innocence of the accusations. In early December 2004, a few months before Pope John Paul II's death, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (who would replace him as Pope, becoming Benedict XVI) reopened a Vatican investigation into longstanding allegations against Maciel. [ [ Pope-to-Be Reopened Mexican Sex Abuse Inquiry ] ] Father Maciel then declined to be elected again as general director of the Legion on 20 January 2005 at the order's annual meeting; a spokesman denied that this decision was related to the investigation. On 19 May 2006, Pope Benedict XVI ordered 86-year-old Father Marcial Maciel to give up his ministry and retire to a life of "prayer and repentance." A Vatican statement said that he had only escaped a full trial in an ecclesiastical court because of his "advanced age [and] frail health." [ [,,1779335,00.html Top priest told to retire as Pope toughens stand on child abuse | World news | The Guardian ] ] The statement noted that the sanctions had been personally endorsed by the Pope. Commentators said that this was a clear departure from the policy of Benedict's predecessor, John Paul II, and appeared to be a first step toward fulfilling the new pontiff's vow to sweep "filth" from the church.

Archdiocese of Mexico City

* On September 11, 2007, Survivor's Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), per released documents, accused Mexico's cardinal of knowledge of a Mexican priest's sexual offenses upon children and in bad faith, transferred him to the United States for cover-up. Aguilar Mendez stated that he was raped by priest Nicolas Aguilar in Mexico City in 1994 (at age 12). SNAP wrote Mexico City Cardinal Norberto Rivera and Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony. A damage suit accused Rivera and Mahony with negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil conspiracy and sexual battery was filled in USA for acts and actor in Mexico seeking only monetary compensation in the USA.cite web
url =
title = Accused Priest Flees From Law in U.S. and Mexico
accessdate = 2008-06-19
author =
last = McKinley
first = James C., Jr.
date = 2006-10-21
work = The New York Times
publisher = The New York Times Company
archiveurl =
archivedate =
quote = For two decades, dozens of children have accused the Rev. Nicolás Aguilar of molesting or brutally raping them. ... Father Aguilar�s long flight from the law, critics say, reflects the ease with which priests can avoid prosecution in the United States by hiding in Mexico, where judges and prosecutors are reluctant to challenge the enduring political strength of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Netherlands

Cases of sexual abuse by religious members of the Roman-catholic Church in The Netherlands can since 1995 be notified to a central church institution, called Secretariaat Rooms-Katholiek Kerkgenootschap (SRRK). [ [ SRKK: geen doofpot seksueel misbruik [ Actualiteit | Katholiek Nederland ] ] [ [ Mondiale RK-pedofilie ] ]

Diocese of Den Bosch

* Father J. Ceelen, pastor of the parishes of Lieshout and of Mariahout (municipality of Laarbeek) quits his post after allegations of sexual abuse on 1 September 2005. [ [ De Katholieke Kerk en seksueel misbruik ] ]

Diocese of Roermond

* Father H.H.M. Jansen is denounced for sexual abuse during his activities as military pastor and as a faculty member of the seminary of Rolduc. [ MariaBode 13 - Mgr. Bär en zijn 'lovers' ] ]

Diocese of Rotterdam

* 13 March 1993 bishop Philippe Bär quits his post as bishop of Rotterdam and Dutch military bishop after allegations of multiple homosexual abuse.

* 14 Mei 1998 damages of ¬ 56.800 were paid by the diocese of Rotterdam to the victim of sexual abuse by a diocesan priest in order to avoid civil prosecution. [ [ Kerk kocht proces af ] ]

New Zealand

Marylands School, operated by the Roman Catholic Brothers Hospitallers of St. John of God in Christchurch, has been the centre of a number of sex abuse cases. By 2006 the Australasian branch of the St John of God order had paid out $5.1 million to men who had been sexually abused at the school.cite news
last = Henzell
first = John
coauthors =
title = Trial attempt to regain faith
work =
pages = 1
publisher = The Press
date = 2006-03-17
url =
accessdate = 2008-06-26
] A nonprofit trust, the Male survivors of Sex Abuse Trust, worked with many of the victims.

In 2006 Bernard McGrath, a former Roman Catholic Brother, was convicted on 21 charges of sex abuse while working as a teacher and dormitory master at Marylands School. He was acquitted of a further 32 charges. The abuse happened when he worked there in the 1970s.

In 2008 Roger Maloney, who also worked at Marylands School, was found guilty of seven sex abuse charges and was acquitted of a further 16. [cite news
last = Hartevelt
first = John
coauthors =
title = Catholic brother convicted of abuse
work =
pages =
publisher = The Press
date = 2008-06-26
url =
accessdate = 2008-06-26


In 2007, Daniel Bernardo Beltrán Murguía Ward, a 42 year-old Italian-Peruvian Consecrated Layman of the group Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, was found by the Peruvian National Police in a hostel in Cercado de Lima with an 11 year-old boy, whom he was taking sexually explicit pictures of. The boy was initially lured by Murguía Ward and given Pokemon figures in exchange for photos of his intimate parts. When Murguía Ward was caught, he had paid the boy 20 Nuevo Soles ($7 USD) for his services in the hostel. The police have reported that pictures of two other boys were also found on Murguía Ward's camera and that the boy has claimed he received oral sex from Murguía Ward. These charges have been denied by the accused. Murguía Ward has since been removed from the group Sodalitium Christianae Vitae for his misconduct. [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Detienen a ingeniero de sistemas por tráfico de pornografía infantil | date=2007 | publisher= | url = | work =Peru 21 | pages = | issue = | accessdate = 2008-08-15 | language = Spanish ] [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Capturaron a pedófilo cuando fotografiaba a menor de 11 años | date=2007 | publisher= | url = | work =Diario La Republica| pages = | issue = | accessdate = 2008-08-15 | language = Spanish ] [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Capturan a pedófilo que era laico consagrado | date=2007 | publisher= | url = | work = Terra| pages = | issue = | accessdate = 2008-08-15 | language = Spanish ]


*In 2002 the Catholic Church apologized for sexual abuse by hundreds of priests over the previous 20 years. [ [ BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Philippines Church apologises for sex abuse ] ]

*In 2003 at least 34 priests were suspended in a sex abuse scandal. 20 were from a single diocese. [ [ Catholic World News : Sex-abuse scandal in Philippines involves priests with women ] ]


Archdiocese of Poznan

* In March 2002 Archbishop Juliusz Paetz quit following accusations, which he denied, of sexually molesting young priests.

Diocese of Plock

* In early 2007 allegations surfaced that former Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus was aware that several priests in his former diocese of Plock were sexually abusing minors. [ [ Polish archbishop, officials ignored child sex abuse, says newspaper - Catholic Online ] ]


Archdiocese of Ljubljana

*Franz Frantar - detained in 2006 [ [ U pritvoru sve�enik optu~en za pedofiliju - ] ] for sexual abuse of up to 16 minors. He was later sentenced [ [ Frantar obsojen � Vest ] ] to three and a half years in prison. He initially escaped persecution by escaping to Malawi to work there as a missionary, but returned to Slovenia after Interpol warrant was issued.

United States

Archdiocese of Anchorage

* The Society of Jesus made a $50 million payout to over 100 Inuits who alleged that they had been sexually abused. The settlement did not require them to admit molesting Inuit children, but accusations involved 13 or 14 priests who allegedly molested these children for 30 years. [ [ Jesuit Order Settles Suit on Sex Abuse in Alaska] , New York Times, November 19, 2007]

Diocese of Fairbanks

* The Diocese of Fairbanks, , a co-defendant in the case, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, claiming inability to pay the 140 plaintiffs filing claims against the diocese for alleged sexual abuse by priests or church workers during this period.cite web
url =
title = Fairbanks Catholic Diocese filing for bankruptcy
accessdate = 2008-03-03
date = 2008-02-15
work =
publisher = WorldNow
quote = More than 150 claims were filed against the church for alleged crimes at the hands of clergy or church workers between the 1950s and 1980s.
] cite web
url =
title = Diocese of Fairbanks to file for bankruptcy
accessdate = 2008-03-03
last = Baldino
first = Megan
date = 2008-02-15
work = CNA
publisher = Catholic News Agency
quote = The negotiations allegedly failed because one of the diocese�s insurance carriers did not �participate meaningfully.� ... Robert Hannon, chancellor and special assistant to Bishop Donald Kettler, said bankruptcy would provide a way for church assets to be distributed fairly among abuse victims.
] cite web
url =
title = Fairbanks diocese will file for bankruptcy
accessdate = 2008-03-03
date = 2008-02-13
work = The Anchorage Daily News
publisher = The McClatchy Company
archiveurl =
archivedate = 2008-02-14
quote =

Archdiocese of Boston

*Allegations of sexual misconduct by priests of the Archdiocese of Boston, and following revelations of a cover-up by the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, became known in 2004, causing Roman Catholics in other dioceses of the United States to investigate similar situations. Cardinal Law's actions prompted public scrutiny of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the steps taken in response to past and current allegations of sexual misconduct by priests. The events in the Archdiocese of Boston became a national scandal.

*Grassroots public advocacy groups like Voice of the Faithful hounded Cardinal Law after documents revealed his alleged role in covering up incidents of sexual misconduct of priests. For example, during Cardinal Law's tenure, Fathers Paul Shanley, John Geoghan, and Robert Gale were moved from parish to parish within the diocese despite repeated allegations of molestation of children under the priests' care. Later, it was discovered that Shanley advocated the North American Man-Boy Love Association. The defense he provided was "failure to keep proper records." The cardinal said his practice was to seek the analysis of psychiatrists, clinicians, and therapists in residential treatment centers before deciding whether a priest accused of sexually abusing a child should be returned to the pulpit.

*In response to the scandal, over fifty priests signed a letter declaring no confidence in Cardinal Law and asking him to resign, something that had never before happened in the history of the Church in America.Fact|date=September 2008 Law submitted his resignation to the Vatican and Pope John Paul II accepted it on December 13 2002. In a statement Cardinal Law said, "To all those who have suffered from my shortcomings and mistakes I both apologize and from them beg forgiveness." He remained cardinal, which is a separate appointment, and participated in the 2005 papal conclave. After his resignation, John Paul appointed Law to several positions in Rome and the Vatican. He is currently the archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. He is also a member of the Congregations of Oriental Churches, Clergy, Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, Evangelisation of Peoples, Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Catholic Education, Bishops as well as the Pontifical Council for the Family.Fact|date=September 2008

*Settlements in the Boston, Massachusetts suits could reach up to $100 million. In some cases insurance companies have balked at meeting the cost of large settlements, claiming the actions were deliberate and not covered by insurance. This was additional financial damage to the Archdiocese, which already faced the need to consolidate and close parishes due to changing attendance and giving patterns. In June 2004, much of the land around the Archdiocese of Boston headquarters was sold to Boston College, in part to raise money for legal costs associated with scandal in Boston. [ [ Boston Globe / Spotlight / Abuse in the Catholic Church / The financial cost ] ] [ [ Boston Globe / Spotlight / Abuse in the Catholic Church / Scandal and coverup ] ]

Archdiocese of Chicago

*Daniel McCormack, a self-confessed sexually abusive priest was sentenced to five years in prison for abusing five boys (8-12 years) in 2001.cite web
url =,priest070207.article
title = Priest gets 5 years for sex abuse
author = The Associated Press
authorlink = The Associated Press
date = 2007-07-02
work = Chicago Sun-Times
publisher = Sun-Times News Group
archiveurl =,priest070207.article
archivedate = 2007-07-04
quote = An independent auditor issued a litany of recommendations to overhaul the way the nation's third-largest archdiocese handles sex abuse complaints and Cardinal Francis George apologized for his actions—or lack thereof—about the rumors surrounding the Rev. Daniel McCormack. ... McCormack pleaded guilty to five counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for abusing five boys between the ages of 8 and 12 while he served as parish priest at St. Agatha Catholic Church.

Diocese of Davenport

*On October 10 2006, the Diocese of Davenport filed for Chapter 11 protection [ [ Iowa Diocese Files For Bankruptcy , Davenport Bishop Says Settlements For 24+ Sex Abuse Claims Left It No Choice - CBS News ] ] . The decision to file for bankruptcy was driven by many claims which focused on Bishop Lawrence Soens, who was accused of fondling as many as 15 students during his tenure as priest and principal at Regina Catholic High School in Iowa City during the 1960s. Soens denies the allegations. A judge discharged one suit in October 2006. [ [ Radio Iowa: Judge throws out Iowa City Regina priest suit ] ]

Nov 27, 2007: $37 million is now allocated to 156 persons.

Diocese of Honolulu

* Reverend Joseph Bukoski, III, SS.CC., Honolulu, Hawaii, a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary was canonically removed in 2003 as the pastor of Maria Lanakila Catholic Church in Lahaina by Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo for allegations relating to sexual improprieties some 30 years earlier. Fr. Bukoski issued a written public apology to his victim on November 12, 2005.

* Reverend Mr. James "Ron" Gonsalves, Wailuku, Hawaii, Gonsalves the administrator of Saint Ann Roman Catholic Church in Waihee, Maui, pleaded guilty on May 17, 2006 to several counts of sexual assault on a 12-year-old male. Bishop Clarence Richard Silva has permanently withdrawn his faculties and has initiated laicization proceedings against Deacon Gonsalves with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Archdiocese of Los Angeles

*The Archdiocese of Los Angeles agreed to pay out 60 million dollars to settle 45 lawsuits it still faces over 450 other pending cases. According to the Associated Press a total of 22 priests were involved in the settlement with cases going as far back as the 1930s. [ [ LA diocese settles abuse claims] 1 December 2006] 20 million dollars of this was paid by the insurers of the archdiocese. The main administrative office of the archdiocese is due to be sold to cover the cost of these and future law suits. The archdiocese will settle about 500 cases for about $600 million. [ [;_ylt=A0WTUcnRXZlGpC8BMyKs0NUE LA church to pay $600M for clergy abuse] July 14, 2007]

*The 2006 documentary "Deliver Us From Evil" is based on accusations that the Archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahony, knew that Oliver O'Grady, a priest who sexually abused children, including a 9-month-old baby, in a string of Central California towns for 20 years, was a sexual abuser but failed to keep him away from children. In 1984, a Stockton police investigation into sexual abuse allegations against O'Grady was reportedly closed after diocesan officials promised to remove the priest from any contact with children. Instead, he was reassigned to a parish about 50 miles east, in San Andreas, where he continued to molest children. Not long after, Mahony was promoted to archbishop of Los Angeles, the largest Catholic diocese in the country. In "Deliver Us From Evil", O'Grady says Mahony was "very supportive and very compassionate and that another situation had been smoothly handled". Mahony denies knowing that O�Grady was a child molester. [ [ A former priest molested kids in California parishes. Now he talks in a chilling documentary ] ]

*Mahony appealed an attempt to gain access to church documents relating to sexual abuse all the way to the Supreme Court [ Archdiocese Loses Case to Keep Former Priests' Records Secret - New York Times ] ] .

*In Encino the late Father Clinton Hagenbach, who established the first teen club at St. Cyril of Jerusalem Church's first teen club, has been accused of sexually abusing 18 boys. The archdiocese paid $1.5 million in 2002 to settle one of those claims. [ [ Unnerving Choices for Church Historians ] ]

Archdiocese of Miami

* Since 1966, the Archdiocese of Miami Insurance Programs have paid $26.1 million in settlement, legal and counselling costs associated with sexual misconduct allegations made by minors involving priests, laity and religious brothers and sisters. [ [ The Archdiocese of Miami ] ]

* Archbishop John Favalora has been deposed in a lawsuit filed against retired Broward priest Neil Doherty; at least four lawsuits alleged the Archdiocese knew Doherty was a child sexual abuser and covered-up allegations. Doherty was removed from ministry in 2002 by Archbishop Favalora. Three years later, he was first publicly accused of sexual abuse in 2005. Favalora claims in his published deposition, that he removed Doherty after going through approximately 400 priest personal files and found old allegations of abuse against Doherty that took place under the administration of the previous and now deceased archbishop. Two of these Doherty cases were settled together with four others in July 2006 for $750,000. [ [ Archdiocese Pays $750,000 in 6 Sex Cases Six Sexual Abuse Cases Amounting to $750,000 Have Been Settled by South Florida's Catholic Archdiocese, by Amy Sherman, Miami Herald, July 21, 2006 ] ] [ [ Attorney Says More Victims of Priest Will Surface Soon The Lawyer Who Represents a Man Allegedly Sexually Abused by a Catholic Priest Says Additional Victims Will Step Forward Next Month, by Roberto Santiago, Jay Weaver and Wanda DeMarzo, Miami Herald [Florida, January 28, 2006 ] ] [ [ Archbishop Deposed in Sex-Abuse Case, by Jay Weaver, Bradenton Herald [Miami FL, February 20, 2007 ] ]

* In October 2006, U.S. congressman Mark Foley confessed he was molested as a 16 year old teenager by Fr. Anthony Mercieca who acknowledged the molestation. [ [ Miami Archdiocese apologizes to Foley - ] ] . Although Foley never filed suit, another man came forward shortly thereafter and filed a lawsuit anonymously claiming similar abuse. That lawsuit was settled in July 2007. [ [ UpdateFlorida: Miami archdiocese settles abuse lawsuit that named Foley priest ] ] . Fr. Mercieca denied any abuse of the second man. [ [ Lawyer for priest accused of abusing Foley says there is no case, denies second allegation - ] ]

* In July 2007, Miami lawyer Jeffrey Herman announced new lawsuits against the Archdiocese, alleging sexual abuse by six previously accused priests, including Neil Doherty. One of the lawsuits is for an allegation that was previously investigated by the State Attorney's office and was deemed not credible. The investigation was dropped and the priest remains active in ministry. The Archdiocese has stated it will defend him vigorously. [ [ Six Priests Face Sex Abuse Suits, by Oscar Corral, Miami Herald, July 19, 2007 ] ] [ [ The Archdiocese of Miami ] ]

Diocese of Orange

* On January 3, 2005 Bishop Tod Brown of the Diocese of Orange apologized to 87 alleged victims of sexual abuse and announced a settlement of $100 million following two years of mediation. The suits alleged sexual misconduct on the part of 30 priests, 2 nuns, 1 religious brother, and 10 lay personnel into the 1980s; 11 claims were against Eleuterio Ramos and 9 against Siegfried Widera, both deceased (Widera by suicide). [ California Diocese Settles Abuse Cases] About 25 cases involved abuse dating before the creation of the Diocese of Orange, one to 1936. Orange Diocese to release files in $100 million settlement] It was the first settlement in California arising from the Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and remained the largest settlement (though not the largest judgment) arising out of the scandal until the Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced a $660 million settlement in July 15, 2007. About half of the sum was covered by liability insurance. The diocese had also sharply cut costs to prepare for the settlement in the preceding months. These steps enabled the Diocese of Orange agree to the settlement without closing schools or parishes, or more severe measures required of other U.S. dioceses caught up in the scandal.

* In 2003 Nine men sued the diocese alleging that Msgr. Michael A. Harris, their former principal, sexually assaulted them while they attended Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana or Santa Margarita High School in Rancho Santa Margarita. Harris quit the priesthood in 2001 after the Los Angeles and Orange dioceses paid $5.2 million to one of his alleged victims. [ [ Bishop Accountability ] ]

Diocese of Phoenix

*On November 21, 2005, Monsignor Dale Fushek of the Diocese of Phoenix was arrested and charged with 10 criminal misdemeanor counts related to alleged inappropriate sexual contact with teens and young adults. [ [] Dead link|date=February 2008]

*Also in November 2005 Fr. Paul LeBrun was found guilty of six counts in the sexual abuse of boys when he was stationed in the West Valley. [ [ Priest Convicted on Sex Abuse, Faces 100-Plus Years in Prison ] ] [ [ Welcome to the Tucson Citizen ] ]

*Fr. Joseph Briceno fled to Mexico and was later captured and charged with one count of sexual abuse, six counts of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of attempted sexual conduct with a minor. [ [ Cult Information from the Rick A. Ross Institute for the Study of Destructive Cults, Controversial Groups and Cult Movements ] ] [ [ Denied:1up! Software ] ]

*In December 2006 the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix agreed to pay $100,000 to William Cesolini who claimed he was sexually assaulted as a teenager by a priest, Mark Lehman, and a former teen minister, Phil Baniewicz, at a Mesa church. Monsignor Dale Fushek, who was pastor of that parish and co-founded Life Teen, the nation's largest Catholic youth ministry with Baniewicz, was accused in the suit of giving alcohol to the teen and then watching Lehman sexually abuse Cesolini. [ [ Catholic Diocese of Phoenix Settles Sex-Abuse Claim, Associated Press, carried in Arizona Daily Star, December 27, 2006 ] ]

Archdiocese of Portland

*The Archdiocese of Portland filed for Chapter 11 reorganization on July 6, 2004, hours before two abuse trials were set to begin. Portland became the first Catholic diocese to file for bankruptcy. An open letter to the archdiocese's parishioners explained the archbishop's motivation:::This is not an effort to avoid responsibility. It is, in fact, the only way I can assure that other claimants can be offered fair compensation. We have worked diligently to settle claims of clergy misconduct. In the last four years, we have settled more than 100 such claims. Last year alone the Archdiocese paid almost $21 million from its own funds. Major insurers have abandoned us and are not paying what they should on the claims.::Two cases are set for trials beginning today. One plaintiff seeks more than $130 million in compensatory and punitive damages, the other $25 million. We have made every effort to settle these claims fairly but the demand of each of these plaintiffs remains in the millions. I am committed to just compensation. These demands go beyond compensation. With 60 other claims pending, I cannot in justice and prudence pay the demands of these two plaintiffs.

*The archdiocese had settled more than one hundred previous claims for a sum of over $53 million. The filing seeks to protect parish assets, school money and trust funds from plaintiffs: the archdiocese's contention is that parish assets are not the archdiocese's assets. Plaintiffs in the cases against the archdiocese have argued that the Catholic church is a single entity, and that the Vatican should be liable for any damages awarded in judgment of pending sexual abuse cases.

*After the filing, an April 29, 2005 deadline was set by the bankruptcy court to allow other people to file complaints. According to an October 2005 archbishop's column in the "Catholic Sentinel", nearly 200 more claims of all kinds were filed as a result. That column also noted that the archdiocese has filed suit against insurance companies to compel them to contribute financially to the settlement expected to arise out of the reorganization.

*A [ press release] issued by the Archdiocese of Portland on April 17, 2007 announced a settlement plan had been reached and a bankruptcy court had approved a financial plan of reorganization.

Archdiocese of San Antonio

*John Salazar - sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting a 18-year-old parishioner. []

Diocese of San Diego

*On February 27 2007, the Diocese of San Diego filed for Chapter 11 protection, hours before the first of about 150 lawsuits was due to be heard. San Diego became the largest diocese to file for bankruptcy. [ [ > News > Metro - S.D. Catholic diocese files for bankruptcy ] ]

*On September 7, 2007, The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego agreed to pay $198.1 million to settle 144 claims of sexual abuse by clergy, the 2nd-largest payment by a diocese, terminating 4 years of settlement talks in state and federal courts.

Diocese of Spokane

*Under Bishop William S. Skylstad the Diocese of Spokane declared bankruptcy to protect it from claims of people abused by priests in December 2004. The Diocese of Spokane as part of its bankruptcy has agreed to pay at least $48 million as compensation. This payout has to be agreed to by the victims and a Judge before it will be made. According to Federal Bankruptcy Judge Gregg W. Zive, money for the settlement would come from insurance companies, the sale of church property, contributions from Catholic groups and from the diocese's parishes. [ [ BBC NEWS | World | Americas | US Church offers abuse settlement ] ]

Diocese of Tucson

*The Diocese of Tucson filed bankruptcy in September, 2004. The Diocese of Tucson reached an agreement with plaintiffs, which the bankruptcy judge approved on June 11, 2005, specifying terms that included allowing the diocese reorganization to continue in return for a $22.2 million settlement.

ee also

*Crimen sollicitationis
*Homosexuality in the Roman Catholic priesthood
*Roman Catholic sex abuse cases


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