Washington Archdiocese Releases List Of Priests “Credibly Accused” Of Sexual Abuse

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. has released the names of 31 priests who have been the subject of credible sexual abuse allegations, the Washington Post reports. The move comes just days after Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Archbishop Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who became the subject of intense scrutiny after a Pennsylvania grand jury report accused him of concealing sexual abuse complaints and protecting sexual predators.

Archdiocese Of Washington Publishes List Of Accused Clergy

The Washington Archdiocese’s list of clergy goes back to 1948, with the latest “credible” sexual abuse allegation dating from 1996. The Archdiocese says that it has not received a credible report of sexual abuse within the last two decades.

Stained Glass Window In Church

The list includes 27 former clergy members, along with three religious-order priests who served temporary appointments in Archdiocese churches or schools. Eighteen of the priests were arrested, NPR reports. 17 of the men are now dead, and none of the 14 who remain living are still in active ministry.

The List Of Clergy Members

28 are clergy members of the archdiocese, while 3 are members of independent religious orders.

  • Francis A. Benham – ordained in 1963; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1979, after which Benham was removed from ministry; Benham received “treatment” and returned to ministry; transferred to Diocese of Columbus, Ohio in 1979; abandoned priesthood in 1985; arrested and convicted of child sexual abuse in 2005
  • Salvatore F. Bucca – ordained in 1976; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1978, after which Bucca was removed from ministry
  • Raymond C. Callahan – ordained in 1963; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1971; Callahan removed from ministry in 1971, convicted the same year and removed from Clerical State in 1977; Callahan died in 1996
  • C. Thomas Chleboski – ordained in 1988; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1990; Chleboski removed from ministry in 1990, arrested the same year and convicted in 1991; removed from Clerical State in 1996
  • Joseph B. Coyne – ordained in 1945; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1992; Coyne retired in 1994; faculties removed in 1995; Coyne died in 1999
  • Russell Lowell Dillard – ordained in 1978; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 2002; Dillard removed from ministry in 2002, and removed from Clerical State the next year
  • R. Joseph Dooley – ordained in 1960; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1991; Dooley removed from parish ministry in 1992; retired without faculties in 1995; died in 2002
  • John W. Eccleston – ordained in 1955; Archdiocese received first report of sexual misconduct in 1960; received “treatment” and was cleared for return to ministry in 1962; transferred to Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota; arrested and convicted in 1982; died in 2012
  • James A. Finan – ordained in 1959; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1996; Finan removed from ministry in 1996; arrested in 1997 and convicted in 2003; died in 2013
  • Roger P. Gallagher – ordained in 1954; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1992, after which Gallagher was removed from the ministry; died in 2012
  • Edward T. Hartel – ordained in 1962; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1995; Hartel removed from ministry in 1995, arrested same years; tried and acquitted; died in 2013
  • William E. Krouse – ordained in 1973; abandoned priesthood in 1987; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1996; arrested and convicted in 1996
  • James V. Lannon – ordained in 1931; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1931; Lannon suspended in 1953, evaluated and returned to ministry in 1954; removed from ministry in 1958; died in 1984
  • Paul E. Lavin – ordained in 1969; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1997, after which Lavin was placed on leave and evaluated; returned to ministry after police investigated allegations without pressing charges; removed from ministry after additional abuse complaint in 2002; removed from Clerical State in 2004
  • Thomas W. Lyons – ordained in 1948; died in 1988; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 2002
  • Peter M. McCutcheon – ordained in 1979; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1986, after which McCutcheon was removed from the ministry; arrested and convicted in 1986, removed from Clerical State in 2004
  • Arthur J. O’Brien – ordained in 1983; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1983; removed from Washington ministry in 1984, treated and cleared for return; transferred to assignments in Alabama and Hawaii beginning in 1985; arrested and convicted in 1992; died in 2011
  • Robert J. Petrella – ordained in 1964; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1996; received “treatment” and returned to active ministry; removed from ministry after additional abuse complaint in 1989; arrested in 1996 and convicted in 1997; removed from Clerical State in 2003
  • James J. Powderly – ordained in 1958; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1997, after which Powderly retired without faculties; died in 2004
  • Edward B. Pritchard – ordained in 1974; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1986; received “treatment” and returned to ministry; removed from ministry after additional abuse complaint in 1995; arrested and convicted in 1995; died in 2002
  • Thomas S. Schaefer – ordained in 1953; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1967; received “treatment” and returned to ministry; second abuse report received in 1982; again received “treatment” and returned to ministry; permanently removed from parish ministry in 1986; served as nursing home chaplain between 1986 and 1995; removed without faculties in 1995; arrested in 1995 and convicted in 1996; died in 2009
  • James A. Scott – ordained in 1966; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1986; temporarily suspended and evaluated, returning to the ministry in 1987; served as hospital and nursing home chaplain from 1987 to 1995; removed from Clerical State in 1996; died in 2013
  • Timothy F. Slevin – ordained in 1965; abandoned priesthood in 1974; removed from Clerical State in 1978; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1986; arrested and convicted in 1986
  • Alphonsus M. Smith – ordained in 1956; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1995; removed from ministry in 1995; arrested and convicted in 1995; died in 2005
  • Dan P. Stallings – ordained as a deacon in 1986; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 2007; arrested in 2007, removed from ministry and convicted in 2008; removed from Clerical State in 2009; died in 2015
  • William M. Stock – ordained in 1969; abandoned priesthood in 1985; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 2006; arrested in 2006 and convicted in 2007
  • Paul T. Twiddy – ordained in 1952; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1965; received “treatment” and cleared for return to ministry in 1986; assigned to Diocese of Monterey between 1968 and 1971; additional report of abuse received in California in 1971; placed in long-term in-patient treatment between 1971 and 1979; cleared for limited return to ministry in Washington in 1980; retired in 1986; died in 2009
  • Miguel Umana Zelaya – ordained in 1996; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 2000; removed from ministry in 2000; removed from Clerical State in 2003
  • Aaron J. Cote – Dominican priest temporarily assigned to Washington parish; re-assigned to Rhode Island in 2003; Archdiocese of Washington received first report of abuse in 2003; arrested in 2008 and convicted in 2009
  • Walter Dayton Salisbury – Josephite priest on temporary assignment to Washington parish; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 1993; arrested and convicted in 1993; removed from Washington Diocese in 1993
  • Ronald J. Tully – Augustinian priest assigned to Archbishop Carroll High School in the 1960s; left Augustinian Order in 1970 to become priest in Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey; removed from Clerical State in 2004; Archdiocese received first report of abuse in 2011

The Archdiocese list does not provide any details on how many children were abused by the priests, or whether in all cases civil authorities were informed of complaints.

Archdiocese Promises More Name Releases In Future

Ed McFadden, a spokesman for the Archdiocese, says that additional lists will be made public in the fulness of time. Already on the roster is a list of priests who have faced accusations that were not deemed to be credible.

Notably excluded from the list is former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who served as archbishop between 2001 and 2006, directly before Cardinal Wuerl. McCarrick was suspended from public ministry in June 2018 after the Vatican confirmed reports that he had sexually molested a 16-year-old altar boy.

McCarrick is accused of sexual misconduct with multiple children and adults during his tenure as a priest in New York and New Jersey. Pope Francis accepted McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals in July. His name does not appear on the Washington Archdiocese’s list because he was not a priest in Washington when the abuse he is accused of is said to have occurred.

“Grave Sins Committed By Clergy”

According to a press release, the list of priests was created as part of a comprehensive review of the Archdiocese’s internal records ordered by former Cardinal Wuerl in 2017.

“This list is a painful reminder of the grave sins committed by clergy, the pain inflicted on innocent young people, and the harm done to the Church’s faithful, for which we continue to seek forgiveness,” Cardinal Wuerl is quoted as saying. “Our strong commitment to accompany survivors of abuse on their path toward healing is unwavering.”

Archdiocese Defends Handling Of Sexual Abuse Crisis

Archdiocese officials defended their record on child sexual abuse. “It is […] important that the public understand that the Archdiocese of Washington has long been a leader in protecting the most vulnerable in our midst,” says Kim Viti Fiorentino, the Archdiocese’s general counsel, “and that there is no safer place for a young person than in an Archdiocese of Washington parish or school.”

Pope Francis Accepts Cardinal Wuerl’s Resignation

In recent months, the Washington Archdiocese has been thrown into turmoil. Cardinal Wuerl’s resignation was accepted by Pope Francis on Friday, October 12, 2018. Calls for the former Archbishop’s ouster grew in the wake of a federal grand jury report, released by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, which outlined a damning critique of Wuerl’s tenure as the Bishop of Pittsburgh. Through 900 heart-breaking pages, the grand jury documents the abuse committed by over 300 pedophile priests, many of whom served under Wuerl’s supervision.

By |2018-10-16T14:56:55+00:00October 16th, 2018|Sex Assault & Abuse|0 Comments

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