1. More than 6,000 priests and 100,000 victims


2. Admission from bishops that priests and bishops sexually abuse children:


3. Zero tolerance:

  • According to the policy of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Diocesan/eparchial policy is to provide that for even a single act of sexual abuse of a minor*—whenever it occurred—which is admitted or established after an appropriate process in accord with canon law, the offending priest or deacon is to be permanently removed from ministry and, if warranted, dismissed from the clerical state. … The diocesan/eparchial bishop is to exercise his power of governance, within the parameters of the universal law of the Church, to ensure that any priest or deacon subject to his governance who has committed even one act of sexual abuse of a minor as described below (see note) shall not continue in ministry. ” (, p 11-12.)
  • And was first announced in 2002 by then-President, Bishop Wilton Gregory: “Today, we have seen the passage of an important document in the history of our Conference of Bishops. From this day forward, no one known to have sexually abused a child will work in the Catholic Church in the United States.” (

4. Openness and transparency:


5. Dozens of culpable bishops

Because of the on-going secrecy surrounding child sex crimes and cover-ups in the Catholic Church, no one knows exactly how many bishops are ignoring, concealing or enabling wrongdoing, now and in the past.

But here's what we do know:

 --In 2002, using information that was already in the public arena, the Dallas Morning News found 109, out of the 272 active bishops ignoring, concealing or enabling wrongdoing.

Now, 27 of them are still in the same office today and 7 of them have been promoted or moved to a different diocese.

 -- Three complicit US bishops have essentially been promoted and now live and/or work at the Vatican

--Two complicit auxiliary bishops who were harshly criticized in a Philadelphia grand jury report were promoted to head their own dioceses.

--At least 8 US Cardinals have hidden the crimes of child molesting clerics

 --At least 22 US bishops have been accused of molesting children themselves

AK Anchorage- Archbishop Roger Schweitz
AL Birmingham  (formerly of Charleston, SC)- Bishop Robert Baker 
  • In February, a spokesman denied a lawsuit's allegation that the diocese was employing a "known priest-pedophile." Later, the spokesman acknowledged that the accused priest (Rev. Paul Seitz) remained on the job, after having been suspended in the mid-1990s, moved to a smaller parish and ordered not to be alone with children.   (
  • In 2000, Bishop Baker transferred Rev. John Bench to a diocese in Florida, after paying a settlement to the family of a young girl the priest admitted abusing. The bishop relented after the family protested.
CA San Bernardino - Bishop Gerald Barnes
CA San Diego - Bishop Robert Brom 
CA San Jose - Bishop Patrick McGrath 
CT Hartford - Archbishop Henry Mansell
Washington DC - Cardinal Donald Wuerl 
FL Saint Petersburg - Robert lynch
IA Dubuque - Archbishop Jerome Hanus
ID Boise - Bishop Michael Driscoll 
IL Chicago - Cardinal Francis George 
LA Houma Thibodaux - Bishop Sam Jacobs 
LA Lafayette - Bishop Michael Jarrell  
LA New Orleans - Archbishop Gregory Aymond  
  • Allowed a teacher, Brian Matherne, to remain on the job despite the fact that he had been accused of sexual abuse in 1998. Aymond did not inform police of the investigation because the victim was being “uncooperative.” Matherne was later tried and convicted after he admitting to molesting at least 17 boys during his time in New Orleans. (
MA Boston - Cardinal Sean O’Malley 
  • In 2008, it was disclosed that, for the second year in a row, O’Malley was violating the US bishops’ child sex abuse prevention policy. According to other officials, O’Malley was failing to train kids how to avoid or stop being victimized. Every child was supposed to receive the training, yet only 20% of  kids did. O’Malley also failed to discipline a single individual for flaunting this national requirement.  (
  • In 2006, in a case with disturbing parallels to many earlier Boston pedophile priest cases, O’Malley moved very slowly against, and gingerly with, a prominent Catholic hospital official who faces multiple allegations of sexually harassing employees. A high-ranking human resources official at the hospital “accused O’Malley of improperly interfering in the investigation to help the accused, giving him advance notice of the probe, providing him with an adviser, and telling of the reprimand before consulting with the board,” according to the Boston Globe.
  • The Cardinal’s actions “have made a mockery of the investigation. It is nothing short of shameful,” the human resource official wrote. “Perhaps most troubling” was what she called the "near absence” of concern for the women complainants that she said was shown by the church hierarchy.  (
MD Baltimore - Archbishop William Lori (formerly of Bridgeport, CT)
  • In 2002, while Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport, CT, Lori allowed two priests – Fr. Stanley Koziol and Fr. Gregory Smith – to work for decades despite the fact that they had been both subject to child sex abuse allegations. Lori removed only after public pressure. (
  • Last December, a Connecticut newspaper disclosed that Fr. Jean Marie DeGraff was arrested in October for allegedly molesting at least one child in Canada in 2010 and 2011. From 2007 to 2008, DeGraff worked at St. Mary Parish on Greenwich Avenue and other churches in western Connecticut, and during that time he had been the subject of allegations of abuse. Rather than remove Fr. DeGraff, Bishop Lori instead sent him to Canada where he was able to abuse another child. (
MO Jefferson City - Bishop John Gaydos
MO Kansas City - Bishop Robert Finn 
NE Omaha - Archbishop George Lucas 
NJ Newark - Archbishop John J. Myers 
NM Santa Fe- Michael J. Sheehan
NY Albany - Bishop Howard Hubbard
NY Booklyn -Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio
NY New York - Cardinal Timothy Dolan 
  • Last year, Fr. Jaime Duenas was arrested for repeatedly abusing a 16-year-old girl over three days at her parish job. Then, Dolan posted on his blog a statement essentially attacking the girl and questioning why she went back to work the second and third days. Despite SNAP’s protests, Dolan’s callous post is still up. (
  • Last year, the public learned that there was child porn on a Bronx assistant principal’s school computer. At that time, it was also revealed that Catholic officials – including Dolan – had kept silent for nine months about the child porn, giving the criminal and his supervisors ample time to destroy evidence, fabricate alibis, intimidate witnesses, threaten whistleblowers and thwart law enforcement.  (
  • In 2010, Dolan told parishioners that Msgr. Wallace A. Harris wouldn’t return to his Harlem parish and left the impression that Harris is stepping aside because of alleged health problems. However, Harris is an accused pedophile priest who was temporarily suspended in 2008 and who faces at least ten men who report that he abused them as kids, and was resigning due to lawsuits. (
  • Last month, newly disclosed secret Milwaukee archdiocesan records showed that Dolan and his staff paid up to $20,000 to some proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics. Dolan had at least three options:  First, work to get predators charged, convicted and imprisoned. Second, work to get them housed in remote, secure, independent treatment centers. Three, work to get them quietly defrocked to save church officials money and enable the predators to quietly move onto new homes and jobs among unsuspecting families and co-workers. Dolan chose the most problematic of these options.
  • In 2002, Dolan (like his peers) pledged to be 'open & transparent' about clergy sex crimes. But the next year, Dolan secretly paid predator priests. In 2006, when confronted about it by a reporter, Dolan lied.For six years, Dolan let his deception stand uncorrected. And when confronted last month with a clear memo showing the "settlements," Dolan kept silent. Days later, instead of answering questions, he went on the attack.  (
  • On Sunday, Dolan finally responded, repeating his 'charity' lie, and attacking the New York Times and our group.If Dolan thinks this is the right approach - secretly paying admitted, serial predator priests to quietly move elsewhere among unsuspecting families, neighbors and co-workers, why didn't he say so in 2003 or why won't he say so now?
NY Rochester - Bishop Matthew Clark
  • Bishop Clark, who famously in the 1990’s wrote that pedophile priests were “afflicted, but not sinful,” allowed at least six priest who had been credibly accused of abuse in the 1970’s and 1980’s to continue to live and work in the diocese, despite complaints from their victims.
  • The priests were Rev. Thomas Burr, Rev. Foster Rogers, Rev. David Simon, Rev. William Lum, Rev. Thomas Corbett, and Rev. Joseph Brodnick. (
OH Youngstown - Bishop George Murry
PA Erie - Bishop Donald Trautman
TX Galveston/Houston- Cardinal Daniel DiNardo
  • In November 2007, a victim reported having been sexually abused by Fr. Stephen Horn (between 1989 and 1993). DiNardo found the victim credible and suspended Horn. For two months, however, DiNardo kept the allegation and his determination secret from parishioners, police and the public (despite US bishops’ repeated pledges to act quickly and openly with sex abuse allegations). The delay gave Horn, a credibly accused molester, ample opportunity to fabricate alibis, destroy evidence, intimidate victims, threaten witnesses, or even flee the country, as some pedophile priests have done.Part of DiNardo’s secrecy and delay occurred in the weeks between when the Pope announced that DiNardo would be named a Cardinal (October 2007) and when DiNardo was promoted amid much pageantry (November 24). Some Houston Catholics have speculated that DiNardo did not want the news of Horn’s crimes to “rain on (DiNardo’s) parade” (
  • In 2010, DiNardo did nothing when it surfaced that a Houston priest, Fr. Walter Dayton Salisbury, had been convicted of child sex crimes, moved to Maine, lived in public housing and sat on a town’s public housing board.  (
TX Lubbock - Bishop Placido Rodriguez
TX San Angelo - Bishop Michael Pfeifer 
TX Tyler - Bishop Alvaro Corrada del Rio
TX Victoria - Bishop David Fellhauer
VA Richmond - Bishop Francis DiLorenzo
WA Seattle - Archbishop J. Peter Sartain
Retired List
CA Los Angeles (now retired) - Cardinal Roger Mahony 
  • Mahony has been repeatedly accused of shuffling prolific serial predator Oliver O’Grady around from parish to parish, allowing him to abuse more children than if he had defrocked O’Grady when he had originally been made clear of the warning signs. (
  • For years, Mahony stayed secretly let an admitted child molesting cleric live in his archdiocese (in a picturesque religious complex overlooking the ocean), despite the cleric’s being wanted on criminal charges in Canada. In 2005, when SNAP and others demanded that Mahony and his colleagues turn over Franciscan friar Gerald Chumik to law enforcement, Mahony let Chumik move from Santa Barbara Mission Church in Santa Barbara to Missouri, For 14 years, Chumik has been a fugitive from his native Canada. (
  • In October 2005, (more than three years after Mahony pledged “openness” about child sex abuse and cover ups), Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley said “Three years ago, I urged Cardinal Mahony to provide the fullest possible disclosure of evidence of sexual abuse by clergy. Despite two court rulings ordering full disclosure, Cardinal Mahony continues to claim ‘confidentiality privileges’ that no court has recognized.” (
CA Santa Rosa (now retired) - Bishop Daniel Walsh 
  • Walsh rejected the recommendation of his own advisory panel concerning predator priest Joseph Alzugaray. (One of Alzugaray’s victims was paid a settlement of a million dollars.) The board recommended that Alzugaray be removed for repeatedly abusing a young girl, yet Walsh declined to do so. Walsh did not offer any reasoning or motive for his decision, saying only “I will not comment on my decision.” (
  • When Fr. Francisco Ochoa was accused of abuse in 2005, Walsh notified the priest first, before informing the police. This days-long delay gave Ochoa enabled to escape the country and return to his native Mexico before authorities could arrest him. Ochoa remained free until he died in 2009. Walsh did this despite the fact that Ochoa himself had admitted to the bishop that he had a history of abusing kids. (
NH Manchester (now retired) - Bishop John McCormack 
NY New York (now retired) - Cardinal Edward Egan 
  • In 2003, Egan became the first US prelate to refuse to say mass for the devoutly Catholic, hand-picked, distinguished lay panel chosen by bishops to look at the church’s child sex abuse crisis. According to the New York Times, Egan also “interfered with” and prevented the US bishops’ ‘watchdog’ on clergy sex cases from speaking in his archdiocese
  • In 2007, he let a principal of a prestigious New York Catholic high school to remain at work, despite the fact that disturbing sexual images were found on his computer. In this case, it was a priest who contacted the diocese, who then let the principal to stay on the job for five months. This only came to light after the priest came forward to the media. (;jsessionid=CB7472EFBBD6E76B4B72EB7151E501A5)
  • In an interview with Connecticut Magazine last year, Egan rescinded the pathetic ‘apology’ that he had made to victims of clergy abuse in 2002. He went further to say that he didn’t believe church officials had done anything wrong, that he was “proud” of the way they handled things, and that he didn’t believe that there was much that was actually hidden. (
PA Philadelphia (now retired) - Cardinal Justin Rigali 
VA  Richmond - Walter F. Sullivan (retired) 
  • In 2002, Rev. John E. Leonard (with allegations dating back to 1996) was removed after allegations of old abuse when he was at St. John Vianney Seminary; but was reactivated by Bishop Sullivan after he overruled the review committee. There was a big outcry from the committee, including one resignation.  A civil suit in 2003 was later dismissed on SOL. Criminal charges were brought in 2003 and Leonard was sentenced in 2004 to 2 consecutive 12 month jail terms (suspended) and probation. He was removed again in 2004 and then resigned from priesthood. (
WA  Yakima (now retired) - Bishop Carlos Sevilla  

6. Bishops and their fight against statute of limitations (SOL) reform

National - Bishops fight against changing SOL “arguing that it is difficult to get reliable evidence when decades have passed and that the changes seem more aimed at bankrupting the church than easing the pain of victims.” (

CA - Bill 1626 extends SOL and requires more rigorous background checks for those working with children. 
CO - House Bill 081011 (2008) Eliminates SOL. Rep Joan Fitz-Gerald 
CT - House Bill 5473 removes SOL
MD - Professionals who work with children don’t have mandatory reporting.
NJ - Bill would remove SOL. 
NY - One-year window in SOL.
OH - Senate Bill 17(2006) would have given victims a one year “look-back” window.
PA - House Bill 832 removes SOL. House Bill 879 give two-year window to SOL. 
WI - 2009 Assembly Bill 453 (Child Victim Act) extends SOL to 17 years after victims 18th birthday. 

7. Predatory priests still in ministry


Because of the on-going secrecy surrounding child sex crimes and cover ups in the Catholic church, no one knows exactly how many admitted, proven, credibly accused child molesting clerics are still on the job.

Just last year, a grand jury found, “By the (Philadelphia) Archdiocese’s own account, at least 37 priests remain in ministry despite reports that they have engaged in improper behavior with minors.”

As many as eight of them have not been publicly identified nor removed from ministry as of May, 2012.

But here are some of the cases that we do know about:

FL, Miami - Fr. Rolando Garcia, pastor at St. Agatha Catholic Church in Miami.

CA, Fresno - Fr. Eric Swearingen 559 434 7701, pastor at Holy Spirit parish

  • In a civil trial in November 2006, jurors (by a 9-3 margin) found Fr. Swearingen guilty of molesting Juan Rocha when Rocha was a child. (On other counts concerning diocesan complicity, jurors deadlocked, so technically, it was a mistrial.) Fresno Bishop John Steinbock insists Fr. Swearingen is innocent. The priest is now pastor at Holy Spirit parish in Fresno. (

CA, San Diego - Fr. Jose Alexis Davila at St. Jude’s Catholic Church

MO, St. Louis - Fr. Vincent Bryce 314 256 8801, Aquinas Institute

MO, De Soto - Fr. Alex R. Anderson 636 337 2212, pastor at St. Rose of Lima parish (

  • Three men who don’t know each other came forward separately with accusations that Anderson sexually abused them when they were kids. Two never filed lawsuits. The third did file a countersuit, after Anderson sued him for slander. (Church officials later paid him $22,500. Anderson insisted that he would not drop his slander suit unless a number of conditions were met. None of them were. He dropped his suit anyway.) (
  • Anderson’s parish, St. Rose of Lima, has a parochial school.

PA, Philadelphia – Msgr. John A. Close

  • In July, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput announced that once-suspended Msgr. John Close will soon be back on the job. Close faces at least two allegations of having molested boys. (What are the odds that there are two mistaken allegations against the same cleric?) He’s also been a chaplain at four institutions and been listed in the Official Catholic Directory as “in residence” at three others, a highly unusual work history for an archdiocesan priest (and the kind of assignment often given over the years to proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting clerics). (

KY, Owensboro – Fr. Louis Francis Piskula of Blessed Mother Catholic Church

We in SNAP are a support group with a skeletal staff. These are just some of the cases we’ve been able to document through public records. We suspect there are dozens more. And despite bishops’ “zero tolerance” pledges – in 2002 and even earlier – each year, we’ve seen cases like this surface time and time again. Here are just a few from recent years:

2011 - MO, Kansas City – Fr. Michael Tierney

2011 - CA, Los Angeles – Fr. Martin P. O’Loghlen

  • In the mid 1990s, he admitted molesting and raping a girl (and being a sex addict). Nevertheless, he was re-elected as head of the Sacred Hearts' Western US Province and then-Cardinal Roger Mahony put him on his abuse review panel.
  • Only a year and a half ago, when a New York Times reporter began making inquiries, was O’Loghlen suspended from Holy Name of Mary church in San Dimas in the Los Angeles archdiocese. (

2009 - NJ, Newark – Fr.. Michael Fugee

Here’s a list of other similar cases we released and posted on our site in 2003:

And remember – every day a proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting cleric stays on the job, he or she has access to more children and has the ability to destroy evidence, intimidate victims, threaten whistleblowers, discredit witnesses, fabricate alibis, and even flee the country.

But what about the possibility of mistaken or false allegations? Learn more here:



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  • Snap Admin Admin
    published this page 2012-07-09 23:17:00 -0500

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