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Bishops who have resigned amid church sex scandals

April 16, 2004

Twenty-one Roman Catholic bishops, eleven of them Americans, have resigned since 1990 in the context of sex scandals.

U.S. cases:

Thomas Dupre, Springfield, Mass. retired in February after being accused of molesting two boys in the 1970s.

Thomas Daily, Brooklyn, N.Y. resigned in August 2003 amid allegations he concealed pedophiles in the 1970s and 1980s in Boston.

Thomas O'Brien, Phoenix, Ariz. resigned in June 2003 as prosecutors were set to charge him with obstructing a criminal investigation of abusive priests. The Vatican accepted his resignation in June.

Manuel Moreno, Tucson, Ariz. citing health reasons, resigned in March 2003 after apologizing for mishandling of abusive clergy.

Cardinal Bernard Law, archbishop of Boston, on Friday, following months of criticism for his mishandling of sex abuse claims against priests.

Bishop J. Kendrick Williams of Lexington, Ky., on June 11, following allegations he abused two minors and an 18-year-old decades ago, which Williams denied.
Auxiliary Bishop James McCarthy of New York, on June 11, after apologizing for affairs with adult women.

Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee, following May 23 news that his archdiocese paid $450,000 to a man claiming Weakland attempted to sexually assault him. Weakland admitted an "inappropriate relationship" but denied abuse.
Bishop Anthony O'Connell of Palm Beach, Fla., in March, after admitting repeated abuse of an underage student at the Missouri seminary he led. Others filed later suits.

Bishop G. Patrick Ziemann of Santa Rosa, Calif., in 1999, when a priest claimed sexual coercion after Ziemann learned he had stolen parish funds. Ziemann said their relationship was consensual.

Bishop J. Keith Symons, O'Connell's predecessor in Palm Beach, in 1998, after admitting past molestation of five boys in three parishes.

Archbishop Robert Sanchez of Santa Fe, in 1993, after confessing relationships with adult women.

The late Archbishop Eugene Marino of Atlanta, in 1990, upon admitting involvement with a woman parishioner.


Archbishop Edgardo Storni of Argentina, on Oct. 1, after a book said he abused at least 47 seminarians, though a 1994 Vatican investigation found insufficient evidence to act. Storni said his resignation did not signify guilt.

Auxiliary Bishop Franziskus Eisenbach of Germany, in April, after a woman accused him of sexual abuse and injuries during an exorcism. The Vatican said resignation was no admission of guilt.

Bishop Brendan Comiskey of Ireland, in April, after apologizing for not preventing a priest's serial abuse.

Archbishop Juliusz Paetz of Poland, in March, amid allegations he had sexually harassed several priests, which he denied.

Archbishop John Aloysius Ward of Wales, in 2001, after charges he ignored warnings about two priestly molesters.

Bishop Hansjoerg Vogel of Switzerland, in 1995 after admitting he had impregnated a woman following his appointment to the hierarchy the preceding year.

Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, Austria's primate, sent into exile in 1995 following molestation claims from former high school boys. Neither Groer nor the Vatican directly admitted guilt.

Bishop Hubert O'Connor of British Columbia, Canada, charged in 1992 and imprisoned in 1996 for sexually assaulting two teenage girls as principal of a boarding school.

Bishop Eamonn Casey of Ireland, in 1992, upon admitting he fathered a child and used church offerings to pay the mother secret child support.

Archbishop Alphonsus Penney of Newfoundland, Canada, in 1990, after a church commission criticized him for failing to prevent extensive abuse of orphanage boys.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests