NH- Predator priest resurfaces at PA school; SNAP responds

A predatory New Hampshire priest has just been found working in a Philadelphia area school, despite the fact that Catholic officials have paid a settlement to at least one of his victims and promised he’d never be around kids again.

Fr. Michael Ledoux was accused of sexual abuse in the late 1980s while he was working in Derry, NH. Up until July, he was the dean of Widener University. Catholic officials, however, quietly let him resign when news of the settlement surfaced recently in Philly.

According to reports, the Franciscans first learned of Ledoux’ sexual abuse in September 2002, but allegedly did not tell the Manchester Diocese about it. Catholic officials then let Ledoux move to Philly and gain more access to children.

This irresponsible behavior helps potentially dangerous criminals to avoid justice and hurt others. We hope that anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Ledoux’s crimes – whether in Pennsylvania or New Hampshire – will speak up. And we hope those who wrongly assume that Catholic officials have reformed understand that the practice of secretly moving child molesting clerics continues even now.

To read more, click the links below. 



Showing 3 comments

  • Michael Ference
    commented 2013-01-08 13:29:53 -0600
    Maybe the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has something to hide?

    PG Reporter propositioned by Father John Wellinger?
    By Mike Mike Ference

    Against the advice of former Clairton Public Safety Director Bill Scully, I decided to contact a reporter from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. When I revealed the reporter’s name to Scully, he almost seemed relieved it was Ken Evans.

    Evans billed himself as an investigative reporter. All I knew about him was that he had covered the story on the attempted murder of my son and the suicide of the shooter. I figured Evans would have been privy to the police reports, McKeesport and maybe even the report from PA State Trooper Corporal Robert Griffin. More importantly, maybe he had gleaned some information off the record from investigators, parents, teachers, whomever. Factor in the information I would supply to Evans, the so-called investigative reporter could easily have reserved a table for himself and friends at the next Pulitzer banquet.

    I met Evans early in the morning at SYSCO Foodservice of Pittsburgh in Harmony, PA. That’s where I would work for the next year or so until I was forced out. My last day would be July 24, 1992. It would be my wife’s birthday. Nineteen years later, again on my wife’s birthday, this article is being written.
    Evans and I left the SYSCO plant for a nearby Burger King. I bought a coffee for myself, Evans passed. We headed for a picnic table under or near a tree about 30 from the fast food restaurant but still on the property.

    I explained to Evans that Bill Scully had provided with details about the investigation and that Scully was convinced the entire case was deliberately botched. I volunteered information on the notes Scully gave to me, he assured me, he could help. I told Evans that Scully was all but convinced that Father John Wellinger, a Catholic pastor at Holy Spirit Church in West Mifflin, PA had sexually abused the shooter in my son’s case. I described to Evans the details about what Wellinger did to Greg Witkowski in 1987 when the teenage boy barely made it to the emergency room at a Pittsburgh Hospital (now part of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) based on what I knew then from Scully’s notes.

    I left the meeting with Evans a small-framed fellow, hoping he would do his job and write a story about the information I passed on to him. After several months, dozens of phone calls and finally realizing that Evans would never lift a finger to help my investigation, I would move on.

    Eventually, Evans would move on as well. According to a Post Gazette reporter, Evans would leave the PG in the early 90s and take with him some sort of settlement. Could Evans have sold the information I gave to him for some sort of cash prize worth more than his dignity and self worth as a would-be journalist?
    One thing I failed to mention. According to Evans, Father John Wellinger propositioned the reporter as he and his wife were preparing to have one of their children baptized at a Catholic Church years before. The church was in Wilkensburg and John Welinger was an assistant pastor.

    At first, I thought Evans was using the story as a ploy to test my reaction. Would I be overly enthused and insist that Wellinger was a homo, and possibly lose credibility for not having an open or objective mind towards the investigation. I can only assume that what Evans told me is correct. To this day, I never bothered to find out if Evans and his wife were actually parishioners in the Wilkensburg Cathtolic church were Wellinger was also an assistant pastor. Evans wasn’t the only person I discussed Wellinger with who recognized his name as an assistant pastor from Wilkinsburg, an FBI agent I shared information about my investigation with also recognized the name of the rogue Catholic priest and also being an assistant at a Wilkensburg church..

    At one point I was a freelance writer for the PG that’s how I was able to find out about the settlement with Evans. That same reporter who discussed the alleged settlement also described Evans as a very lazy reporter. Last I heard Evans may be living in Shaler, PA, if anyone would like to contact Evans to verify my story.
    Years ago I had a chance to talk to Bill Stiegerwald of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Stiegerwald is now an editor for the daily paper owned by Richard Scaife. Stiegerwald had contacted me to verify an editorial I had submitted to the paper for publication. During our conversation I asked if he knew how I might contact Ken Evans. The two had covered stories separately and together following the attempted murder of my son. Stiegerwald was no help. He barely remembered the attempted murder of my son, and the suicide of the shooter. I guess Siegerwald only remembers the big stories.

    In 2003 when the Pittsburgh Diocese would finally announce that John Wellinger was no longer a priest, years after the statute of limitations had expired on many of his alleged crimes I would go to JR Block, publisher of the PG and ask to write a story on my investigation. The story never materialized.

    I shared details of my investigation with one of my PG editors. He may as well have dismissed it as hogwash, he advised me that maybe TRUE Magazine would be a worthwhile venue for the story. He’s the same editor who also advised me that the PG doesn’t investigate much in the Mon Valley as it’s too corrupt and the citizenry are content to keep it that way.

    I had another editor who stole plenty of my ideas for stories and articles. Another editor even asked what I thought of her. That same editor referred to my work as being most prolific of the all the freelancers she worked with at the PG.

    More about a few employees at the Post-Gazette and what they knew about John Wellinger and their infatuation with Donald Wuerl in the near future.
  • Michael Ference
    commented 2013-01-08 11:56:32 -0600
    I just called the Post-Gazette and spoke to an editor by the name of Tom Birdsong. My first question to him was, I don’t know if you are permitted to talk to me, my name is Mike Ference. He said no I don’t want to talk to you.

    I wanted to relay information about Father Michael LeDoux. Obviously, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is not concerned about the current global catholic sex abuse scandal.

    If anyone else would like to try the number is 412-263-1601.
  • Michael Ference
    commented 2013-01-08 11:18:07 -0600
    Why would the Philly Inquirer run a story on Father Michael LeDoux and the Pittsburgh media doesn’t even want to touch the story. (See link to story below).
    When the reporter refers to Michael LeDoux being an administrator for a high school and university in western PA, she means Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport, PA and Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
    It should be noted that friends and I exposed Michael LeDoux weeks ago on several Internet sites.

    Michael LeDoux is now the second Franciscan cleric who served at Serra Catholic High School in the 80s and 90s to be credibly accused of sexually abusing innocent children, the other was Brother Kenneth Ghastin. A fellow colleague and I exposed Ghastin years ago. After Ghastin case was settled with twin brothers in the Boston Archdiocese, sadly, one of the brothers would commit suicide. Very similar to another case at Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport, PA where a teenage boy tried to kill my son back in 1989 when Ghastin was at Serra and just a few years before LeDoux showed up as headmaster.
    The shooter in my son’s case, just like in the case of the twin brothers.

    I spoke to Father Robert Campagna Provincial for Ghastin and LeDoux) a few years ago about Ghastin and specifically asked Campagna if there were other credibly accused clerics who were sent to Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport from Father Campagna’s Providence in New York. Father Campagna told me there were no others.

    I trusted Father Campagna, I need to talk to him again. He’s no longer in New York having been transferred to a Provincial in Canada years ago. Keep in mind, the Pittsburgh Diocese and Serra administrators have never alerted past students of these credible accusations.

    One can only speculate the extent that the Pittsburgh Diocese, Serra administrators, McKeesport elected officials, McKeesport Police, Pittsburgh media and other law enforcement officers needed to do to make sure everything was covered up.
    LeDoux served at Widener University near Philadelphia, but LeDoux served at Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport, PA as the Headmaster and later taught at Duquesne University. Plus, LeDoux was the second credibly accused cleric to have been placed at Serra Catholic High School from the Franciscan Order in New York.
    Is the Pittsburgh media afraid that more sexual abusers might be exposed with any publicity. Where’s the so-called investigative reporters from the Pittsburgh media when a story is sitting there waiting to be plucked from the air.

    Keep in mind the attempted murder of my son on the Serra High School campus was covered up. The shooter had an extraordinary interest in satanism and the occult. I have documentation from a volunteer who worked with Animal Friends in the late 80s and early 90s and can verify that animals were abused in rituals at the time McKeesport, Clairton and Braddock, PA.

    Former Catholic priest John Wellinger, a close friend of the shooter (in my son’s case) and a credibly accused sexual predator sought out the advice of then Mt. Lebanon police officer and occult expert John Mihalec, when, yet, another teenage boy took his own life with a shotgun blast to his head, just like the shooter who tried to kill my son. I met with Mihalec, and talked to him over the phone a few times back in 1990. Our first meeting was just a few weeks after he first met with Wellinger. Over the years since Mihalec has retired, I tried several times to contact him, he’s never returned my calls or emails. Even good cops, no what cases to avoid.

    The Pittsburgh Diocese has a lot of explaining to do. For now, the Pittsburgh media will help keep the open secret an open secret.


    Mike Ference

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