SNAP's "Dirty Dozen" Bishop List
Below is a list of SNAP's list of worst bishops in the past decade, based on their actions since the adoption of the Dallas charter.
Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle (formerly of Joliet)
• Ordained Fr. Alejandro Flores in the Diocese of Joliet, who was known to be “sexually troubled” while in Seminary and had been caught with “young-looking” porn.
o After ordination, it was found out Flores had been abusing a young boy for at least 5 years.
o Despite Sartain supposedly “keeping a close watch” on Flores, the priest attempted suicide in the church
• In a separate instance, he hid allegations against two priests for at least five months. He only made the claims public after SNAP had already outed them.
o Months after the fate of these two priests was decided, Sartain continued to keep parishioners in the dark, refusing to disclose details of the allegations, investigations, and results.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York (formerly of Milwaukee)
• 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?
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston
• 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.
o 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.
Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston
• 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% 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.
o 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
Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia (now retired)
• Rigali kept the names of predator priests hidden, making a list public only when he was forced to do so by pressure generated by scathing grand jury reports.
• Rigali claimed, in a deceptive February 2011 letter, that “there were no priests in the Archdiocese with “admitted or established” abuse accusations against them. Less than a month later, he suspended 37 priests for allegations of child abuse.
• Archbishop Rigali hid many of the crimes that had were ignored or concealed by his predecessor, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. He also was a staunch defender of Bevilacqua, even though he had been implicated in multiple grand jury reports as having a lead role in the cover-ups
Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph
• Bishop Finn now faces criminal charges (and a trial in September) in Jackson County, MO for his role in covering up the crimes of Fr. Shawn Ratigan
o Ratigan was caught with child porn on his diocesan computer. Instead of turning the laptop over to police, Finn and/or his staff gave the laptop back to Ratigan’s family
• Finn’s second in command had been warned by a parochial school principal who had been given information from a group of parents regarding their suspicions of Ratigan’s misbehavior. Instead of acting on this information, Finn and his staff did nothing, enabling Ratigan’s crimes to continue.
Bishop Daniel Walsh of Santa Rosa (now retired)
• 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.
o 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.
o Walsh did this despite the fact that Ochoa himself had admitted to the bishop that he had a history of abusing kids.
Cardinal Edward Egan of New York (now retired)
• 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.
• 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.
Bishop Carlos Sevilla of Yakima (now retired)
• In 2008, Sevilla hired a man – ex-seminarian Juan Jose Gonzalez – who was under police investigation on child porn charges. Sevilla set him to work at a church retreat facility in Cowiche, and later promoted him to a teaching position, placing him around children.
o During the course of hiring and Gonzalez’ employment, Sevilla never revealed to staff or parents that he was under police investigation and accused of felonies.
• Sevilla also failed to call the police when an employee, Deacon Aaron Ramirez, admitted to molesting a child. Rather than call police, Sevilla simply told Ramirez to go there of his volition. Instead, Ramirez fled the country.
• He was also not forthcoming with the names of several predators, and kept as many details regarding sex abuse cases out of the public eye.
Bishop John McCormack of Manchester (now retired)
• Prior to becoming a bishop, McCormack worked under Boston’s Cardinal Bernard Law and was in charge of investigating clergy sex crimes, a job in which he worked tirelessly to keep cases hidden and scandal from occurring.
• During his time in Boston, McCormack’s m.o. was to send predators to “treatment centers” that would inevitably declare the priest fit for ministry, and then would send these priests to “restricted ministry,” but would never keep a close watch on their supervision.
• McCormack was renowned for his leniency and sympathy for predator priests, even if they had offended multiple times, and was noted for his overriding skepticism of victims.
• Despite his large role in the cover-ups in Boston (some may say, “due to” his role) McCormack was elevated to the position of bishop. Even after the scandal exploded and McCormack’s role was revealed, he continued to work as a bishop, only retiring when he reached the mandatory age.
Cardinal Francis George of Chicago
• Cardinal Francis George repeatedly ignored or failed to act on warnings regarding Fr. Dan McCormack, one of the most prolific predators in Chicago history. He was first accused of abuse while a seminarian and despite warnings then, and again in 2000, 2003 and 2005 (after he was arrested); Cardinal George kept McCormack in ministry.
o The McCormack situation was especially glaring because, in 2002, it had been Cardinal George who had urged his brother bishops to immediately remove any priest from ministry that had a credible accusation against him
• In 2003, Cardinal George allowed a convicted child molesting priest, Fr. Kenneth J. Martin, to continue to work in the Chicago archdiocese. George told no one about Martin nor his conviction despite the fact that six months earlier, he had pledged to be “open and transparent’ about abuse.
• In 2008, a deposition taken by Cardinal George revealed that he had attempted to get another predator released early from jail. Fr. Norbert Maday, a convicted serial predator, was serving time in a Wisconsin prison while George directed staff to spend time finding ways to win Maday an early release from prison.
Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles (now retired)
• 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.”