vs.                                               CV 92-10820

TEXAS, a corporation sole, ROMAN CATHOLIC
Mexico corporation and FATHER DAVID A. HOLLEY


[Note from We have converted the Holley affidavit into a Web page by scanning the original PDF version and checking the scan carefully against the original. The affidavit makes reference to 27 exhibits drawn from diocesan documents. For ease of use, we have linked those references to the document exhibits themselves, so that the reader may click on the reference and consult the document.]


FATHER DAVID A. HOLLEY, being duly sworn and upon oath, states:

1. I am a Defendant in the above-referenced case. I have defaulted in the case as I have no non-exempt assets, no lawyer, and I am currently in jail. However, I have been asked to provide an Affidavit regarding my relationship with the Diocese of Worcester while I was at Servants of the Paraclete, and I have agreed to provide this Affidavit containing my sworn testimony.

2. I was born on August 2, 1927, and ordained as a Roman Catholic priest of the Benedictine Order on May 31, 1958.

3. On May 11, 1962, I sought appointment as a diocesan priest of the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts, making this request of Bishop Bernard Flanagan. Exhibit A. This request required the permission of the Benedictines and of the Diocese of Worcester. On July 16, 1962, Bishop Flanagan notified me and my Abbot that the Diocese of Worcester was accepting me for three (3) years on an experimental basis. Exhibits B and C. On October 31, 1962, I was appointed by the Diocese of Worcester as assistant pastor at St. Philip's parish in Grafton, Massachusetts, Exhibit D, and then to St. Mary of the Hills parish in Boylston, Massachusetts. Exhibit E. In 1967, the Bishop of Worcester transferred me to our Lady of Fatima parish in Worcester. Exhibit F. On May 15, 1967, I was officially incardinated to the Diocese of Worcester. Exhibit G. By becoming incardinated to the Diocese of Worcester, I took a vow of obedience to the Bishop of Worcester, agreeing to do as he directed, and I was released from my vow of obedience to my Superior in the Benedictines.

4. My psycho-sexual disorder first began to manifest itself in approximately 1962.

5. Before I became officially incardinated to the Diocese of Worcester, Bishop Flanagan had received reports that I had sexually molested boys in the above-referenced parishes. On at least two occasions Bishop Flanagan called me in to discuss the allegations, cautioned me against causing a scandal in the church, but he expressed no comments about my victims. He said that my actions were a cause of scandal to the Diocese of Worcester.

6. On August 17, 1968, after my incardination, Bishop Flanagan wrote to Father Jerome Hayden, a priest-psychiatrist, informing Father Hayden that I had sexually molested boys in the Diocese of Worcester and placing me in Father Hayden's care for treatment. Exhibit H. A month later, Bishop Flanagan appointed me to be assistant pastor at St. Anne’s parish in Southboro, Massachusetts. Exhibit I. There ware no restrictions on my faculties that I recall, and I was concerned that I was again being given access to boys.

7. In 1969, I requested that Bishop Flanagan allow me to be admitted to the Seton Psychiatric Institute for treatment of a psycho-sexual disorder. The Bishop agreed, and I was admitted there, but retained some of my priestly faculties. I also remained under the control of the Bishop. For example, on May 6, 1970, the Bishop gave me permission to attend and officiate at my brother’s wedding. Exhibits J and K. In March of 1970, Bishop Flanagan informed me that he would not rule out the possibility of my returning to parish work in the Worcester Diocese. Exhibit L.

8. In December of 1970, I was discharged from Seton, and the doctors issued a report to the Bishop. Exhibit M. Around that time, my full faculties were restored, but I was unable to get a parish assignment from Bishop Flanagan although I requested one several times. Bishop Flanagan informed me that he would attempt to secure a parish assignment for me outside of the Worcester Diocese. Other Dioceses, however, including the Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware, and the Archdiocese of Boston, Massachusetts, refused to accept me because of my psycho-sexual disorder. Thereafter, Bishop Flanagan told me he wanted me to go to Servants of the Paraclete in New Mexico. On March 23, 1971, I wrote to the Bishop telling him I would prefer to stay at a Paraclete house in the East, like their Vermont facility, but that I would do as he wished when he made the arrangements. Exhibit N.

9. In September of 1971, Bishop Flanagan sent me to New Mexico, and informed Servants of the Paraclete that the Diocese of Worcester would be responsible for my care and treatment. Exhibit O. I was ordered by Bishop Flanagan to leave the State of Massachusetts and enter the program in New Mexico. Bishop Flanagan also directed me by letter to go to New Mexico, and he sent me plane fare, on October 1, 1971. Exhibit P. I went to New Mexico reluctantly and against my wishes, but out of obedience and pursuant to the orders of my Bishop. It was clear to me that Bishop Flanagan was fearful that if I stayed in Massachusetts I would repeat the acts for which I had been in treatment, and that this would, in turn, cause further scandal in the Diocese.

10. Prior to leaving for New Mexico, Bishop Flanagan lifted all restrictions upon my priestly faculties since I would need faculties to assist the Servants of the Paraclete in local ministry. Once again, therefore, I had unrestricted faculties as a priest of the Worcester Diocese. Bishop Flanagan instructed me to notify Father Joseph McNamara, a Paraclete official, of the time of my arrival in New Mexico, and the Bishop informed me that Father McNamara would direct someone to meet me at the airport. Exhibit P.

11. When I arrived in New Mexico, Servants of the Paraclete placed me in a house on Pajarito Road in Albuquerque where I remained for almost exactly one (1) year. I was never taken to the Jemez Springs facility. I was never given a psychiatric or psychological evaluation, or a spiritual evaluation. No history of my problem was taken. I participated in no therapy or treatment programs offered by Paraclete. I never met with a Paraclete psychiatrist or psychologist. I was simply told by the Superior at the Pajarito Road facility to see Dr. Donald Cummings at Lovelace once a week. The Diocese of Worcester received and paid bills for my treatment, Exhibits Q and R, I sent reports on my conduct to Bishop Flanagan, Exhibits S and T, and he sent letters to me, Exhibit U. Almost immediately after I arrived at Paraclete, I was given parish assignments for week-end work in the South Valley of Albuquerque. The Bishop of Worcester gave me faculties to do this work and knew I was doing it. Additionally, I believe Paraclete obtained faculties for me from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe since I performed all the holy sacraments in these Albuquerque churches. The Santa Fe Archdiocese could not have permitted me to perform the holy sacraments in New Mexico without seeking and receiving permission from the Diocese of Worcester and the Diocese of Worcester's confirmation that I was in good standing there.

12. The Diocese of Worcester supported me financially while I was in New Mexico, and I regularly performed work for the Diocese of Worcester, as directed by the Bishop of Worcester, while I was in New Mexico. For example, on December 27, 1972, the Bishop of Worcester wrote to me transmitting money for my dental bills and transmitting Mass stipends money for twenty-five (25) Masses. Exhibit V. The Bishop directed me to say the twenty-five (25) Masses for parishioners of the Worcester Diocese which I did in the chapel at Paraclete on Pajarito Road. To explain further:

A. People in the Worcester Diocese would send in donations - usually $3.00 to $5.00 - for Masses to be said for a loved one. The people asked that a Mass be said to express their intentions to God for the well-being of a loved one, for example. However, Worcester is a small diocese, and the priests there could not accommodate all the Mass intentions.

B. Therefore, Bishop Flanagan sent the donations and prayer requests to me in New Mexico with instructions that I, as a priest of the Worcester Diocese, pray for the Worcester parishioners by saying Masses for them in New Mexico to fulfill their spiritual intentions.

C. While in New Mexico, I regularly said Masses for Worcester Catholics pursuant to Bishop Flanagan’s instructions, his transmittal of the Mass stipends and his transmittal of the Mass intentions.

D. I could not have said Masses in New Mexico for Worcester Catholics at the direction of the Bishop of Worcester without faculties from and direction by the Bishop of Worcester.

13. The Diocese of Worcester also sought and received reports on my treatment in New Mexico. Exhibits W and X.

14. At all times that I was in New Mexico, I was a priest of the Diocese of Worcester, acting for, on behalf of, and in accordance with my vow of obedience to the Bishop of Worcester. The Bishop of Worcester told me what to do, or gave me permission to do certain things, and I did them.

15. I started working in Alamogordo in 1972, and I went there with the permission of the Bishop of Worcester. While the Diocese of Worcester did not directly receive financial benefit from my service in Alamogordo, it received a benefit it very much wanted; namely, my absence from the Worcester Diocese and the resultant abatement of the scandal my behavior had caused. The Bishop of Worcester permitted me to go to Alamogordo so as to achieve that benefit for the Worcester Diocese. My faculties from the Diocese of Worcester remained intact while I was in Alamogordo, and the Diocese of El Paso also granted faculties to me at the request of Father Wilfred Diamond, a priest of the El Paso Diocese. The El Paso Diocese could not have permitted me to perform the holy sacraments in New Mexico without seeking and receiving permission from the Diocese of Worcester and the Diocese of Worcester's confirmation that I was in good standing there.

16. No one from the Worcester Diocese, including Bishop Flanagan, ever objected to the exercise of my faculties at any parish in New Mexico. In fact, Bishop Flanagan informed me that it was good to know that I was actively engaged in pastoral ministry in New Mexico. Exhibit U. Therefore, there is no question that, in addition to requiring that I perform certain duties on behalf of Worcester parishioners, Bishop Flanagan was well aware of my parish work in New Mexico.

17. My absence from the Diocese also gave the Bishop an opportunity to determine what type of permanent assignment would be appropriate for me. On December 7, 1972, I wrote to Bishop Flanagan informing him that I was prepared to return to full-time ministry, and asking for a permanent assignment in the East. Exhibit Y. On December 27, 1972, the Bishop responded to my request by informing me that he would need to contact my doctor and the Superior of the Paraclete House before he made any decisions about my future outside of New Mexico. Exhibit V.

18. In September of 1977, the Bishop of Worcester gave his consent to my temporary assignment in the Diocese of San Angelo, Texas. Exhibit Z.

19. In October of 1987, the Diocese of Worcester assured the Archdiocese of Denver that I was a priest in good standing of the Worcester Diocese. Exhibit AA.

20. Shortly before this lawsuit was filed in 1992, the Bishop of Worcester directed me to leave Denver and check into the St. Luke's Institute in Baltimore which I did since I remain a priest of the Worcester Diocese. Indeed, since I was incardinated to the Worcester Diocese in 1967, to the best of my knowledge I have never been excardinated from the Worcester Diocese, nor has my laicization ever been sought, and I remain a priest of the Worcester Diocese to this day.


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