Bishops Accused of Abuse

In the sexual abuse crisis, attention has focused on priests who have sexually abused children; the problem of bishops and major superiors who abuse has not received systematic scrutiny. Yet a bishop who is guilty of child abuse, or who has other violations of celibacy to conceal, has compromised his role in the formation of his priests and in assigning them properly. Bishops who sexually abuse seminarians, as Anthony J. O'Connell admitted doing, may establish a generational pattern of clergy abuse. The following list includes 25 U.S. bishops who have been publicly accused of sexually abusing minors. We have also provided a preliminary list of bishops accused of sexual misconduct with minors and/or adults in other countries.

Arzube | Bransfield | Brown | Cowley | Dudley | Dupré | Ferrario | Gelineau | Harrington | Hart | Hubbard | Medeiros | Nienstedt | O'Connell | Rausch | Rueger | Ryan | Skylstad | Soens | James S. Sullivan | Joseph V. Sullivan | Symons | Weldon | Williams | Ziemann |


Last

First

Career

Description

Sources

Arzube

Juan A.

1954 Ordained
1954-71 LA priest
1971-93 LA auxiliary bishop
1993-2007 LA emeritus
2007 Died

Accused in 2003 of abusing a boy age 11 in 1975-76. LA archdiocese and LA Times list 1 allegation. Named in civil suit and included in $660M settlement in 2007.

LA Archdiocesan Report 2.17.04 page 1; Tidings 1.11.08; LA Times 1.12.08
Assignments:
LA Archdiocesan Report Addendum 11.15.05; LA Times Database 4.20.06
Bransfield

 

Michael J.
1971 Ordained
1971-79 Philadelphia priest and HS teacher, chaplain, vice-principal
1979-2005 Washington DC priest, director and rector of national shrine
2005-now Wheeling-Charleston WV bishop
Accused in a 2012 trial of other Philadelphia clergy of having sexually abused teen boys in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Another of the trial's witnesses stated that when he was a minor Bransfield spoke to him in a lewd way. A prosecutor at the trial said Bransfield was accused in a separate case of fondling a student. In 7/12 the Philadelphia archdiocese stated it learned of an allegation in 2007 that Bransfield fondled a high school student in the 1970s. Prosecutors did not pursue the case in 2007, but decided to reopen it in 7/12. Bransfield denied the allegations. CBS Philly, 4.18.12;Philadelphia Inquirer, 4.18.12; Charleston Daily Mail, 4.19.12; Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, 4.19.12; Charleston Daily Mail, 4.19.12; Philadelphia Inquirer, 4.20.12; Philadelphia Inquirer, 4.22.12; Philadephia Inquirer, 7.08.12; WTRF, 7.09.12; WTRF, 7.09.12;The Intelligencer, 7.09.12;
Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, 7.09.12; The Intelligencer, 7.10.12; West Virginia Public Broadcasting, 7.10.12; PhillyBurbs, 7.10.12; The Intelligencer, 7.11.12; Washington Post
7.14.12
Assignments:
BA.org Assignment Record

Brown

Tod D.

1963 Ordained
1963-88 Monterey-Fresno CA priest
1988-98 Boise City ID bishop
1998-2012 Orange CA bishop
2012-now Orange emeritus

Accused in 2007 of sexually abusing a boy age 12 in 1965. Brown admitted in 9/07 deposition that he had been accused and that diocese had investigated. He denied the abuse.

Orange County Weekly 4.24.07; Brown Deposition 9.10.07; LA Times 9.14.07; OC Register 9.30.07Assignments:
BA.org Assignment Record

Cowley

Leonard P.
1938 Ordained
1938-57 St. Paul MN priest
1958-73 St. Paul auxiliary bishop
1973 Died
Name released 2/15 as one of 17 archdiocesan clergy accused of sexual abuse or misconduct with a minor. A man filed a claim that Cowley sexually abused him at age 15 during a trip to northern MN in 1968.

Jeff Anderson and Associates 02.11.15; Star Tribune 02.27.15
Assignments:
BA.org Assignment Record

Dudley

Paul V.

1951 Ordained
1951-76 St. Paul MN priest
1976-78 St. Paul & Minneapolis auxiliary bishop
1978-95 Sioux Falls SD bishop
1995-2006 Sioux Falls emeritus
2006 Died

Accused in 5/02 of fondling an altar boy age 11 or 12 in 1950s. Dudley denied the charges. Two women also complained that he had molested them years previously. Church investigation found no evidence to support complaints.

Star Tribune 5.08.02; Pioneer Press 5.08.02; Argus Leader 5.08.02; Associated Press 2.12.03; Argus Leader 2.13.03; Star Tribune 2.13.03; Argus Leader 11.22.06;Assignments:
BA.org Assignment Record

Dupré

Thomas L.

1959 Ordained
1959-90 Springfield MA priest
1990-95 Springfield MA auxiliary bishop
1995-2004 Springfield MA bishop
2004 Indicted and resigned
2004-now Springfield MA emeritus

Accused in 2004 of sexually abusing two youths 20 years previously. Resigned same day and was sent to St. Luke's Institute where he was apparently still in treatment as of 6/06. Was sued in 2004. Indicted on two counts of rape in 2004 but not prosecuted because statute of limitations had expired.

Springfield Republican 2.11.04; Commonwealth v. Dupre Indictments 9.24.04; Springfield Republican 7.22.06; Springfield Republican 3.28.04; Springfield Republican 3.12.04; BA.org compilation of Accused in Springfield Diocese; Springfield Republican 8.03.04; Boston Globe 9.30.03; Springfield Republican 2.06.05; Springfield Republican 10/23/05; Dallas Morning News 6.12.02
Assignments:
Springfield Republican 9.28.04 ; BA.org Assignment Record

Ferrario

Joseph A.

1951 Ordained
1951-77 Honolulu HI priest
1977-82 Honolulu HI auxiliary bishop
1982-93 Honolulu HI bishop
1993-2003 Honolulu HI emeritus
2003 Died

Accused in 1989-90 and sued in 1991 for repeated sexual abuse of a teen-age boy, after Ferrario succeeded in the parish the boy's first priest-abuser, who had begun to abuse the boy at age 5. Ferrario denied the charge. Named by more alleged victims in 2013 and 2014.

Time 8.19.91; Honolulu Star Bulletin 2.27.04; Worthy Adversary 05.10.13; John Roe No. 27 vs. Congregation of Christian Brothers et al 04.03.14
Assignments:
BA.org Assignment Record

Gelineau

Louis E.

1953 Ordained
1953-71 Burlington VT priest
1971-97 Providence RI bishop
1997-now Providence RI emeritus

Accused in 1997 of taking an 11- or 12-year-old boy at St. Joseph's Orphanage in Burlington VT off by himself in 1951and pulling the boy's fly down. When the boy fled, Gelineau allegedly pursued him and tried to drown him. At the time, Gelineau was a brother at the orphanage, scene of much physical and sexual abuse. Gelineau's accuser also alleged sexual abuse by the orphanage chaplain. In a 1997 deposition, Gelineau stated that he remembered the boy at the orphanage. In his deposition, Gelineau also denies having any sexual contact with an altar boy in 1993.

Cadorette Deposition 5.16.97; Gelineau Deposition 4.2.97
Assignments:
BA.org Assignment Record

Harrington

Timothy J.

1946 Ordained
1946-68 Worcester MA priest
1968-83 Worcester MA auxiliary bishop
1983-94 Worcester MA bishop
1994-97 Worcester MA emeritus
1997 Died

Accused in 3/29/05 suit of sexually abusing a boy from age 11 to 15 three times; abuse consisted of genital fondling, anal penetration, and oral copulation. The diocese examined diocesan records and stated that it "found no basis of credibility to the claims."

MA Superior Court No. 05-0331(B); AP 3.31.05
Assignments:
BA.org Assignment Record

Hart

Joseph H.

1956 Ordained
1956-76 Kansas City MO priest
1976-78 Cheyenne WY auxiliary bishop
1978-2001 Cheyenne WY bishop
2001-now Cheyenne WY emeritus

In 2002 the diocese of Cheyenne announced allegations that Hart had sexually abused 2 junior HS boys in the early 1970s in Kansas City; the allegations had come to the diocese in 1989 and 1992. An allegation pertaining to Hart's time as an auxiliary in Cheyenne was deemed not credible. In 2004, Hart was sued by 3 other men alleging abuse when they were boys. Hart is alleged to have had repeated sex with one boy during out-of-state trips, and is accused of bringing boys back to Kansas City for sexual purposes while he was bishop of Cheyenne.

Wyoming Tribune Eagle 4.25.02; Wyoming Tribune Eagle 5.15.02; Wyoming Tribune Eagle 7.30.02; Kansas City Star 1.22.04; NCR 2.6.04; NCR 9.16.05
Assignments:
BA.org Assignment Record

Hubbard

Howard J.

1963 Ordained
1963-77 Albany NY priest
1977-2014 Albany NY bishop
2014-now Albany NY emeritus

Accused in 2004 of paying a teenager for sex on two occasions in the 1970s. Hubbard commissioned an investigation to examine this charge, as well as other allegations of sexual misconduct with adult males. The investigation, which did not have access to the complainant, found no credible evidence that Hubbard had violated his vow of celibacy.

White Report 6.24.04; Times Union 6.25.04
Assignments:
BA.org Assignment Record

Medeiros

 

Humberto S.
1946 Ordained
1946-1966 Fall River MA priest
1966-1970 Brownsville TX bishop
1970-1983 Boston MA archbishop. Named Cardinal 1973.
1983 Died
Accused 2002 of sexually abusing 14-year-old boy in 1979. Accuser said Medeiros touched his groin while giving him a "bear hug" in the archdiocesan chancery, where he was allegedly molested the same evening by vice-chancellor Rev. Fred Ryan. Boston Globe 03.22.02; Boston Globe 03.25.02

Nienstedt
Nienstedt

John C.

1974 Ordained
1974-96 Detroit MI priest
1996-2001 Detroit MI auxilairy bishop
2001-07 New Ulm MN bishop
2007-15 St. Paul and Minneapolis archbishop
2015-now St. Paul and Minneapolis emeritus

Accused in 2013 of inappropriate touching of a boy's buttocks during a photo session after a confirmation in 2009. County attorney found "insufficient evidence" of abuse in March 2014. Nienstedt returned to full duty as archbishop. Internal investigation of alleged misconduct toward adults revealed July 2014. It reportedly found Nienstedt made "sexual advances" toward two priests. Resigned June 2015, per 401.2, soon after archdiocese was charged criminally for contributing to child sex abuse.

Letter by Nienstedt 12.17.13; Star Tribune
3.11.14
; MPR 06.15.15

O'Connell

Anthony J.

1963 Ordained
1963-88 Jefferson City MO priest, seminary teacher, and rector
1988-98 Knoxville TN bishop
1998-2002 Palm Beach FL bishop
2002 Admits abuse and resigns
2002-2012 Palm Beach FL emeritus
2012 died

Accused in 2002 of sexually abusing a student from 9th through 12th grade at St. Thomas Aquinas Preparatory Seminary in Hannibal, where O'Connell was rector. Complainant had gone to O'Connell because of prior abuse by another priest. O'Connell admitted the abuse and another similar case and resigned. Others came forward, totaling 9 by 2004, when 2 of 3 cases were settled. O'Connell moved to the Trappists' Mepkin Abbey near Moncks Corner SC.

St. Louis Post Dispatch 3.08.02; Miami Herald 3.09.02; Kansas City Star 4.19.02; St. Louis Post Dispatch 4.03.03; Times Daily 7.18.03; Palm Beach Post 2.28.04; Palm Beach Post 5.17.04; Palm Beach Post 7.29.04; Kansas City Star 11.14.04; Metro-Pulse 11.16.06
Assignments:
BA.org Assignment Record

Rausch

James S.

1956 Ordained
1956-73 St. Cloud MN priest
1973-77 St. Cloud MN auxiliary bishop
1977-81 Phoenix AZ bishop
1981 Died

Accused in a 2001 affidavit of repeatedly having sex with a 17-year-old boy and giving him money, and then passing the boy on to Revs. Robert C. Trupia and William T. Byrne, who also had sex with the boy, no longer a minor, and employed him at the marriage tribunal to ensure his silence. Trupia would later win an appeal to the Vatican regarding his suspension.

Boston Globe 8.20.02Assignments:
BA.org Assignment Record

Rueger

George E.

1958 Ordained
1958-87 Worcester MA priest
1987-2005 Worcester MA auxiliary bishop
2005-now Worcester MA emeritus

Sued in 2002. Accused of abusing a boy aged 13-14 in 1960s after giving him alcohol. Suit dropped 2003 by plaintiff. Diocesan investigation found no proof of charges and Pope's representative to the US agreed with the findings.

Telegram & Gazette 8.1.03; Catholic Free Press 7.20.03; Telegram & Gazette 4.21.03; Telegram & Gazette 4.01.03; Telegram & Gazette 7.15.03; Telegram & Gazette 7.07.06; Telegram & Gazette 7.18.06
Assignments:
BA.org Assignment Record

Ryan

Daniel L.

1956 Ordained
1956-81 Joliet IL priest
1981-83 Joliet IL auxiliary bishop
1983-99 Springfield IL bishop
1999-2015 Springfield IL emeritus
2015 died

Accused in 1999 suit of having multiple homosexual relationships, including one involving a 15-year-old boy in 1984. Ryan denied having such relationships.

AP 10.28.99; Herald News 5.05.02; Herald News 8.11.02; St. Louis Post Dispatch 9.4.02; State Journal-Register 2.3.04
Assignments:
BA.org Assignment Record

Skylstad

William S.

1960 Ordained
1960-77 Spokane WA priest
1977-90 Yakima WA priest
1990-now Spokane bishop

Accused in 2005 of sexually abusing a girl under age 18 in 1961-64. Skylstad denied the allegation.

Spokesman-Review 3.09.06; USA Today 3.08.06; Seattle Times (AP) 6.08.06;
Spokesman-Review 3.08.06
Assignments:
BA.org Assignment Record
Soens
Lawrence D.
1950 Ordained
1950-83 Davenport IA priest, HS teacher, and principal
1983-98 Sioux City IA bishop
1998-now Sioux City emeritus
Accused of sadistic abuse of 3 high school boys in 1960s. 1 claim settled for $20K in 2004. 2 suits pending as of 5/06. 7 new suits filed 5/06. Apparently 1 new suit with 13 plaintiffs filed 8/06 alleging abuse 1959-67. In 2/06 diocesan investigative panel found behavior may have been inappropriate but was apparently not sexual. Des Moines Register 1.19.05; KCCI Channel 8 Television 3.09.06; Des Moines Register 5.03.06; WCF Courier 5.23.06; Iowa City Press-News 8.10.06; KTIV 9.06.06; Des Moines Register 1.04.06; Quad-City Times 2.24.06; KTIV 8.10.06; Des Moines Register 2.08.06; Gazette (AP) 2.08.06; Des Moines Register 6.08.05; Quad-Cities Times 8.17.05; Quad-City Times 2.09.06; Des Moines Register 9.06.06;
Plaintiff's Statement of Disputed Facts from Gould v. Soens with affidavits; Sioux City Journal 9.08.06; Daily Iowan 5.08.07; The Gazette 2.01.08; Quad-City Times 2.16.08; Quad-City Times 2.16.08
Sullivan
James S.
1955 Ordained
1955-72 Lansing MI priest
1972-85 Lansing MI auxiliary bishop
1985-2002 Fargo ND bishop
2006 died
In 6/02, Sullivan, who had been Bishop of Fargo ND, was accused fondling a youth in 1966 at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in East Lansing MI. Same Plaintiff settled with Christian Brothers in 1995 over abuse allegations against Bro. Jeffrey Gregory. Sullivan denied the charges and Diocese said it did not believe the allegations because the man didn't relate them sooner. Sullivan retired as Bishop of Fargo 3/18/02 after diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and died 6/12/06. Lansing State Journal 6.30.02; Lansing State Journal 7.11.02; Lansing State Journal 7.23.02; Lansing State Journal 8.5.02; Grand Fork Herald 6.13.06; Lansing St. Journal 8.24.10
Assignments:
BA.org Assignment Record
Sullivan
Joseph V.
1946 Ordained
1946-67 Kansas City-St. Joseph priest
1967-74 Kansas City-St. Joseph auxiliary bishop
1974-82 Baton Rouge LA bishop
1982 died
Lawsuit alleged in 4/04 that Sullivan abused a youth in 1975, when the plaintiff was 17. Review board decided claim was "serious and deserving of careful attention." Suit settled 10/04 at mediation and sealed. Died 9/4/82. Name removed from school after 2004 settlement. Named in 2005 suit in HI re time in KC; settled 2007. New suit filed in 2007 in TX and settled 10/09 for $225K. The Advocate 11.11.04; Charleston Gazette (AP) 11.11.04; The Advocate 11.11.04; The Advocate 11.19.04; National Catholic Reporter 11.26.04; The Advocate 1.8.05; Obituary 6.14.06; Corpus Christi Caller Times 4.15.09; SNAP Statement 4.16.09; Kansas City Star 4.18.09; Corpus Christi Caller Times 10.13.09; The Advocate 10.15.09; Kansas City Star 10.16.09; Kansas City Star 11.6.09
Assignments:
BA.org Assignment Record

Symons

Joseph K.

1958 Ordained
1958-81 St. Augustine FL priest
1981-83 St. Petersburg FL auxiliary bishop
1983-90 Pensacola-Tallahassee FL bishop
1990-98 Palm Beach FL bishop
1998 Admits abuse and resigns
1998-now Palm Beach FL emeritus

Resigned 6/98 when accused of molesting a boy who reported the abuse to a church official. Symons admitted abuse and also the abuse of 4 other boys. Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee knew of abuse in 1995 but did not act.

Palm Beach Post 6.03.98; Sun-Sentinel 4.24.02; Dallas Morning News 6.12.02; St. Petersburg Times 3.22.03; Palm Beach Post 2.28.04; Detroit News 10.20.06
Assignments:
BA.org Assignment Record

Weldon

Christopher J.

1929 Ordained
1929-50 New York NY priest
1950-77 Springfield MA bishop
1977-82 Springfield MA emeritus
1982 Died

Accused in 3/29/05 suit of sexually abusing a boy from age 11 to 16 about three times; abuse consisted of genital fondling, anal penetration, and oral copulation. The diocese examined diocesan records and stated that it "found no basis of credibility to the claims."

MA Superior Court No. 05-0331(B); Republican 3.31.05
Assignments:
BA.org Assignment Record

Williams

J. Kendrick
1963 Ordained
1963-84 Louisville KY priest
1984-88 Covington KY auxiliary bishop
1988-2002 Lexington KY bishop
2002 Resigned when accused
2002-now Lexington KY emeritus
Resigned 2002 after accusations in suits by 3 altar boys who alleged abuse in the Louisville archdiocese in 1969 and 1981. Accused of abusing another altar boy in Covington diocese. Williams denied the allegations but resigned. Louisville Courier Journal 6.12.02; Courier Journal 9.29.02
Assignments:
BA.org Assignment Record

Ziemann

G. Patrick

1967 Ordained
1967-86 LA priest
1986-92 LA auxiliary bishop
1992-99 Santa Rosa CA bishop
1999 Resigned
1999-2009 Santa Rosa CA emeritus
2009 Died

Named in archdiocesan report as abuser of 3 in 1967-86. Resigned as Bishop of Santa Rosa Diocese 1999. Suit in 2002 alleged abuse of youth in 1968 and lasting several years. Lived in Tucson without faculties. Ziemann denied at least one of the allegations. Died Oct. 22, 2009.

LA Archdiocesan Report 2.14.04 page 3; SF Weekly 3.19.03; LA Weekly 3.18.03; OC Weekly 3.04.05; LA Times 12.18.03; John Roe 4 vs. Does, Cause No. 1156450, Superior Court of California; City of Angels 12.07.07
Assignments:
LA Times Database 4.20.06; OC Weekly 3.04.05; BA.org Assignment Record

Note: The bishops included in this table and in our Database of Accused Priests meet the conditions described in our posting policy. This table and the database do not state or imply that individuals facing allegations are guilty of a crime or liable for civil claims. The reports contained in the database are merely allegations. The U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements.

We have not included Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, who has been accused of sexual misconduct with seminarians. McCarrick is not included on our list because the alleged victims were not minors 1.

We have also excluded from the table and the database the following allegations that were subsequently recanted or demonstrated to be incorrect: two allegations in 1992 against Bishop Gerald F. O'Keefe 1 2; an allegation in 1993 against Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardin 3 4; two allegations in 2002 against Cardinal Roger M. Mahony 5 6 7; and an allegation in 2002 against Cardinal Edward M. Egan 8.

BISHOPS ACCUSED OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT WITH MINORS AND/OR ADULTS IN OTHER COUNTRIES

ARGENTINA
Bishop Juan Carlos Maccarone ***
Resigned in 2005, age 64, per canon 401.2 after video surfaced of him having sex with 23-year-old man. Remained in ministry. Seen 2010 saying Confirmation Mass for teenagers. Santiago del Estero bishop emeritus. Died March 2015.

Archbishop Edgardo G. Storni

Resigned October 2002, age 66, per canon 401.2 after reports he abused young men and boys. Convicted 2009. Sentenced to eight years in prison; given house arrest instead. Conviction overturned 2011. Remained Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz archbishop emeritus. Died 2012.

Bishop Adolfo A. Uriona, F.D.P. ***
Arrested 2006 after a 24-year-old woman accused him of groping her during a bus ride. Denied the charge. Case dismissed. Visited pope 2014. Añatuya bishop in 2004 until he was appointed bishop of Villa de la Concepción in December 2014.

AUSTRALIA
Cardinal George Pell
Accused 2002 of 1961 or 1962 sex abuse of 12-year-old boy while Pell was seminarian. Denying allegation, Pell stood aside as Sydney archbishop, while church asked former judge to investigate. Report said accuser "gave the impression he was speaking honestly" but crime could not be established. Pell resumed office. Appointed by Pope 2014 to head Vatican's new Secretariat of the Economy. News 2016 of Pell's alleged abuse of 5-10 boys while Ballarat priest and Melbourne archbishop. Pell called claims "utterly false."


Bishop Max L. Davis
Criminally charged June 2014 with 1969 sexual abuse of child in New Norcia, prior to ordination. Denied the charge. Stepped aside as Australia's Military bishop while court case active. Tried in Perth court February 2016 on charges of "indecent dealings" with five boys, ages 13-15, between 1969-1972. Found not guilty.


AUSTRIA

Cardinal Hans H. Groër, O.S.B.
Accused publicly 1995 of abusing boys and young monks. Retired as archbishop soon after, age 75, with JP II saying Christ too faced "unjust accusations." Named head of priory 1996. Removal announced early 1998, after more victims surfaced. Schönborn and 3 others confirmed Groër's abuses February 1998. Resigned April 1998 from all duties. Remained cardinal and Vienna archbishop emeritus. Some estimated 2,000 victims. Died 2003.



BELGIUM

Bishop Roger J. Vangheluwe
Resigned 2010, age 73, per canon 401.2 after admitting to sexual abuse of boy, later revealed to be his nephew. Sent by Vatican to monastery in France for "spiritual and psychological treatment." Admitted on television in April 2011 to abuse of two nephews, one beginning at age 5, over 13-year period in 1970s and '80s. Left monastery amidst public outcry three days after TV appearance. Not prosecuted due to expired statute of limitations. Current whereabouts unknown. Brugge {Bruges} bishop emeritus.



CANADA
Bishop John S. Knight ***
Accused 2000 of sexual misconduct with person over age 16. Not known if alleged victim was under age 18. Church deemed allegation "substantive enough to warrant a full examination." Removed from ministry during Church investigation. Resigned same year, age 58. Toronto bishop emeritus.

Bishop Raymond J. Lahey
Arrested
in 2009 for possession of child abuse images. Resigned as Antigonish bishop in 2009 per canon 401.2, age 69. Pled guilty in 2011. Sentenced in 2012 but given time served. Laicized in 2012.

Bishop Eugène P. LaRocque
Retired 2002. Investigated late 1990s-early 2000s by police probing sexual abuse in Cornwall. Per LaRocque, original allegations date to 1961. Not charged. Accused 2005 of 1970s sexual abuse of altar boy. Denied all accusations. Alexandria-Cornwall bishop emeritus.

Bishop Hubert P. O’Connor, O.M.I. ***
Resigned 1991, age 63, after charged with sex crimes. Convicted 1996 of 1960s rape and indecent assault on two young aboriginal women. Sentenced to 2½ years in prison. Released on bail after serving 6 months. Remained Prince George bishop emeritus. Died 2007.

 

CHILE
Bishop Cristián E. Contreras Molina, O. de M.
Chilean church announced investigation February 2014 for alleged sexual abuse of 15-year-old. "Cleared" by Vatican June 2014. San Felipe bishop.

Archbishop Francisco José Cox Huneeus, P. Schönstatt
Resigned as La Serena archbishop 1997, age 63, without explanation. Suspected of pedophilia. Apologized 2002: "I apologize for this dark side in me that opposes the Gospel" [Google translation - see original]." Santiago archbishop Errázuriz said 2002 that Cox had resigned voluntarily because of "improper conduct" related to his "somewhat exuberant affection," especially with children. La Serena archbishop emeritus.

Bishop Gonzalo Duarte García de Cortázar, SS.CC.
Accused in 2014 reports of abusing adolescent seminarians. Valparaíso bishop.

Bishop Marco Antonio Órdenes Fernández
Resigned 2012, age 47, per canon 401.2 after accused of late 1990s sexual abuse of 15-year-old boy. Admitted to "an imprudent act." Iquique bishop emeritus.



DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Bishop Príamo Pericles Tejeda Rosario ***
Resigned as Baní bishop in 1997, age 63, then worked as priest in Venice FL. Accused in 2007 of sexual assault of a 42-year-old man for 11 years. Venice diocese removed faculties. Not charged. Baní bishop emeritus.

Archbishop Józef Wesołowski *
Polish. Resigned as papal nuncio to Dominican Republic August 2013 and was secretly recalled to Vatican, just days before DR news media exposed his alleged sex assaults of children on Santo Domingo waterfront. Church officials did not inform DR law enforcement. Prosecution sought by both DR and Poland. Vatican reportedly rebuffed extradition request by Poland January 2014. Laicization announced June 2014, four days after DR bishop tweeted about seeing Wesołowski strolling in Rome. Diplomatic immunity removed August 2014, day after NY Times exposé. Put under house arrest in Vatican City State September 2014. Found with 100,000+ child abuse images on his laptop and Vatican-owned computer. Released from house arrest after 60 days; free to move around Vatican City State beginning late November 2014. Hospitalized night before his July 2015 trial in VCS, causing trial to be indefinitely postponed. Released from hospital one week later, and freed to walk around Vatican City, according to BBC. Found dead in his Vatican apartment August 28, 2015. Trial never resumed.


GERMANY
Bishop Franziskus Eisenbach ***
Resigned age 58 in 2002 per canon 401.2 after female university professor accused him of sexual abuse while performing an exorcism. Mainz auxilary bishop emeritus.

Bishop Heinrich Maria Janssen
Hildesheim bishop 1957 until retirement in 1983, age 76. Died 1988. Accused in 2015 of sexual abuse of a boy from 1958 to 1963, beginning when the boy was age 10. Abuse was said to have included masturbation, anal and oral sex. Diocesan investigators deemed the accusations "plausible" and awarded Janssen's accuser 10,000 euros "in recognition of his suffering."

Bishop Walter Mixa
Resigned age 69 in 2010 per canon 401.2 after accusations he severely beat children at at a Schrobenhausen orphanage in the 1970s and misappropriated the orphanage's funds. Reportedly sexually abused minors, including an altar boy; Office of Public Prosecution opened investigation which it soon closed, citing insufficient evidence. Accused also of sexually abusing seminarians between 1996 and 2005. Augsburg bishop emeritus.

 

GUAM
Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, O.F.M.Cap.
Accused publicly in May 2016 of sexually abusing a 12-year-old altar boy in Apat, 40 years previously. His accuser said that as parish pastor, Apuron invited the boy to sleep in the priest house so he could help out in the morning. Apuron was said to have insisted the boy sleep in his bed, where he squeezed the boy's penis and testicles through his pants. The week prior to Apuron's accuser's speaking out, the archdiocese threatened to sue "anyone who spread malicious lies about the Archbishop." Another man had accused Apuron in November 2014 of molesting his cousin in the 1980s, when both were attending Tai high school seminary. Agaña archbishop. Placed on leave by Pope Francis June 6, 2016. On June 7 a third man stated publicly that Apuran raped him at age 13, in April 1977. On June 15 a fourth man publicly alleged sexual abuse by Apuron at age 15, also in 1977.



ICELAND
Bishop Joannes B.M. Gijsen *
Retired 2007, age 75. Dutch. News in 2010 of 1950s alleged abuse of two boys. Remained Reykjavik bishop emeritus. Died 2013. Dutch church acknowledged his guilt in 2014.



IRELAND
Archbishop Richard A. Burke, S.P.S. *
Accused 2009 of 1983 sexual abuse of 14-year-old girl in Nigeria. [See victim's statement.] Resigned 2010, age 61, per canon 401.2. Admitted "failure to observe his oath of celibacy." Sued RTÉ, claiming victim was 20, not 14. Suit settled 2015: RTÉ paid legal costs but made no concession on victim's age. Benin City archbishop emeritus.

Bishop Eamonn Casey
Resigned 1992, age 65, after revelation that he fathered a child in 1970s. Fled Ireland, worked in Ecuador missions, then English diocese. Accused 2005 of sexual assault of girl, age 5, 30 years earlier. Casey denied accusation. Not charged. Returned to Ireland 2006. In nursing home since 2011. New accusation April 2016 by a Limerick woman. Galway and Kilmacduagh bishop emeritus.

Bishop Brendan Oliver Comiskey, SS.CC. ***
Resigned 2002, age 66, per canon 401.2, after revelations that he protected serial abuser Fr. Sean Fortune. Ferns inquiry in 2005 reported two allegations against Comiskey: 1990 complaint of misconduct toward young woman over age 16, and accusation by Fortune in his 1999 suicide note. Comiskey denied both. Ferns bishop emeritus.

Bishop John Magee, S.P.S.
Stepped aside but didn’t resign 2009 after internal watchdog report that he had mishandled two abusive priests. State launched its own inquiry. Resignation announced 2010, per canon 401.2. State’s report 2011 revealed more cover-up and 2008 report to church of Magee’s inappropriate behavior toward teen, age 17-18. Magee admitted conduct, denied sexual intent. Not charged. Cloyne bishop emeritus.

Archbishop John Charles McQuaid, C.S.Sp.
Retired 1971, age 76, as Dublin archbishop. Died 1973. First accused of sex abuse in 1999 book. News in 2011 that McQuaid was cleric described in 2010 supplement to Murphy report with two complaints of child sex abuse, including of a 12-year-old boy in 1961, and one "separate concern."

 

ITALY
Bishop Gerado Antonazzo
Investigation April 2016 by prosecutors in Cassino, in response to a letter from a seminarian accusing Antonazzo of sexually molesting him and seven other adults. Sora-Aquino-Pontecorvo bishop.

Bishop Giuseppe Carraro

Retired 1978 as Verona bishop. Died 1980. Accused 2009 of repeatedly molesting boy who attended school for deaf. Carraro was being considered for beatification at time of complaint.



KENYA

Bishop Cornelius Schilder, M.H.M. *
Vatican informed in 2007 of reports of Schilder's early 1990s abuse of a Maasai herds boy. Dutch. Resigned 2009, age 67, per canon 401.2. Accused in 2013 of early 1990s sexual abuse of a young seminarian. Ngong bishop emeritus.



NETHERLANDS

Bishop Johannes Willem Maria Bluyssen
Resigned 1984, age 57, as s'Hertogenbosch bishop. Admitted 2010 to destroying abuse files in 1970s. Died 2013. Accused 2014 of repeated rape of Beekvliet minor seminary student 1957-1959. A church Complaints Committee announced August 2015 that evidence was not sufficient, although it did not "exclude" that the victim had been sexually abused.

Bishop Joannes B.M. Gijsen *
Retired 2007, age 75. Dutch. News in 2010 of 1950s alleged abuse of two boys. Remained Reykjavik, Iceland bishop emeritus. Died 2013. Dutch church acknowledged his guilt in 2014.

Bishop Jan Niënhaus
Utrecht auxiliary bishop. Died 2000. Dutch church admitted 2014 he molested young boys 1950s-1970s.

Bishop Cornelius Schilder, M.H.M. *
Vatican informed in 2007 of reports of Schilder's early 1990s abuse of a Maasai herds boy. Dutch. Resigned 2009, age 67, per canon 401.2. Accused in 2013 of early 1990s sexual abuse of a young seminarian. Ngong bishop emeritus.

Bishop Joannes Gerardus ter Schure, S.D.B.
Retired 1998, age 76. s'Hertogenbosch bishop. Died 2003. News in 2010 that Salesians settled claim of sexual abuse of a boy by ter Schure at Don Rua monastery in Ugchelen 1948-53.



NIGERIA

Archbishop Richard A. Burke, S.P.S. *
Irish. Accused 2009 of 1983 sexual abuse of 14-year-old girl in Nigeria. [See victim's statement.] Resigned 2010, age 61, per canon 401.2. Admitted "failure to observe his oath of celibacy." Sued RTÉ, claiming victim was 20, not 14. Suit settled 2015: RTÉ paid legal costs but made no concession on victim's age. Benin City archbishop emeritus.



NORWAY

Bishop Georg Müller, SS.CC.
Admitted 2009 to 1990s sexual abuse of boy. Resigned as Trondheim bishop same year, age 58, per canon 401.2. Emeritus.



PARAGUAY
Bishop Jorge Adolfo Carlos Livieres Banks
Accused 2002 in criminal complaint by three young men of sexual assault of minors. Livieres filed counter-charges of extortion and libel. Accusers then produced document allegedly signed by Livieres showing he tried to pay them to stay quiet. Case stalled and ended ambiguously. Retired 2003, age 74, per canon 401.2. Encarnación bishop emeritus.

Bishop Fernando Armindo Lugo Méndez, S.V.D. ***
Resigned as San Pedro bishop in 2005, age 55, per canon 401.2. Voluntarily laicized 2008 so that he could run for office. Paraguay president 2008-2012. Admitted 2009 to fathering a child in 2007; another woman said he had fathered her child too, and that their involvement began when she was 18 and Lugo still a bishop. Admitted 2012 to fathering child of another woman while bishop.



PERU

Bishop Guillermo Martín Abanto Guzmán ***
Fathered child in 2011. Resigned July 2013, age 49, per canon 401.2, after child's mother took him to court, demanding he recognize paternity. Peru Military bishop emeritus.

Bishop Gabino Miranda Melgarejo
Removed as Ayachucho o Huamanga auxiliary bishop May 2013, age 53, after accused of molesting children he is said to have targeted during confession. Laicized July 2013.



PHILIPPINES

Bishop Teodoro C. Bacani, Jr. ***
Resigned 2003, age 63, per canon 401.2, after accused by secretary of sexual misconduct. Apologized. Novaliches bishop emeritus.

Bishop Filomeno Gonzales Bactol
Accused 2007 of molesting boys by ex-missionary who himself faced deportation for alleged pedophilia in 1990s. Naval bishop.

Bishop Crisostomo A. Yalung ***
Resigned 2002, age 49, per canon 401.2, after news he had fathered a child. Antipolo bishop emeritus.



POLAND

Archbishop Juliusz Paetz ***
Resigned 2002, age 67, after accused of sexually abusing young seminarians. Paetz denied the allegations. Banned from public ministry, but ban lifted by Vatican June 2010. Poznan archbishop emeritus.

Archbishop Józef Wesołowski *
Polish. Resigned as papal nuncio to Dominican Republic August 2013 and was secretly recalled to Vatican, just days before DR news media exposed his alleged sex assaults of children on Santo Domingo waterfront. Church officials did not inform DR law enforcement. Prosecution sought by both DR and Poland. Vatican reportedly rebuffed extradition request by Poland January 2014. Laicization announced June 2014, four days after DR bishop tweeted about seeing Wesołowski strolling in Rome. Diplomatic immunity removed August 2014, day after NY Times exposé. Put under house arrest in Vatican City State September 2014. Found with 100,000+ child abuse images on his laptop and Vatican-owned computer. Released from house arrest after 60 days; free to move around Vatican City State beginning late November 2014. Hospitalized night before his July 2015 trial in VCS, causing trial to be indefinitely postponed. Released from hospital one week later, and freed to walk around Vatican City, according to BBC. Found dead in his Vatican apartment August 28, 2015. Trial never resumed.



PORTUGAL
Bishop Carlos Alberto de Pinho Moreira Azevedo ***
Accused 2010 of 1980s sexual abuse of seminarian. Appointed Official of Pontifical Council for Culture 2011.


PUERTO RICO
Bishop Daniel Fernández Torres
Accused February 2014 of lewd acts against a male minor shortly before becoming bishop in 2010, when an Arecibo parish priest. Bishop of Arecibo. Denied charges, said were "act of revenge." Diocese under scrutiny for mishandling of sex abuse cases. Archbishop Roberto González called the allegations "slander." Charges dismissed by Vatican April 2014. Accuser's attorney said client wasn't interviewed by Vatican. Info about Fernández Torres' alleged abuse reportedly withheld from Vatican by PR apostolic delegate Jozef Wesolowski.



SCOTLAND
Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O’Brien ***
Retired 2013, age 74, after accused publicly of sexual advances toward priests, dating to 1980s. Apologized. Saint Andrews and Edinburgh archbishop emeritus. Pope Francis accepted O'Brien's resignation in March 2015, meaning O'Brien would no longer be allowed to perform the public, religious or civil duties of a Cardinal.

Bishop Roderick Wright ***
Resigned 1996, age 56, after admitting to sex with woman he counseled. Married the woman. Admitted to son with previous woman. Remained Argyll and The Isles bishop emeritus. Died 2005.

 

SOUTH AFRICA
Bishop Reginald Joseph Orsmond
Johannesburg bishop 1984-2002. Founded South Africa's Boys Town 1958; there until named bishop 1984. Died 2002. Accused in former Boys Town resident's 2007 memoir of of rape and molestation over a three-year period, beginning when the author was age 13 in the 1960s. Orsmond is said to have plied the boy with alcohol. Several other men also alleged sexual abuse as boys in the facility by Orsmond; an ex-staffer said it was an "open secret" that Orsmond had boys sleep in his room. Archdiocesan "professional conduct committee" deemed the allegations credible.



SWITZERLAND
Bishop Hansjörg Vogel ***
Resigned 1995, age 44, after acknowledging impregnating woman. Basel {Bâle, Basilea} bishop emeritus.

URUGUAY
Bishop Francisco Domingo Barbosa Da Silveira ***
Resigned age 65 in 2009, per canon 401.2, after he filed extortion complaint revealing homosexual relations between him and two men. Remained Minas bishop emeritus. Died 2015.

WALES
Archbishop John Aloysius Ward, O.F.M. Cap.
Arrested 1999 for alleged assault of girl, age 7, 1960-61. Not charged. Said he was falsely accused. Resigned 2001 at age 72, per canon 401.2, after outcry at his mishandling of two abusive priests. Remained Cardiff archbishop emeritus. Died 2007.

___________________________

* assigned in more than one country during his career
*** publicly accused of sexual misconduct/abuse of adults only

Note: Inclusion in this list does not imply that individuals facing allegations are guilty of a crime or liable for civil claims. The reports contained in this list are merely allegations. The U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements.

 

This page was last updated August 7, 2016.