BishopAccountability.org
 
 

International Aspects of the U.S. Abuse Crisis

It is well known that U.S. bishops often transferred accused Catholic priests to other parishes or dioceses after receiving allegations. But the hierarchy also moved accused priests across international borders to other countries, where they continued to work with children and were often able to evade prosecution or extradition. These transfers are one of many ways in which global Catholicism affects the abuse crisis in the United States. On this page, we offer a selection of documents and articles on the international aspects of the U.S. abuse crisis.

Immigration from Catholic Europe and South America has created Catholic enclaves in many American cities, and abusive priests who worked among these traditional populations sometimes took advantage of their preferred status to abuse the children in their care. Bishops prized the priests who could minister to immigrant populations, and priests in those ministries sometimes took advantage of their diocesan appointments in order to abuse children. All immigrant populations are vulnerable in this dynamic, which can be seen operating in Irish, Portuguese, Mexican, and other immigrant communities.

The priest shortage has led to an influx of priests from Latin America and Africa who have not been subject to recent attempts by U.S. bishops to vet their seminarians. Once abuse is revealed, accused priests have often taken advantage of connections with their native countries to evade prosecution in the United States and to continue working among vulnerable populations. Bishops and superiors of religious orders have sometimes facilitated the flight of accused priests.

Bishops in the United States have sometimes used diocesan missionary societies to send non-Latino priests who have been accused into unsuspecting populations, and the superiors of religious orders have sometimes used the international structures of their orders in the same way. Extradition can be difficult, especially if a religious order or foreign bishop is uncooperative.

Abusive priests often use vacation areas in the United States as venues for abuse, and as international travel has become more common, children have been abused during trips to Mexico and Europe. Priests have also practiced sex tourism with minors in places such as Thailand. The Internet has facilitated these practices.

Below we offer a selection of documents and articles that illustrate these developments.

1960s
Letter to Boston's Cardinal Cushing: A Priest Sent by Boston to Calgary Because of a "Problem" Must Now Leave Canada, by Very Rev. Paul J. O'Byrne, administrator of the Calgary diocese (May 23, 1968) James D. Foley
Canada

1990s
Letter to Rev. John McCormack about a Possible Safehouse for Accused Priests and a Move to Costa Rica or Mexico, by Rev. Paul R. Shanley, Boston Personnel Files (January 16, 1994) See also McCormack's deposition. Paul R. Shanley
Costa Rica, Mexico
Reply to Shanley about Safehouses, by Rev. John McCormack, Boston Personnel Files (January 24, 1994) Paul R. Shanley
Costa Rica, Mexico
Assignment Record of Rev. George A. Costigan, Showing His 2002-2004 Residence in Spain, with His Account of a 1994 Spanish Pilgrimage George Costigan
Spain
Manchester NH Diocesan File of Rev. Anthony M. Hilary (1995) Anthony M. Hilary
India
Head of Worldwide Catholic Order Accused of History of Abuse, by Gerald Renner and Jason Berry, Hartford [CT] Courant (2/23/97) Marcial Maciel Degollado
Mexico, Spain

2000
St. Sebastian's Angels, by Jay McNally, Catholic World News (June 2000) John Harris
South Africa

2002
Accused Priest in Mexico, by Kathleen A. Shaw and Richard Nangle, Telegram & Gazette (February 7, 2002) Thomas A. Kane
Mexico
An Abuser: For 2 Decades, in 3 Countries, Priest Left a Trail of Sex Abuse, by Dean E. Murphy and Juan Forero, NY Times (April 20, 2002) Enrique Diaz Jimenez
Colombia, Venezuela
Two Abusive Priests Continued Work: 1 Colorado Pastor Assigned to Mexico; 2nd Had Okla. Job, by Kirk Mitchell, Denver Post (April 29, 2002) Lucas A. Galvan
Mexico
In Search of a Confession, by Joel Grover, KCBS (May 1, 2002) Fidencio Silva
Mexico
Shanley Visited Child-Sex Haven in Thailand, by Christopher Cox and Robin Washington, Boston Herald (May 7, 2002) Paul R.Shanley
Thailand
Two-Thirds of Bishops Let Accused Priests Work: Bishop Michael Driscoll and Rev. Eleuterio Ramos, Dallas Morning News (June 12, 2002) Eleuterio V. Ramos
Mexico
Two-Thirds of Bishops Let Accused Priests Work: Bishop Straling and Rev. Gustavo Benson, Dallas Morning News (June 12, 2002) Gustavo Benson
Mexico
Two-Thirds of Bishops Let Accused Priests Work: Bishop Patrick Flores and Rev. Xavier Ortiz-Dietz, Dallas Morning News (June 12, 2002) Xavier Ortiz-Dietz
Mexico
Impact Statement, by Michael Bland, speech at the USCCB meeting in Dallas TX (June 13, 2002) John M. Huels OSM
Canada
Foreign-Born Priests Ease Shortage But Pose Accountability Challenge, by Mark Wrolstad, Dallas Morning News (June 14, 2002) Carlos Peralta of Mexico, Oliver O'Grady of Ireland, Gustavo Cuello of Colombia, Anthony Nwaogu of Nigeria
Priest Named As Abuser Leaves Post, by Lisa Black, Chicago Tribune (August 7, 2002) John M. Huels OSM
Canada
Deposition of Bishop John B. McCormack – Discussion of Shanley's Proposed Move to Mexico or Costa Rica (November 22, 2002) Paul R. Shanley
Canada

Letters Show Fear of Scandal in '84 Alleged Abuse Case, by Michael Rezendes and Matt Carroll, Boston Globe (December 19, 2002)

Peter S. Kanchong
Thailand

2003
Bishop Bad Boy: Santa Rosa's Charismatic Catholic Bishop Got Busted Shaking down a Priest for Sex: But He Had Friends in High Places – and They Served Him Well, by Ron Russell, SF Weekly (March 19, 2003) G. Patrick Ziemann
Costa Rica
Church Paid Indicted Priest: Disgraced S.F. Cleric Received 'Basic Sustenance' Checks for 4 Years, by Elizabeth Fernandez, San Francisco Chronicle (March 30, 2003) Austin Peter Keegan
Mexico
Officer Battles Personal Crime: He Can't Forget Molestation by His Priest, by Tom Kisken, Ventura County Star (April 27, 2003) Fidencio Silva
Mexico
Ex-Priest Spotted near Mexico: Widera, 62, Is Accused of Sexual Abuse in Orange County, Long Beach Press-Telegram (May 5, 2003) Siegfried F. Widera
Mexico
See No Evil, by Ron Russell, San Francisco Weekly (May 21, 2003) G. Patrick Ziemann
Costa Rica
Fugitive Ex-Priest Jumps to His Death from Mazatlan Hotel Balcony, by Isaac Guzman, Associated Press (May 27, 2003) Siegfried F. Widera
Mexico
Nurse Testifies Priest Raped Her in Rectory, by Andy Newman, New York Times (June 6, 2003) Cyriacus Udegbulem
Nigeria
Man Sues Dioceses over Alleged Abuse in Salinas, Arizona, by Alex Friedrich, Monterey Herald (June 6, 2003) John Velez
Mexico
Priest's Charges Dropped Court Ruling Ends Molestation Case, by Felisa Cardona, San Bernardino Sun (July 10, 2003 ) Peter Luque
Vicar for Hispanic Affairs
Suit Charges Top Clergy of Hiding Rape by a Priest, by Joseph A. Reaves, Arizona Republic (July 22, 2003) Saul Madrid
Mexico
Romley's Letter to Vatican Sent Back: Sought Extradition of Indicted Priests, by Dennis Wagner, Arizona Republic (August 6, 2003) Patrick Colleary in Ireland, Joseph Briceno in Mexico
Justice Getting Lost in the Translation, by E.J. Montini, Arizona Republic (August 10, 2003) Patrick Colleary in Ireland, Joseph Briceno in Mexico
Priest Accused of Molesting 15-Year-Old Girl: A Visiting Cleric from a Mexican Diocese Allegedly Fondled and Kissed the Teen While Hearing Her Confession, by Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times (August 12, 2003) Audon Serratos
Mexico
Woman Sues over Abuse Complaint from 1970s, by Susan Gamble, Brantford Expositor (September 5, 2003) Patrick Mackan
Canada
Child Sex Industry Thriving in Mexico: Accused Include Americans, Men with Ties to Powerful Figures, by Brooks Egerton and Brendan M. Case, Dallas Morning News (November 2, 2003) Jose Borja
Mexico

2004
Church Abuse Reviews Show 12 Alaska Priests Accused, by Rachel D'Oro, Associated Press (February 5, 2004 ) Javier Gutierrez
Mexico
Attorneys: Mahony Ignored Warnings from Mexican Bishop, Associated Press (April 30, 2004) Nicolás Aguilar Rivera
Mexico
Runaway Priests: Hiding in Plain Sight, by Reese Dunklin et al., Dallas Morning News (June 20, 2004) Klep, Peralta, Carrera, Macal, Manzo, Vásquez
Samoa, Mexico, Australia, Argentina, Peru, Guatemala, Bolivia, Chile, Italy, Costa Rica, Guinea, Nicaragua, Honduras
Abuse Victims Group Aims to Penalize Salesians, by Gary Stern, Journal News (June 24, 2004) Frank Klep, Enrique Vásquez
Costa Rica, Mexico, Australia, Samoa
Police: Catholic Leaders Impeding Search for Fugitive Priest, by Brendan M. Case and Brooks Egerton, Dallas Morning News (July 14, 2004) Enrique Vásquez
Costa Rica, Nicaragua
In the Shadow of the Vatican: Accused Clerics Serving in Rome, Heart of the Catholic Church, by Reese Dunklin, Dallas Morning News (September 12, 2004) James Tully, Edgar Hidalgo, Barry Bossa, Julian Fox, John Baptist Ormechea, and Joseph Henn
Italy, Mexico, Australia
Priest Charged with Sex Abuse in Australia: News Reported He Had Been Working in Samoa Despite Charges, by Reese Dunklin, Dallas Morning News (October 5, 2004) Frank Klep
Australia, Samoa
Group Keeps Sounding Alarm about Former Hoosier Priest, by Ruth Holladay, Indianapolis Star (October 19, 2004) Ron Voss
Haiti
Mahony in '80s Banned Two Priests, by Jean Guccione, Los Angeles Times (December 10, 2004) Antonio Munoz, Antonio Camacho
Mexico
Cardinal Untruths: Mahony's Testimony in Sex Scandal Clashes with Earlier Statements and Reality, by Jeffrey Anderson, LA Weekly (December 15, 2004) [with Mahony deposition transcript] Antonio Munoz, Antonio Camacho
Mexico

2005
Priest Acquitted of Sex Charge: Members of Detroit Church Cheer Verdict, but Archdiocese Probe of Complaint Resumes, by Doug Guthrie, Detroit News (January 14, 2005) Luis Javier de Alba Campos
Mexico
Gramick's Charity to Shanley Is More Than He Deserves, by Maureen Orth, National Catholic Reporter (January 14, 2005) Paul Shanley
Costa Rica
58 Sexual-Abuse Counts Filed against Former Inland Priest, by Michael Fisher, Press-Enterprise (February 2, 2005) Jesús Armando Dominguez
Mexico
Defrocked Priest Questioned in Haiti Jailbreak: Man Who Has Led Powerful Ministry Admitted U.S. Sex Abuse, by Brooks Egerton and Brendan M. Case, Dallas Morning News (February 24, 2005) See also the original Indianapolis Star series with articles about Rev. Ron Voss. Ron Voss
Haiti
Priest Thwarts U.S. Bishops' Abuse Policy by Crossing River: Rovira, Accused of Rape in Texas, Finds 'Different Set of Rules' in Mexico, by Brooks Egerton and Brendan M. Case, Dallas Morning News (March 16, 2005) Ivan Rovira, Cristobal Garcia, Manuel Fernández, Paul Madden, Carl Tresler, José Luis Urbina, Gerardo Beltrán, Javier Gutiérrez, Abraham Anthony, Jean-Level Eliscard
Mexico, Philippines, Spain, Peru, Australia, India, Haiti, Canada
Priest Accused of Rapes Finds Prominence: Filipino Church Leaders Welcome Garcia Despite Incidents with Altar Boys, by Brooks Egerton, Dallas Morning News (March 16, 2005) Cristobal Garcia
Philippines
Too Much Tolerance? Even As U.S. Catholic Leaders Tout Their Tougher Child Abuse Policy, Some Have Allowed Fallen Priests to Start Over Abroad, by Brendan M. Case, Brooks Egerton, and Reese Dunklin, Dallas Morning News (March 16, 2005) Ivan Rovira, Cristobal Garcia, Manuel Fernández, Paul Madden, Carl Tresler, José Luis Urbina, Gerardo Beltrán, Javier Gutiérrez, Abraham Anthony, Jean-Level Eliscard
Mexico, Philippines, Spain, Peru, Australia, India, Haiti, Canada
2 Priests, 1 Former Cleric Leave Jobs Abroad after News Report: Story Disclosed That They Had Sexually Abused Children in U.S., by Brooks Egerton and Brendan M. Case, Dallas Morning News (April 13, 2005) José Luis Urbina, Ron Voss, Ivan Rovira
Haiti, Mexico
Ireland Residents Learn of Priest's Past, by Shawn Pogatchnik, Associated Press (May 12, 2005) Oliver O'Grady
Ireland
Ex-Norton Priest Pleads Guilty to Indecent Assault : Gets Two Years in Jail, 10 Years on Probation, by Ralph Ranalli, Boston Globe (July 16, 2005) Donald Bowen
Bolivia
Accused Priest Battles Extradition, by Gary Grado, East Valley Tribune (July 24, 2005) Patrick Colleary
Ireland
Naive Adoration: A Lifetime of Pain, by Beth Miller, News Journal (November 21, 2005) Edward B. Carley
Canada, Mexico
King of the County Pedophiles: The Life, Death and Final Escape of Father Eleuterio Ramos, by Gustavo Arellano, OC Weekly (December 14, 2005) Eleuterio Ramos
Mexico

2006
Ex Avondale Priest Returns to Face Charges, by John Machay, West Valley View (January 4, 2006) Joseph Cervantez Briceno
Mexico
Ex-Vatican Official Wanted on Ontario Sex Charges, by Greg McArthur , Globe and Mail (February 2, 2006) Bernard Prince
Canada, Rome
Fugitive Ex-Priest Thought to Be in Mexico: The Man Is Accused of Molesting Two Boys in the Late 1980s in Perris and Coachella, by Michael Fisher, Press-Enterprise (February 8, 2006) Jesus Armando Dominguez
Mexico
Claim of Abuse Forever Taints Priest's 51 Years in Order, by Bill McClellan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (February 26, 2006) Robert Osborne
Italy, Mexico
Victims Recall Abuse: Men Recount How Priests Befriended, Abused Them, by Mary Nevans-Pederson, Telegraph Herald (March 6, 2006) Robert Reiss
Mexico
Convicted Priest Turns in Passport, by Mike Heine, Janesville Gazette (March 7, 2006) Donald J. McGuire, SJ
Africa, Central America, South America, Europe, Australia, India, Mexico
A Victim of the Church in Mexico, by Maria Elena Salinas, NorthJersey.com (May 30, 2006) Marcial Maciel Degollado
Mexico, Spain
Priest Makes "Most Honest Confession" of His Life, by Drew Griffin and Kathleen Johnston, CNN (June 27, 2006) Oliver O'Grady
Ireland
Fugitive Priest Still out of 'Reach': Extradition Attempt or Request for Trial by Foreign Country Possible If Ochoa Is Found, by Guy Kovner, Press Democrat (July 1, 2006) Xavier Ochoa
Mexico
Documents Detail Abuse Allegations, by Martin Espinoza, Press Democrat (July 28, 2006) Xavier Ochoa
Mexico
Priest Skips Out on Italian Officials, by Michael Clancy, Arizona Republic (August 2, 2006) Joseph Henn
Italy
Someone Is Lying ... But Is It the 100 Alleged Abuse Victims or Fr. Maciel? by Brian Mershon, Renew America (August 7, 2006) Marcial Maciel Degollado
Mexico, Spain
Man Allegedly Abused by Priest Sues U.S., Mexican Cardinals, by Linda Deutsch, Associated Press (September 19, 2006) Nicolás Aguilar
Mexico
Attorney Attacked at Mexican News Conference on Clergy Sex Abuse, by Pamela Miller, Minneapolis Star Tribune (September 21, 2006) Nicolás Aguilar
Mexico
Complaint in Aguilar Mendez v. Mahony, reprinted in RenewAmerica (September 22, 2006) Nicolás Aguilar
Mexico
Former Priest Gets Five Years in Prison, Associated Press (September 29, 2006) George Silva
France, Portugal
Mexico Begins to Suspect Men of Cloth of Covering up Sex Abuse, by Laurence Iliff, Dallas Morning News (October 6, 2006) Nicolás Aguilar
Mexico

Note: The documents in these files are offered solely for educational purposes. Should any reader wish to quote or reproduce these documents for sale, the original publisher should be contacted and permission requested. BishopAccountability.org makes no claim regarding the accuracy of any document we post.

Please send suggestions for adding documents and articles to staff@bishop-accountability.org.

 
 

Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
     
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems
money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems
loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems
sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems
cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems