Hiding in Plain Sight
The Rev. James "Jim" Tully
Rome Case Study #1
Dallas Morning News
September 12, 2004
[See also the main article in this feature, In
the Shadow of the Vatican: Accused Clerics Serving in Rome, Heart of the
Catholic Church, by Reese Dunklin, and the other case studies on Revs.
Baptist Ormechea, and Joseph
Henn. The main article and case studies were also released as a series
of four PDFs 1
4. See earlier
articles in the Runaway Priests series.]
He arrived in Rome shortly after the Boston Archdiocese received a letter
in 2002 accusing him of abuse. It was at least the third misconduct allegation
made against Father Tully in a decade. One incident had led to a criminal
prosecution in Milwaukee in which he pleaded no contest to disorderly
conduct for giving three boys alcohol in the early 1990s and grabbing
one on the inner thigh.
He works for the Union of Superiors General, an association for leaders
of the world's Catholic orders, and lives with his order, the Xaverian
After coming under investigation in Milwaukee, Father Tully was sent to
a Connecticut treatment center for "his sexual problem," according
to a letter from his therapist. The letter also said the priest "never
denied responsibility for his sexual behavior" and realized the "damage
that this had inflicted." Father Tully served two years of probation,
then was reassigned overseas and spent most of his time in Africa before
going to Rome. Other allegations - of fondling in the 1970s and 1980s
- came after the criminal case and led to at least one settlement with
the Boston Archdiocese.
The Priest Says
He declined to speak with a reporter who approached him in Rome.
The Xavierians Say
The Rev. Bob Maloney, a Xaverian official, said Father Tully was sent
to the treatment center because of a drinking problem. He said he was
unaware of the therapist's letter, which is in a public court file. The
Xaverians had no part in the Boston settlement, Father Maloney said. The
order sent Father Tully to Rome because he was coping with the stress
of working in war-torn parts of Africa, he said.