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  Special Pastoral Report from Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas
To the Clergy, Religious and Laity of the Diocese
Proceeding Honestly on Our Journey Towards Forgiveness

Diocese of Tucson
March 27, 2003

My Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus:

Over the last four months, the Diocese of Tucson Sexual Misconduct Review Board, with the full cooperation of the Diocese and with the assistance and direction of Dr. Paul Duckro, director of the Office of Child, Adolescent, and Adult Protection, has been reviewing allegations of sexual misconduct involving minors that have been made against priests and other Church personnel who have served in the Diocese.

Included in this review have been the allegations made against the 15 priests who were identified by the Diocese last year in June and allegations that have come forward after June.

The review of allegations that have come forward after June has encompassed allegations reported directly to the Diocese, allegations reported through the Victim’s Assistance Program and allegations that have become known through an extensive review of archival records.

As a result of its review, the Board has recommended to me that I inform our parish communities that there are credible allegations of sexual misconduct involving minors against six additional members of the clergy who served in the Diocese in the past.

None of those clergy is now serving in ministry. They are either dead, have been suspended, or have left ministry.

All known allegations against these clergy have been reported to proper authorities.

The Diocese has made efforts to contact all known victims to offer counseling and to express my interest in meeting with them so that I can offer sorrow and regret.

As painful and discouraging as such reports are, we know that they must be made so that we can reach out to victims and try to bring some healing to their pain.

Here is a compilation of the information about each of the clergy personnel.

Rev. Kevin Barmasse Rev. Barmasse was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1982. He remained a priest of the Archdiocese during the time of his assignments in the Diocese of Tucson. He left the Diocese in 1991. His assignments were: St. Andrew the Apostle Parish, Sierra Vista (1983-1986); St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Tucson (1986-1988); Blessed Sacrament Parish, Mammoth (1988-1991).

Rev. Richard Butler, O.P. Rev. Butler was ordained a priest for the religious order of Dominicans (Order of Preachers) in 1949. He died in 1988. His assignment was: St. Thomas More Newman Center, Tucson (1968-1974).

Rev. George Dyke Rev. Dyke was ordained a priest for the Diocese in 1946. He left the Diocese in 1965. His request for removal from the clerical state was granted in 1968. He died in 1971. His assignments were: Immaculate Conception Parish, Douglas (1946-1949); Salpointe Catholic High School, Tucson (1951-1953); St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish, Tucson (1951-1953); Sacred Heart Parish, Clifton (1953-1961); St. Andrew the Apostle Parish, Sierra Vista (1961-1965).

Rev. Richard Judd Rev. Judd was ordained a priest for the Servants of the Holy Paraclete in 1964. The exact dates of Rev. Judd's presence in the Diocese cannot be ascertained, but he lived in the Tucson area in the early 1970s. During that time, it appears that Rev. Judd had an employment relationship with Salpointe Catholic High School and provided some priestly ministry for brief periods at St. Pius X Parish and St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish. The Diocese believes Rev. Judd died in 1988.

Rev. Francis Miller, O.C.D. Rev. Miller was ordained a priest for the Order of Discalced Carmelites in 1949. He left the Diocese in 1963 and now resides in a retirement facility owned by the Discalced Carmelites. His assignment was: St. Margaret Mary Parish, Tucson (1955-1963).

Deacon Ray Miranda Deacon Miranda was ordained to the permanent diaconate in 1982 for service to St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Sierra Vista. Deacon Miranda was suspended from all ministry in 1983, and has not been allowed to function as a deacon since then. He served as a deacon at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish from 1982 until his suspension.

In the course of the review that has resulted in the disclosure of these names, the members of the Sexual Misconduct Review Board and I have become aware of some instances, in the past, in which allegations of sexual misconduct by clergy were known by the Diocese but reports apparently were not made to law enforcement and the priest was not removed from ministry. By the standards of the time, the individuals making these decisions believed they were acting in the best interests of the Church and society. Many health professionals believed that it was possible to treat successfully those who abused minors so that they could continue in ministry. Many civil and Church authorities believed that it was in the best interests of all, including that of the child, not to prosecute. As a Church and as a society, we recognize today that such actions led to even more tragic consequences.

The review of archival records has shown that apparently there was failure to report allegations made against these presently or previously named priests: Rev. John Doran; Rev. George Dyke; Rev. Robert Gluch; Rev. Francis Miller, O.C.D.; and Rev. Charles Rourke.

The review of archival records has shown that these presently or previously named priests were given assignments after there was awareness of an allegation: Rev. Kevin Barmasse; Rev. George Dyke; Rev. Robert Gluch; Msgr. John Oliver; Rev. Charles Rourke; Rev. Floyd Stromberg; and Rev. Robert Thomas.

In the instance of Rev. Barmasse, when the Diocese accepted him for ministry in 1983, the Diocese was aware that an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor had been made against him while he served as a priest in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Documents reviewed by the Sexual Misconduct Review Board state that the allegation, reported to the Archdiocese in 1983, was investigated by law enforcement in Los Angeles at that time. The documents further state that prosecution was not pursued because the parents did not want to subject their child to interviews and because the parents and law enforcement believed that removal of Rev. Barmasse from the Archdiocese and psychiatric treatment would solve the problem.

The Diocese accepted Rev. Barmasse for ministry with the understanding that he would receive treatment. Documents show that Rev. Barmasse did receive treatment, but the information regarding that treatment is very limited. However, during and at the end of treatment, Rev. Barmasse was judged by the treating professional to be able to minister safely, although the prediction for the future was cautious.

An allegation against Rev. Barmasse, related to the time he served in the Diocese, was reported to the Diocese in 1996, five years after Rev. Barmasse had left the Diocese. The Diocese has reported this allegation to law enforcement.

The Diocese did not receive, while he was serving in the Diocese, any such notice of sexual misconduct involving minors by Rev. Barmasse.

Certainly, we know now that the arrangement that was made for Rev. Barmasse to come to the Diocese was wrong. He should not have been allowed to minister here or anywhere else. Such arrangements are not allowed to be made today, both by our own policies and by the policies the Bishops of the United States have put into place.

With this letter, I encourage anyone who may have experienced sexual misconduct or abuse by any Church personnel to come forward to make a report to law enforcement, to receive what pastoral support the Church can offer, and to obtain support for counseling if it is needed now.

The report may be made directly to local law enforcement, and may also be made to the Diocese of Tucson in the person of Dr. Duckro of the Diocesan Office for Child, Adolescent, and Adult Protection (520-792-3410), or through the Victim’s Assistance Program at Catholic Social Services (1-800-234-0344 outside of Tucson and 623-0344 in the Tucson area).

Concluding this report to you, I am very confident that we have developed clear policies and procedures that will guide us in these matters in the future.

Also, the work of the Sexual Misconduct Review Board and Dr. Duckro give me confidence that we will continue to address these matters with openness, honesty, and transparency.

I realize that for many the release of more names elicits a sense of burden. There may be a feeling that we have dwelt on these matters for too long. There is a desire to “get past it” or to “move on.”

We stay with this course of reviewing allegations and revealing the names of those against whom credible allegations have been made, even allegations arising after many years have passed, for two important reasons.

The first is really for our own sake, as a people of faith. The first stage of wisdom lies in facing our own failings. As John wrote in his first letter, “If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive.”

The second is for the sake of those who have been injured. We believe that an important part of their healing is to know that they have not suffered alone. We believe that an important part of their healing is to know that their suffering is recognized. We believe that an important part of their healing is to hear that we are sorry.

There is hope, but it is not the hope that all our sins are now behind us. Our hope is in the truth and in the forgiveness that has been given us in Christ. We live out this hope in continuing our efforts to review and reveal what have been our failings, proceeding honestly on our journey towards forgiveness and striving to act with compassion for all.

We resolve to continue to seek to know what has happened. We will review our records and listen to allegations and complaints. We resolve to speak publicly about what we come to know when we believe that allegations are credible.

We will act, to the best of our ability, fairly and judiciously. We will not stand in the way of consequences to those who have harmed others, but we will act also with compassion for all, no matter their behavior, past or present.

Above all, we will act with perseverance to work through this crisis, in faith that Christ Jesus will see us through.

Sincerely yours in Christ, Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas, D.D. Bishop of Tucson
 
 
 

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