Diocese Releases List Of Suspected Pedophile Priests
November 16, 2006
Dover, Del. -- The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington on Thursday released the names of 20 priests against whom it received substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse.
The list of names was printed in Thursday's edition of the diocese's weekly newspaper, The Dialog.
It includes eight living priests accused of abusing minors in the diocese and two others who ministered in the diocese but were accused of abuse elsewhere.
Of the 20 priests listed, the names of 10 had previously been released publicly, either by the diocese or by the media, officials said.
The list includes only the names of priests employed by the diocese, not those employed by religious orders.
Bishop Michael Saltarelli said in a letter accompanying the list that he released the names after extensive consultation with the Diocesan Review Board, a mostly lay panel formed to comply with the 2002 U.S. bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
Saltarelli also said the recent arrest of the Rev. Francis G. DeLuca in Syracuse, N.Y., was a factor in his decision.
DeLuca, 77, was arrested last month and charged with sexually abusing a Syracuse boy for several years, beginning when he was about 12.
DeLuca was removed from the ministry in Delaware in 1993 and allowed to return to his hometown after church officials in Wilmington learned of credible sexual abuse allegations against him dating to the 1960s.
"I am deeply troubled, and profoundly regret that a priest of this diocese, removed from ministry so many years ago, has once again sexually abused a minor," Saltarelli wrote. "I am deeply sorry for this, and apologize to the victim and his family for their suffering."
Saltarelli said that by disclosing the names and locations of other living priests with substantiated allegations against them, "we perhaps in some way may help prevent or deter any further incidents."
In addition to DeLuca, the other living priests accused of abuse within the diocese are Douglas W. Dempster, Edward F. Dudzinski, Kenneth J. Martin, Joseph A. McGovern, Francis J. Rogers, John A. Sarro, and Charles W. Wiggins.
The priests accused of abusing children outside the diocese are Paul Calamari and Gerard C. Smit.
According to The Wilmington News Journal, Dempster himself was assigned in the 1960s to investigate allegations that his close friend and associate, DeLuca, had sodomized a New Castle County boy.
The alleged victim, Michael Schulte, told the newspaper that Dempster, who now lives in Marydel, Md., cursed at him and told him and his family never to speak about the matter.
Dempster told the newspaper last year that he never reported Schulte's accusation to the police and never formed his own conclusion about whether DeLuca raped the boy.
Officials said information about the eight living diocesan priests was previously disclosed to law enforcement agencies in Delaware and Maryland, depending on where the alleged abuse occurred.
"All of these living priests were removed from ministry between 1985-2003, and the names of all but two of them were previously disclosed publicly by the diocese or others," Saltarelli wrote.
The diocese reported last year that it had received credible or substantiated allegations involving 20 diocesan priests. Saltarelli said he is withholding the names of two of those priests, both dead, because the complaints against them have not been substantiated.
Saltarelli also disclosed that the diocese received five reports in the past 12 months of sexual abuse of minors involving three diocesan priests, all of whom were the subjects of previous complaints.
Two of the accused priests are dead, and the third is no longer in ministry, Saltarelli said.
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