Phoenix List of Abusers Includes Another Gallup Priest
By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
October 23, 2012
When the Diocese of Phoenix finally posted its list of clergy members accused or convicted of abusing children on its website last week, it bumped up the list from the Diocese of Gallup to 20 known abusers.
The Phoenix Diocese posted the list Tuesday, according to a story in the Arizona Republic Oct. 17. The diocese’s list of 29 abusers is shorter than the list of names the Phoenix newspaper has been compiling since the clergy sexual abuse scandal erupted nationally in 2002, but it does include the name of one priest that was new to the newspaper: Harry Morgan.
Church records from the Official Catholic Directory indicate Harry R. Morgan was one of several abusive priests from the Diocese of Gallup that the Diocese of Phoenix inherited when it was founded in 1969.
The directory indicates Morgan became a priest for the Diocese of Gallup in 1954, and like the majority of credibly accused sexual abusers in the Gallup Diocese, Morgan was assigned to Catholic parishes in rural northern Arizona. He was assigned to St. Joseph’s in Winslow, St. John the Baptist in St. Johns, St. Pius X in East Flagstaff, and St. Joseph’s in Williams, Ariz.
Associated Press news reports from 1975, posted online, indicate Morgan, then 60, was arrested Feb. 17, 1975, when he was the pastor at the Church of the Ascension in Fountain Hills, Ariz. Morgan was charged with molesting a 9-year-old boy that January.
In August 1975, Morgan pleaded no contest in Maricopa County Superior Court, and in October 1975 Judge C. Kimball Rose sentenced Morgan to 10 years probation. According to a news report dated Oct. 7, 1975, Morgan’s attorney William P. Mahoney said the Catholic Church was arranging to place Morgan “out of state in a parish without children.”
There is no information to indicate where Morgan was transferred.
Bishop James S. Wall of the Diocese of Gallup has made his own promises to post a similar list of credibly accused clergy on the diocesan website but has yet to do so. When contacted for comment, the Rev. Tim Farrell, the media liaison for the diocese, said because Wall is on pilgrimage in Italy, an official statement on such a listing would have to wait until the bishop returns at the end of the month.
Phoenix attorney Robert Pastor, who represents several clients with abuse allegations against the Diocese of Gallup, told the Arizona Republic he was “hopeful” about Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted’s decision to post the list.
However, when contacted about the Gallup Diocese, Pastor emailed a critical statement that referred to Wall’s May 12, 2009, news release in which he promised to review more than 400 diocesan personnel files and post a similar list of abusers on the diocese’s website.
“At the time, this promise was a thoughtful gesture by the Bishop of Gallup,” Pastor said. “After waiting three years for the Bishop to make good on his promise, we have to call it what it is: another lie and half truth that is part of a greater effort to cover-up clergy sexual abuse. I have no faith that the Bishop of Gallup will make good on his promise. The Bishop of Gallup either has no intention of being a real leader for his flock or he has too many files of pedophile priests hiding in the archives of the Chancery.”
The Independent has compiled its own list of alleged sexual abusers from the Gallup Diocese based on information from church documents, police reports and court records. The following list includes both diocesan and religious order priests accused of abusing minors: William Allison, Michael J. Aten, John Boland, James M. Burns, Santino “Tony A. Casimano, Charles “Chuck” Cichanowicz, David J. Clark, Laurence Florez, Clement A. Hageman, Julian Hartig, Robert J. Kirsch, Diego Mazon, Bruce MacArthur, Douglas A. McNeill, Harry R. Morgan, Francis “Frank” Murphy, Jose H. Rodriguez, Raul Sanchez, John T. Sullivan and Samuel Wilson.
Gallup clergy who have allegedly sexually assaulted adult victims include James Schlaffer and Alfred A. Tachias.