Catholic church members outraged to learn of violations by
By Josh Kerns
May 6, 2014
|Members of Seattle's St.
Bridget Church are outraged they weren't notified a beloved
priest had a longtime relationship with a young man and wasn't
supposed to be practicing any priestly duties.
Members of a Seattle church are outraged they're just
learning a priest who had a longtime sexual relationship with a
young man was disciplined in 2004. And they're disturbed he
was prohibited from performing baptisms and other sacraments but
continued doing so.
The Archdiocese of Seattle sent a letter to members of St.
Bridget Parish last Friday, notifying them that the
Archdiocesan Case Review Board concluded Harry Quigg had sexual
contact with a then-17-year-old in 1980, and continued the
relationship for 15 years.
The letter said because both civil and canon law
considered the age of majority to be 16-years-old at the time,
the panel concluded it did not constitute sexual abuse of a
Then-Archbishop Alexander J. Brunett notified Quigg in
person and writing he was no longer allowed to perform any
public priestly duties, present himself publicly as a priest, or
wear clerical garb.
The Archdiocese says the information was not made public
because it was determined the the sexual contact did not involve
a minor and to respect Quigg's privacy because it was
considered a personnel matter.
Church members who wish to remain anonymous say they are
extremely upset, and a number boycotted a church fundraising
auction last weekend after learning about Quigg's past and
the Archdiocese's failure to properly supervise him and
prevent him from performing baptisms and other services.
"It is evident from what the Archdiocese has learned
recently that Harry Quigg did not comply with the terms of his
ministry restrictions," the letter said. "It is also
clear, given this information, that the steps taken by the
Archdiocese were not sufficient to alert us of Quigg's
violations of the restrictions on the celebration of the
The letter said parish leadership at St. Bridget's and
neighboring church Assumption were unaware of Quigg's
restrictions, and the Archdiocese is making changes to minimize
the chances of this type of situation from happening again.
"We regret that the steps we took were inadequate to
make sure that those restrictions were not violated," said
Greg Magnoni, Archdiocese spokesman. "We're going to do
everything that we can to make sure that these restrictions, no
matter what the reason, are not violated, and that they are
In addition to performing mass and other sacraments at St.
Bridget's, Mangoni says Quigg - who retired in 2000 - also
performed some priestly duties at other local churches.
"We believed at the time that the steps we had taken
would restrict him in ministry and provide adequate protection
for any vulnerable population," he says.
Magnoni reassured church members that although Quigg
violated restrictions, he was still formally a priest and any
baptisms or other sacraments would be considered official in the
eyes of the church.
Archbishop J. Peter Sartain was scheduled to hold a
meeting with St. Bridget parish members Tuesday that is closed
to the media.