Unsealed Records Show That Priest with History of Sexually Abusing Girls Worked at Crookston Diocese
November 20, 2015
Former Crookston Diocese Fr. Charles J. Gormly was recently named as a serial predator priest by the Survivors Network of those abused by Priests (SNAP), a support group for clergy abuse victims. Several pages of previously-secret records of the priest were recently made public after a request by the Jeff Anderson & Associates firm during a clergy abuse trial against the Diocese of Duluth on priests accused of child sex abuse.
The documents were introduced into evidence in the Bill Weis vs. Diocese of Duluth civil lawsuit conducted in Ramsey County. They pertain to four priests accused of sexually abusing children while working in the Diocese of Duluth.
Until the documents were released, attorneys were not able to say that Gormly had been in the Diocese of Crookston or that he had offended in the Diocese of Crookston. They believe he served in Crookston in the late 1950s.
The newly-released records show a bishop admitting that Fr. Gormly "has a sexual problem that prompts him to molest small girls," that "his record in Crookston was not the best" and that Fr. Gormly was sent for "treatment" to at least two facilities.
The SNAP network issued a news release Thursday urging victims of clergy sexual abuse or witnesses to it in the Crookston diocese or elsewhere to speak up.
"We hope that every single person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Crookston will summon the strength to speak up," the release said. "Kids are safer only when victims, witnesses and whistleblowers are courageous enough to act. Silence is tempting, but it only helps wrongdoers."
Gormly was a native of Ireland, ordained in the Cheyenne, Wyoming diocese and assigned to at least five Minnesota parishes (in the cities of Crookston, Duluth and Brainerd) before dying in 1968.