Clergy Who Sexually Abused Children Include 16 Who Served in County
By Kari Bray
January 15, 2016
A list of Catholic clergy accused of sexually abusing children and teens includes 16 that served in Snohomish County.
The Archdiocese of Seattle released the list Friday afternoon. It includes priests who have died, been defrocked or who are living a life of “permanent prayer and penance” after they either admitted to sexually abusing children or the church found that allegations against them were credible. Permanent prayer and penance means the priests are not allowed to do public ministry anymore.
Church leaders hope sharing the list will make other victims consider reporting abuse, said Greg Magnoni, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Seattle.
“This action is being taken in the interest of further transparency and accountability, and to continue to encourage victims of sexual abuse by clergy to come forward,” Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain wrote.
In a letter sent with the list, Sartain apologized for those the church put in a position of trust who “violated that sacred trust by abusing the vulnerable in their care.”
The church has responded to hundreds of victims of abuse, he wrote. He thanked those victims for having the courage to talk about their experiences and urged others to do the same.
The list of clergy released Friday was put together with help from the Archdiocesan Review Board and independent consultants. They worked on it for two years, Magnoni said. A hotline is set up at 800-446-7762.
“Anyone who knows of abuse or has been abused should call that number,” Magnoni said. “If they know of any instance of abuse not only by clergy but by any employee or volunteer for the church, they should call that number.”
The list goes back decades. There are 77 names on it: 46 local priests, 14 priests from other diocese who spent time in Western Washington, two deacons, one nun and 14 brothers, men who vow to serve the church but are not ordained as priests.
All of the people on the lists worked or lived in Western Washington at some point between 1923 and 2008.
The list includes the churches and schools where each person worked. However, that does not mean children were abused in every location listed, according to the Archdiocese.
Of the 16 clergy who served in Snohomish County, six had ties to Immaculate Conception church in Everett.
Former priest John Cornelius resigned in 2002 and was officially defrocked in 2004 after being accused of molesting at least a dozen teenage boys. He served at Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Everett from 1997 to 2002. The alleged sex abuse did not occur in Everett but rather in Boise, Idaho, and in King County in the 1970s, the church said at the time.
Cornelius was transferred to Everett after an Idaho man filed a complaint against him. The congregation wasn't told about the priest's background and many were shocked and hurt when the allegations came to light.
Sister Dolores Crosby is the only nun on the list. She was the principal of Immaculate Conception/Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Everett from 1992 to 1999. She also taught in Seattle and Edmonds before coming to Everett. Bing Crosby's niece, she died in 2007.
In 2005, an Everett-born man sued the Archdiocese claiming that the Rev. Edward Boyle abused him for 11 years, starting in 1956, while Boyle was at Immaculate Conception in Everett. The victim was an altar boy there. The lawsuit was settled for $270,000. Boyle died in 1987. At the time of the lawsuit, the church said there had been past allegations against him. Boyle also served for a time at Immaculate Conception in Arlington.
In 2009, the Archdiocese paid $350,000 to a man who said he was sexually abused by former priest James Knelleken. It was the church's second settlement for allegations against Knelleken, who was at Immaculate Conception in Everett from 1984 until he was removed from ministry in 1988 due to claims that he was abusing minors. He died in 2003.
Some priests on the list served at Providence Hospital in Everett and at the Washington State Reformatory in Monroe. Other churches and Catholic schools on the list include Holy Rosary in Edmonds, St. Mary of the Valley in Monroe, St. Mary Magdalen in Everett and St. Michael in Snohomish.
In 2006, the Archdiocese announced that the Rev. Dennis Champagne's authority to do public ministry had been taken away by the Vatican and he was to be “a priest on prayer and penance.” He was limited to administering the sacraments only with permission from the archbishop. It was punishment for allegedly abusing an altar boy in the early 1970s. Champagne was pastor at St. Michael in Snohomish from 1979 to 1999, and had been a parish priest there since 1971.
The list will be updated if new information comes in and is vetted, Magnoni said.
Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org
Those who served in county
Catholic clergy from sex abuse list who served in Snohomish County:
Barry Ashwell, defrocked, was at St. Pius X in Mountlake Terrace from 1970-71
Edward Boyle, deceased, was at Immaculate Conception in Everett from 1956-58 and Immaculate Conception in Arlington from 1958-65
Dennis Champagne, permanent prayer and penance, was at St. Michael in Snohomish from 1979-99
John Cornelius, defrocked, was at Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Everett from 1997-2002
Jerome Dooley, deceased, was at St. Thomas More in Lynnwood from 1983-86
David Jaeger, deceased, was at Holy Rosary in Edmonds from 1968-69 and Immaculate Conception in Everett from 1972-75
James Knelleken, deceased, was at Immaculate Conception in Everett from 1984-88
Lawrence Low, deceased, was at Immaculate Conception in Arlington from 1985-86
Theodore Marmo, defrocked, was at Immaculate Conception in Everett from 1965-69
James McGreal, deceased, was at St. Mary in Monroe from 1956-66 and Providence Hospital in Everett from 1981-85
Desmond McMahon, defrocked, was at St. Mary in Monroe from 1971-73
Michael C. O'Brien, defrocked, was at St. Michael in Snohomish from 1974-79 and St. Mary of the Valley in Monroe from 1999-2008
Harold Quigg, deceased, was at St. Mary Magdalen in Everett from 1960-66
Richard Stohr, deceased, was at the Washington State Reformatory in Monroe from 1979-88
James McSorley, deceased, was at St. Thomas Center in Bothell from 1984-86
Sister Dolores Crosby, deceased, was at Holy Rosary School in Edmonds from 1973-78 and Immaculate Conception School in Everett from 1992-99