Seattle Archdiocese Releases Name of Priest Accused of Abuse Amid Scathing National Report
By Jennifer Sullivan
August 16, 2018
The Seattle Archdiocese said a former Catholic schools superintendent is accused of abuse nearly 60 years ago.
Monsignor Phillip Duffy, who died in 1987, is accused of abuse that occurred in 1959 or 1960. There was one victim involved and it’s unknown how long the abuse spanned, Seattle Archdiocese spokesman Greg Magnoni told KOMO in a statement.
Duffy, according to the Archdiocese, served as the church schools superintendent from 1947 until 1968.
The Seattle Archdiocese issued a press release Tuesday announcing Duffy’s name, saying they spoke with a “independent consultant” after the alleged victim contacted them. The Archdiocese said the victim contacted them in early 2016.
“The independent consultant and the Archdiocesan Review Board recommended to the Archbishop that Duffy’s name be added to the list,” the release said. “Duffy’s name is the first name the Archdiocese has added to the list since first publication in 2016.”
Magnoni said in an email to KOMO, “We always look into allegations if they come to us.”
But Mary Dispenza, with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), believes the Seattle Archdiocese was feeling pressure to reveal a new name after reports of abuse by clergy compiled from across the globe.
Dispenza, an abuse survivor herself, said she wasn’t surprised Duffy’s name was revealed the same day that a Grand Jury in Pennsylvania handed down a stunning report revealing nearly 70 years of abuse by clergy. According to published reports more than 1,000 children were victimized by priests.
“This name, Duffy, Monsignor Phillip Duffy, had to come out because of pressure and because we’re all wiser and smarter,” Dispenza said. “Having appointed him the Superintendent of Catholic schools is appalling.”
Dispenza said she’s confident there are more names that need to be added to the Seattle Archdiocese list. Dispenza hopes there is a Grand Jury investigation into the Seattle Archdiocese to make more information open to the public.
“It’s time,” Dispenza added.