Priest added to abuse list worked 8 Oklahoma churches
By Matt Patterson
January 21, 2020
|Lights shine atop St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City in 2013. |
|Retired Priest Marvin Leven’s photo appears on the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City’s website.|
A former Catholic priest who worked in seven communities across Oklahoma has been added to a list of clergy with at least one “substantiated allegation” of sexual abuse, the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City announced today.
Father Marvin Leven, 94, was accused in 1993 of sexual abuse on a 15-year-old boy by a former parishioner of Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Enid, the archdiocese said in a press release.
The investigation of Leven was included in the October 2019 report produced by the law firm McAfee & Taft on behalf of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, but his name was redacted in that document. A second allegation with a minor at Saint Francis Xavier was also substantiated during the course of the investigation.
Archbishop Paul Coakley noted that Leven was added to the list following an investigation by retired Oklahoma City Police detective Kim Davis who was hired by the McAfee & Taft at the request of the archdiocese.
“As detailed in the report, some of the key findings of our investigation were the Archdiocese conducted inconsistent and inadequate investigations into past allegations of sexual abuse of minors, failed to follow its own policies and procedures in some instances, and had inadequate recordkeeping policies and systems that made it difficult to make informed decisions,” McAfee & Taft attorney Ronald T. Shinn, Jr. said in October.
Marvin Levin transferred but later returned
In 1995, the archdiocese transferred Leven to the Saint Luke Institute in Maryland for evaluation related to sexual abuse. In a letter, staff at the institute found the allegations against Leven “were possible” and recommended he have no unsupervised contact with minors. Extensive psychotherapy was also recommended.
Later, Leven returned to the parish but was prohibited from having ministerial contact with minors unless other adults were present.
Leven was well traveled across Oklahoma prior to his retirement in 1999. Beyond his time at Saint Francis Xavier in Enid, Leven worked at:
A chaplain for Mercy Health Center
Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Altus
Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church in Edmond
Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Okarche
Holy Family Catholic Church in Lawton
Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Tulsa
Saint Eugene Catholic Church in Oklahoma City
Holy Family Cathedral in Tulsa.
After his retirement as a parish priest, Leven served as a chaplain at Mercy Health Center until 2013. A May 2019 profile in The Oklahoman noted Leven’s service to the church over six decades:
Leven was ordained into the Roman Catholic priesthood in May 1959, and his two 8-year-old nephews were given the honor of serving as altar boys for his first Mass as a priest.
He could hear the youths giggling about something, but he was never sure what it was.
Sixty years later, Leven, 94, once again was joined by his nephews — only this time they were as adult servers as he presided at his last public Mass.
It’s unclear if Leven still lives in the area. A listing on the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City website lists Leven as “retired” and includes a picture, but no other biographical information.
Leven is among a dozen priests named in the October McAfee & Taft report who were accused of sexual abuse since 1960. That report found the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City inadequately investigated allegations against clergy over that time.
The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City ended its press release about Leven with a request of parishioners:
Report abuse or inappropriate behavior with a minor immediately. Contact local law enforcement, the state Department of Human Services at (800) 522-3511 and the archdiocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator. If a child is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. Reporting situations include incidences involving priests, deacons, volunteers, youth, chaperones and employees of a parish, school or diocese.