Diocese Names Dead Priest Accused of Abuse the Rev. Joseph Pineau Died in 1982

By Kevin Blocker
Spokesman Review [Spokane]
September 23, 2003

The Spokane Catholic Diocese on Monday announced that a former Spokane priest, now deceased, has been accused of sexual misconduct.

At the recommendation of the Diocesan Review Board, Bishop William Skylstad announced that the Rev. Joseph Pineau was "credibly accused" of an incident of sexual misconduct.

Pineau was a priest in the Spokane Diocese from 1932 until his retirement in 1968. He died in 1982 at the age of 83. Skylstad said the Diocesan Review Board believes others might come forward upon hearing the name of the accused priest. Decisions to disclose the names of priests accused of abuse are made on a case-by-case basis, according to Skylstad.

The alleged incident was recently reported to the diocese, Skylstad said.

It allegedly occurred 36 years ago and involved an adolescent in a counseling situation, he said.

Pineau was born on Prince Edward Island, Canada, in 1898 and was ordained in 1932. The following July he started his first assignment in the Diocese of Spokane, as assistant pastor at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes.

From September 1934 to August 1938 he was assistant pastor of the cathedral. He also served as secretary to Spokane Bishop Charles White.

In August 1938, Pineau began his last, and longest, assignment as pastor of Spokane's St. Francis Xavier Parish.

"If there are any victims of abuse by priests, whether living or dead, we want to know about it," Skylstad said. "We want to report it, we want to offer counseling and we want to help victims begin to heal."

Molly Harding, co-founder of Spokane's Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, praised the diocese for releasing Pineau's name.

"I see that as a positive step for the diocese and the victims as well," Harding said. "In the future we hope to see the continued release of names of those who are deceased as well as living."


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