2 New Suits Allege Sexual Abuse by Clergy
By Stephanie Innes
Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)
November 27, 2003
Tucson diocese is now facing 16 such cases
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson is facing two new lawsuits related to allegations of sexual abuse by clergy.
The latest civil actions bring to 16 the number of lawsuits facing the diocese over reports of sexual abuse.
The two suits, filed by two different attorneys, both concern male victims now in their 30s.
One suit names as a perpetrator the Rev. Thomas Purcell, who is serving a prison term of at least 91/2 years for sexually abusing a South Tucson boy while Purcell was a visiting priest in the diocese during the 1980s.
The man who filed that suit through Scottsdale attorney R. Lee Steers Jr. was also the victim in the criminal case.
The second lawsuit was filed by a man who says he was abused by Monsignor Walter F. Rosensweig.
Rosensweig, now retired, was suspended in 1996 after he was accused in a civil action of sexually assaulting an unidentified teen who was a parishioner at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Nogales, where Rosensweig ministered between 1972 and 1996.
The diocese in 1997 reached an undisclosed monetary settlement with the then-grown man and last year put Rosensweig on a public list of clerics with "credible" accusations of child sexual abuse against them.
"We are awaiting further information on the suits. We are not familiar with the allegation against Monsignor Rosensweig. That will have to be explored," Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas said Wednesday.
"Our desire is to clarify what has happened in the past and to try to address the concerns as best as we can and provide as much assistance as possible."
Kicanas said diocesan officials were not aware of the man who filed the recent lawsuit against Rosensweig through Tucson attorney Doug Zanes.
The diocese immediately notified law enforcement of the accusation, Kicanas said.
"It would be helpful if everything would come forward all at once, but it comes gradually and that can be wearying," Kicanas said. "But the task before us is to understand what is before us and to heal it."
The Diocese of Tucson last year reached an out-of-court settlement with 10 men who said they were abused by four members of the clergy in the 1960s, '70s and '80s. The settlement is estimated at between $14 million and $16 million.
Last summer, the diocese's insurance company paid $1.8 million to the families of five girls who said they were abused by a Yuma Catholic schoolteacher and Tucson native, Greg Speers, during the 1999-2000 school year.
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems