Gallup Diocese's List of Known Abusers
Part V of a five-part series
By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Gallup Independent (Gallup, NM)
May 28, 2011
[See the complete series: 1. Diocese
Fails to Deliver Answers (5/24/11); 2.
Diocese: In or Out of Compliance? (5/25/11); 3.
Diocese Still Mum on Payouts (5/26/11); 4.
Least 16 Abusers in Gallup Diocese (5/27/11); 5.
Diocese's List of Known Abusers (5/28/11).]
G. Allison | Michael
J. Aten | John
Boland | James
M. Burns | Santino
“Tony” A. Casimano | Charles
“Chuck” Cichanowicz OFM | David
J. Clark | Clement
A. Hageman | Julian
Hartig OFM | Robert
J. Kirsch | Diego
Mazon OFM | Bruce
MacArthur | Douglas
A. McNeill | Francis
“Frank” Murphy | Jose
H. Rodriguez | John
T. Sullivan ]
GALLUP — In 2003, the Gallup Diocesan Review Board on Juvenile
Sexual Abuse issued a news release saying five Gallup priests had
been accused of sexual abuse.
The board, however, has never had the authority to actually inspect
Gallup personnel files, so its members have been dependent on Gallup
chancery officials to give them accurate information.
Eight years later, there’s no evidence Gallup chancery officials
have provided accurate information to either its own sex abuse review
board or to the public. As a result, here are the remaining eight
names of the list of 16 known priests associated with the Diocese
of Gallup who have been publicly accused of sexual abuse of minors.
However, this list does not include the names of clergy with only
suspected abuse allegations or publicly accused clergy who have
been returned to ministry. It does not include the names of clergy
accused of sexual misconduct, such as those who have sexually assaulted
or sexually harassed adult victims. It doesn’t include clergy
who have had consensual relationships with adult men or women or
clergy who have fathered children. It also does not include clergy
accused of “boundary violations” — inappropriate
behavior — with minors or adults.
• Julian Hartig, O.F.M.:
The Gallup Diocese publicly identified Hartig, a Franciscan priest,
as an abuser in 2005. Originally from the Franciscan Province of
St. John the Baptist in Cincinnati, Hartig worked at Gallup’s
Sacred Heart Cathedral in the early 1950s. In the early 1960s, he
worked at the Catholic parish in Lumberton, N.M., which had nearby
Native American missions. The Diocese of Gallup and the Franciscan
Province of Our Lady of Guadalupe have confirmed there was at least
one credible allegation against Hartig, who died Oct. 14, 1987.
• Robert J. Kirsch:
Ordained for the Gallup Diocese in January 1957, Kirsch was a New
York native who had previously instructed for the Holy Cross Mission
(Jesuit Order) in the Northwest. Kirsch worked in Gallup’s
Arizona parishes in Flagstaff, Seligman, and Winslow and the New
Mexico parish of Aragon before transferring to the Archdiocese of
Santa Fe. It is not known if Kirsch abused anyone in the Gallup
Diocese. One media report has claimed Kirsch was treated by the
Servants of the Paraclete in Jemez Springs, N.M. In 1991, attorney
Bruce Pasternak filed a civil lawsuit (Bernalillo County District
Court Case No. D-202-CV-9108259) on behalf of a Hispanic woman who
claimed Kirsch forced her into a sexual relationship when she was
15 years old in the Santa Fe Archdiocese. A 2002 "60 Minutes"
news report on clergy sex abuse included Kirsch’s story. Kirsch
died in 2005, but Santa Fe Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan would not
allow Kirsch to be buried on Catholic Church property.
• Diego Mazon, O.F.M.:
This Franciscan priest served in both the Diocese of Gallup and
the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. While in the Gallup Diocese, Mazon
worked in Gallup and San Fidel, N.M., and on the Navajo Nation in
St. Michaels and Fort Defiance, Ariz. In 2005, an adult Hispanic
woman filed a civil lawsuit against Mazon, the Archdiocese of Santa
Fe, and the Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist in Cincinnati
(Bernalillo County District Court Case No. D-202-CV-200503804).
The plaintiff claimed Mazon repeatedly sexually abused her during
her childhood when he was her parish priest in Roswell, N.M. Church
officials negotiated a confidential settlement with the victim and
made no public statement about Mazon’s removal from ministry
at Gallup’s St. Francis of Assisi Church. Instead, parishioners
were told Mazon stepped down for health reasons. Mazon is believed
to be living at the Franciscans’ Juan Diego Friary, along
with former Santa Fe Archbishop Robert Sanchez.
• Bruce MacArthur:
The Gallup Diocese publicly identified MacArthur as an abuser in
2005. MacArthur is a convicted sex offender and self-admitted pedophile
from the Diocese of Sioux Falls, S.D. A former patient of the Servants
of the Paraclete, he abused and raped girls and women across the
country for decades. In 1978, MacArthur was sentenced to prison
in Texas after being convicted of attempting to rape a disabled
nursing home patient. In 2003, MacArthur was discovered living in
Gallup, where he volunteered at the Little Sisters of the Poor’s
senior care facility, the Missionaries of Charity’s Casa San
Martin soup kitchen, and the Casa Reina Prayer Chapel. MacArthur
was never authorized to serve as a priest in the Gallup Diocese,
and it is unknown if he ever abused here. In 2008, Wisconsin authorities
prosecuted MacArthur for old sex abuse crimes. Although he was in
his 80s, MacArthur was convicted and sent to jail once again.
• Douglas A. McNeill:
The Gallup Diocese publicly identified McNeill as an abuser in 2003.
Ordained for the Gallup Diocese in May 1970, McNeill was removed
from ministry in 1994 when attorney Bruce Pasternack filed a sex
abuse lawsuit against him (Bernalillo County District Court Case
No. CV-94-06368). The plaintiff was an adult Hispanic man who claimed
McNeill sexually abused him in the late 1970s when the victim was
a high school student in Thoreau, N.M. According to the complaint,
when the victim confronted McNeill about the abuse, McNeill hired
an attorney to draw up a release form for the victim to sign in
exchange for a $15,000 cash payment, reportedly taken from Thoreau’s
St. Bonaventure Indian Mission. The victim refused and filed the
lawsuit. Although McNeill has supporters who believe he was innocent,
the Diocese of Gallup was forced to produce McNeill’s personnel
file which indicated McNeill had allegedly sexually abused two Hispanic
brothers in Arizona on a 1971 camping trip. The 1994 lawsuit ended
with a settlement agreement for the victim. McNeill’s whereabouts
• Francis “Frank”
Murphy: The Gallup Diocese publicly identified Murphy,
a Boston native, as an abuser in 2003. A former monsignor with the
Archdiocese of Anchorage, Murphy retired to Cuba, N.M., located
within the Diocese of Gallup. Sex abuse allegations against Murphy
were chronicled in a series of newspaper articles by the Anchorage
Daily News. After moving to New Mexico, Murphy presented himself
as a Catholic priest and offered addiction recovery and spiritual
retreat counseling. Gallup chancery officials issued a public warning
that Murphy was not allowed to function as a priest in the Gallup
Diocese. It is unknown if Murphy still lives in New Mexico.
• Jose H. Rodriguez:
In 2003, the Gallup Diocese publicly identified Rodriguez as an
abuser with more than one credible abuse allegation. Rodriguez was
ordained for the Gallup Diocese in August 1975 and worked in nearly
a dozen parishes in Arizona and New Mexico for about 25 years. His
whereabouts are unknown.
• John T. Sullivan:
The Gallup Diocese publicly identified Sullivan as an abuser in
2005. Sullivan, originally from the Diocese of Manchester, N.H.,
was a notorious abuser who victimized girls and women across the
country for decades. Sullivan was recruited to the Diocese of Gallup
by Bishop Bernard Espelage while Sullivan was being treated as a
sex abuser by the Servants of the Paraclete. According to documents
obtained by the New Hampshire Attorney General, Espelage incardinated
Sullivan into the Gallup Diocese in January 1965. Sullivan was assigned
to Catholic parishes in Winslow, Seligman, Clarkdale and Kingman.
When the Diocese of Phoenix was formed in 1969, Sullivan transferred
there and abused more girls. After his retirement, Sullivan was
accused of molesting a 13-year-old girl in New Hampshire. Sullivan
died in 1999 in San Diego.
Reporter Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola can be contacted at (505) 863-6811
ext. 218 or firstname.lastname@example.org.