Sexual Abuse of Minors by Clergy - Diocesan Case Status (December 2009)
Sexual Abuse of Minors by Clergy Diocesan Status Report

Diocese of Toledo
December 31, 2009

As of December 31, 2009, allegations of sexual abuse of minors have been made against 41 clerics in the Diocese of Toledo for the fifty-nine year period 1950-2009. All of these allegations have been reported to the appropriate civil authorities. Of these 41 clerics:

7 are religious order priests (2 of whom are deceased) not under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Toledo, including John Gallen, SJ and Chet Warren, OSFS, whose cases have been published in the local media. The Oblates of St. Francis de Sales indicate that Chet Warren has been dismissed from the clerical state.

34 are priests and deacons of the Diocese of Toledo; of these

• 4 have been dismissed from the clerical state: Bernard Kokocinski, Lawrence Scharf, Glen Shrimplin (deacon) and J. Michael Tynan (deacon).

• 7 have been removed permanently from public ecclesiastical ministry: Robert J. Fisher, Steven G. Rogers, Joseph Schmelzer, John C. Shiffler, Robert Thomas, Lawrence F. Varney and Robert J. Yeager.

This is the result of responses received from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome and the provisions of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Essential Norms for the Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons.

• 12 priests are deceased, one of whom had been removed from public ecclesiastical ministry prior to his death (C. Neil Lucas) and another of whom was barred from public ministry as a result of a credible allegation and died while awaiting the canonical disposition of his case (Thomas Beauregard). The remaining 10 can neither defend themselves against the accusation nor possibly be a future threat to anyone if the allegation were true.

• 1 priest was accused and, after an investigation, it was determined that the allegations were not credible;

• 5 priests asked to leave the active ministry and were allowed to return to the lay state. This was before any allegations were made to the Diocese against them. Of these 5 who left priestly ministry, allegations were investigated and have been found not only to be credible but substantiated against the following: Dennis Gray and Herbert Richey;

• 4 priests left the ministry without requesting that they be allowed to return to the lay state. Allegations made against John Hemstreet (deceased), Michael McLaughlin, Leo Welch range from credible to substantiated to admitted. After an investigation of the 4th priest, it was determined that the allegation was not credible.

• 1 priest (John McCullen) has been removed from public ministry in the Archdiocese of Miami (where has resided for over 40 years), pending the final disposition of his case submitted by the Miami Archdiocese to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome.

The ultimate canonical (church law) disposition of cases is made according to the following provisions:

When even a single act of sexual abuse by a priest or deacon is admitted or is established after an appropriate process in accord with canon law, the offending priest or deacon will be removed permanently from ecclesiastical ministry, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state, if the case so warrants.

If an accusation is proven to be unfounded, every step possible will be taken to restore the good name of the cleric falsely accused.

Allegations range from credible to substantiated to admitted. By “credible” the Diocesan Sexual Abuse of Minors Policy states that “under all the circumstances known at the time of determination, a prudent person would conclude that there is a significant possibility that the incident occurred.”

To report any suspected or actual sexual abuse of a minor by Diocesan personnel, immediate contact should be made with local civil authorities, and with the Toledo Diocesan Case Manager, Mr. Frank DiLallo. He can be reached at 419-243-2150 (private Line) or 419-244-6711, ext 632 in the Toledo calling area, or 1-800-926-8277, ext 632 (Outside Toledo, Within Ohio).



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