DIOCESE OF HONOLULU HI
4% of U.S. priests accused since 1950
By Mary Adamski firstname.lastname@example.org
The Honolulu diocese provided information for the study by John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York to determine the nature and scope of sexual abuse of minors by priests and deacons since 1950. The report was to be released this morning in Washington, D.C., by Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the American bishops conference.
The Associated Press reported that the church-sanctioned study found that 4,392, or about 4 percent, of the 109,694 clergy who served since 1950 have faced allegations of abuse.
Honolulu diocese spokesman Patrick Downes said that of about 530 priests who served in Hawaii since 1950, fewer than 1 percent have been removed because of substantiated accusations of sexual abuse of a minor.
Honolulu Bishop Francis DiLorenzo pulled two priests from public ministry since the national scandal of sexual predator priests arose in January 2002, but one of those was not counted in the survey because the alleged abuse occurred in the Philippines.
The bishop removed the other four men from service soon after his arrival in Hawaii in 1993. Although the bishop denies a priest the "faculties" to minister publicly, the diocese or a religious order may continue to provide housing, medical and other benefits. Only the Vatican has authority to remove a man from the priesthood.
Two priests have been convicted here on charges of sexual assault against minors. The most recent case was not counted in statistics because he was a military chaplain not under diocesan authority.
Downes said cases not counted here did not slip through the cracks.
"The study had a way of cross-checking names, such as priests who moved," he said.
The survey included more than 30 questions about each accused clergyman and 50 about each victim.
"The point is to examine the history and what we did wrong and never to do it again," Downes said. "It is the first time any organization has done anything like this, and voluntarily."
The identity of the two recently removed pastors became public because announcements were made in their parishes, but the diocese has not revealed the names of priests accused in the past. It did not reveal the names as part of the report released today.
Hawaii cases include:
>> January 2003 -- The Rev. Roberto Batoon, who served in Hawaii parishes since 1997, was removed from a Molokai parish based on a complaint about sexual abuse in the Philippines. He was ordered to return to his diocese in the Philippines.
>> August 2002 -- The bishop removed the Rev. Joseph Bukoski as pastor of a Maui parish after the diocesan Standing Committee on Sexual Misconduct investigated complaints by two men claiming incidents dating back 20 years.
>> May 2000 -- The Rev. Mark Matson, former Tripler Hospital chaplain, was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment after conviction of third-degree sex assault and attempted first-degree sex assault for a 1998 incident with a 13-year-old boy at Maunalua Bay Park.
>> April 1992 -- The Rev. Arthur O'Brien, a former Maui pastor, was sentenced to five years' probation on three counts of third-degree sexual assault and one count of attempted sexual assault. He pleaded no contest to the accusations about the 1989 incidents.
At least five local lawsuits have been filed, with some plaintiffs claiming that the national clergy scandal raised suppressed memories of past abuse.
The diocese has never paid a victim through lawsuit or private settlement, Downes said. The local church did pay $9,000 to a psychiatrist to counsel a victim more than 10 years ago, he said.
Pending lawsuits include:
>> July 2003 -- Albert C.S.K. Han filed suit against Bukoski and the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts claiming a 1978 attack.
>> May 2003 -- Eugene Saulibio filed suit against Bukoski and the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts citing alleged attacks in 1976.
>> May 2003 -- Elton Killion filed suit accusing the Rev. Andrew Mannetta with sexual assault in 1997 and 1998. Also named was Mannetta's religious order, the Capuchin Franciscans, St. Mary province, which reassigned the former pastor and retreat speaker to New York in October 2002.
>> July 2002 -- Alexander Winchester filed suit against the diocese accusing the Rev. Alphonsus Boumeister of a 1961 assault. The priest died 30 years prior to the suit.
>> May 2002 -- Darick Agasiva and Fa'amoana Purcell filed suit against the diocese and the Rev. Roberto DeOtero for alleged 1985-86 sexual assaults while they were altar boys at a Kalihi church. DeOtero left Hawaii in 1987 and was later forced out of the military chaplaincy for a molestation accusation elsewhere. The bishop removed his "faculties" to minister here in 1993.
The diocesan spokesman said accusations have been made against four other Hawaii priests since 2002. The Standing Committee on Sexual Misconduct determined there was insufficient evidence to substantiate a charge in one case. Another accusation made against a retired priest was referred to the Maryknoll religious order to which the priest belongs.
Two others could not be pursued because accusers did not name their alleged assailants, Downes said in a report in the Hawaii Catholic Herald.
The Herald roundup also reported a case in which an accused clergyman
was "exonerated." An accusation made in the late 1980s against
then-Bishop Joseph Ferrario was "found to be groundless by an internal
church investigation. A subsequent civil lawsuit was dismissed."
Some bishops release 50-year recaps of clergy sexual abuse
By Catholic News Service
The Diocese of Syracuse, N.Y., reported that out of 734 priests serving since 1950, 49 have been accused. Five were cleared, 16 were removed from ministry, 13 are dead, two were laicized at their request, and allegations against 13 are still under investigation.
The neighboring Diocese of Rochester said that out of 1,706 clerics serving since 1950, 36 priests have been accused. Six were dead when the allegations were made, 18 were suspended or resigned, allegations against six were judged to be unfounded, and there was not enough information or substantiation for the cases against six.
Among other archdioceses and dioceses that recently reported data were Honolulu; Springfield, Ill.; Dubuque, Iowa; Venice, Fla.; Alexandria, La.; Bismarck, N.D.; Sacramento and Orange in California; Lafayette and Gary in Indiana; and Beaumont, Austin and Dallas in Texas.
The local data were compiled across the country in recent months as the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York conducted a national study, mandated by the bishops' "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People," on the nature and scope of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy from 1950 to the end of 2002.
Besides numbers of accused clergy and alleged victims, the study sought information on the number of alleged incidents, when they occurred, what type of abuse was claimed and the costs incurred for legal fees, settlements and treatment of the abuser and the victim.
Dioceses have been encouraged to release their local data. A number of bishops did so at the end of the year or in conjunction with the Jan. 6 release of a separate national report on compliance of dioceses with the sex abuse reporting, outreach and prevention standards set by the charter.
The national report on the nature and extent of clergy sexual abuse of minors since 1950, which will not include a diocese-by-diocese breakdown, is to be released in late February.
Many of the dioceses that have released reports say their last known incident of clerical sexual abuse of a minor dates back to 1990 or earlier. In diocese after diocese, most of the claims involve incidents from the 1960s, '70s or early '80s.
The Honolulu Diocese reported that five of its priests -- less than 1 percent of the estimated 530 priests serving in Hawaii since 1950 -- have been removed because of substantiated abuse accusations.
A sixth priest serving in Hawaii, who was from the Philippines, was dismissed and returned to the supervision of his home diocese. Two priests of religious orders also have been accused of abuse occurring while they were stationed in Hawaii. The diocese said there was one other accusation that an internal investigation found groundless.
The Diocese of Springfield in Illinois said that since 1950 it had received 43 credible allegations against 14 priests, representing about 3.3 percent of the 425 diocesan priests serving there since 1950. It said it was also aware of five accusations against three religious priests for incidents while they were stationed in the diocese.
The Dubuque Archdiocese said 18 of the 26 priests accused there are now deceased. It said since 1950 there were 678 diocesan and 295 religious priests serving in the archdiocese. Of the eight living priests who were accused, it said five are elderly, one was laicized, one was sentenced to prison and is now on parole, and one has been removed from all ministry.
The Venice Diocese, established in 1984, said that since then five of the 626 diocesan, religious or extern priests serving in the diocese have been accused. An extern priest belongs to a different diocese than the one in which he's working.
The Alexandria Diocese reported that in the past eight years one priest and two laymen had been credibly accused of abuse. In that time the diocese had a total of 88 diocesan priests, 19 religious order priests and seven permanent deacons serving there. The diocese said that "there are likely other cases in the last 50 years for which we have no documentation" because of bad diocesan record-keeping on that subject.
The Bismarck Diocese said 15 people have accused 11 of the 222 priests serving in the diocese since 1957.
In a letter distributed in all parishes Jan. 10-11, Bishop William K. Weigand of Sacramento said that between 1950 and 2002, there were unresolved accusations against 1.4 percent, or 17 of the 1,215 priests who served there. Four other priests were accused but exonerated.
Of 33 lawsuits the diocese currently faces, nearly half involve allegations of abuse by Father Mario Blanco, a former Salesian priest who worked in the diocese from 1969 until he was dismissed in 1973 after allegations of sexual misconduct. He left the church after his dismissal, and since then he has headed congregations of a schismatic Catholic traditionalist movement.
The Diocese of Orange said that since it was formed in 1976, 16 of its 589 priests, or less than 3 percent, have been accused of sexual abuse of minors. There were 47 alleged victims.
In Indiana, the Diocese of Lafayette said 26 people have accused 18 priests since 1950; allegations against 11 were found to be credible. One of the 11 belonged to a religious order and another was from another diocese. From 1950 to 2003, it said, 295 diocesan priests, six externs and, to the best of its knowledge, 462 religious priests served in the diocese.
The report from the Gary Diocese, which was formed in December 1956, said that since then there have been 13 allegations against five diocesan priests, one religious priest and one nun.
Claims against two of the diocesan priests, both now retired, were judged not credible. The other three diocesan priests were dead. Two had multiple accusers and the allegations were judged credible. There was no investigation into the allegation against the third dead priest because the putative victim expressed no desire for it.
The Gary report did not include Msgr. Don C. Grass, who was removed in December after admitting abusing a girl 35 years ago, because the study was completed before the allegation was made against him.
In Texas, the Beaumont Diocese has had 313 clergy since it was formed in 1966. It reported that since then allegations made against five diocesan priests and one seminarian were judged credible. Two of the priests are dead and the other three have been removed from ministry. The seminarian was dismissed.
The Austin Diocese, formed in 1947, said that since then about 400 diocesan and religious priests have served there. It said 15 known victims have made verified allegations of abuse against five diocesan priests and one in a religious order -- 1.5 percent of the clergy during that time.
The Dallas Diocese -- which made international headlines in the 1990s when victims of former priest Rudolph Kos were awarded millions of dollars -- said that it had 1,153 clerics serving there over the past 53 years. In that time, 48 victims made credible allegations against 15 priests and one deacon, or 1.4 percent of the clergy, it said. It added that five of the priests were responsible for 37 of the victims.
The Kos settlements accounted for the bulk of the $39.1 million the diocese has distributed since 1950 in financial settlements with victims. Insurance covered nearly two-thirds of the cost of those settlements.
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Contributing to this story were Jennifer Ficcaglia in Rochester, Connie Cissell Meaney in Syracuse, Patrick Downes in Honolulu, Kathie Sass in Springfield, Julie Sly in Sacramento, Karen Gilman in Beaumont, Helen Osman in Austin, Bronson Havard in Dallas and Jerry Filteau in Washington.
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