A Global Accounting

As of July 2024, BishopAccountability.org has identified 104 Catholic bishops worldwide accused publicly of sexual crimes against children and 46 Catholic bishops worldwide who have been accused publicly of sexual wrongdoing against adults only.

The names of bishops accused of abusing minors are marked in red; those with names in black are accused of sexual abuse/sexual misconduct with individuals age 18 or older only.

Until the 2018 revelations of numerous abuses by former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the problem of bishops and major superiors who abuse had received little scrutiny. Yet a sexually abusive bishop or superior is exceptionally dangerous. His management of priests is skewed toward protecting his secret, beginning with the character of the men he accepts to the seminary and the quality of their formation.  When one of his priests is accused of sexual abuse, a bishop who is an offender himself is unlikely to administer punishment or contact law enforcement.  He is, inevitably, an enabler of other sexual criminals. His scope of harm can be vast, including not only his own victims, but those who are raped or assaulted by the abusive clerics to whom he gives safe harbor.

In the Catholic church, “sexual corruption is conferred from the top down – from men in power,” wrote celibacy scholar Richard Sipe. Bishops who sexually abuse seminarians, as McCarrick is canonically convicted of doing, and as Bishop Anthony J. O’Connell admitted doing, may establish what Sipe called “a genealogy of abuse,” setting up “a pattern of institutional secrecy.”

Despite the extensive harm done by abusive church leaders, few have been severely disciplined. Only eight have been laicized: Fernando Armindo Lugo Méndez of Paraguay (2008), Raymond J. Lahey of Canada (2012), Gabino Miranda Melgarejo of Peru (2013), Jósef Wesołowski of Poland (2014), Francisco José Cox Huneeus of Chile (2018), Marco Antonio Órdenes Fernández of Chile (2018), Theodore McCarrick of the United States (2019), and Roger Vangheluwe of Belgium (2024).

All of the remaining bishops named below, even those found guilty under canon law, have been allowed to retain the title of bishop and to be called emeritus, a status that confers continued prestige and power. According to a 2008 document by the Congregation for Bishops, when a bishop becomes emeritus, he merely is beginning ‘a new phase of his ministry.’ Though relieved of administrative duties, he retains his membership in the college of bishops and continues to ‘collaborate in the governance of the church.’

Most abusive bishops have escaped accountability in the secular realm too, due mainly to restrictive statutes of limitations. For instance, out of the 49 U.S. bishops publicly accused of child sexual abuse, only two — Bishop Thomas Dupre and former cardinal Theodore McCarrick — have been criminally indicted or charged.

ACCUSED BISHOPS LISTED BY COUNTRY
Argentina | Australia | Austria | Belgium | Brazil | Canada | Chile | Colombia | Dominican Republic | England | France | French Guiana Germany | Guam | Honduras | Iceland | India | Ireland | Italy | Jamaica | Kenya | Liberia | Mexico | Netherlands | New Zealand | Nigeria | Norway | Paraguay | Peru | Philippines | Poland | Portugal | Puerto Rico | Scotland | South Africa | Switzerland | Timor-Leste | United States | Uruguay | Wales

BISHOPS ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS
Ángeles Fernández | Apuron | Arzube | Bactol | Begin | Belo | Bevilacqua | Blais | Bluyssen | Bransfield | Brown | Brungardt | Burke | Camacho | Carraro | Casey | Contreras Molina | Corrêa | Cowley | Cox Huneeus | Davis | Dew |
di Falco Léandri | Denning | DiMarzio | Duarte García de Cortázar | Dimmerling | Dozier | Dudley | Dupre | Estabrook | Fecteau | Fernández Torres | Ferrario | Fisher | Fletes Santana | Flores | Gelineau | Gerety | Gijsen | Groër | Grosz | GulbinowiczGuglielmone | Gutierrez | Harrington | Hart | Hengsbach | Hubbard | Janssen | Jenik | Labrie | Lacroix | Lahey | LaRocque | Libasci | Livieres Banks | Lyons | Magee | McCarrick | McGann | McQuaid | Medeiros | Mendyk | Miranda Melgarejo | Mixa | Müller | Mulloy | Murphy-O’Connor | Niënhaus | Nienstedt | O’Brien, Thomas | O’Connell | O’Connor,Hubert | Órdenes Fernández | Orsmond | Pagotto | Pell | Piñera Carvallo | Rausch | Ricard | Rueger | Russell | Ryan | Salazar | Sansaricq | Saunders | Schilder | Skylstad | Soens | Stehle | Storni | Sullivan, James | Sullivan, Joseph M. | Sullivan, Joseph V. | Symons | Szkodoń | ter Schure | Vangheluwe | VaughanWard | Weldon | Wesołowski | Williams | Ziemann

BISHOPS ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF OR MISCONDUCT WITH ADULTS ONLY
Antonazzo | Aupetit | Barbosa Da Silveira | Abanto Guzmán | Bacani | Bär | Brom | Bennett | Comiskey | Conry | Drennan | Eisenbach | Ferreira da Silva | Gardès | Grallet | Karnley | Knight | Küng | Lafont | Lugo Méndez | Lynch | Maccarone | Marino | McCarthy | Moreira Azevedo | Mulakkal | O’Brien, Keith | Ouellet | Paetz | Pellegrín Barrera | Pineda Fasquelle | Santier | Tejeda Rosario | Sanchez | Sarto | Spellman | Toohey | Uriona | Ventura | Vogel | Weakland | Welsh | WilliamWright | Yalung | Zanchetta | Zeigler


ARGENTINA

Bishop Juan Carlos Maccarone
Auxiliary bishop of Lomas de Zamora 1993-1996; bishop of Chascomús 1996-1999; bishop of Santiago del Estero 1999-2005. Resigned in 2005, age 64, per canon 401.2 after video surfaced of him having sex with 23-year-old man. Remained in ministry. Seen 2010 saying Confirmation Mass for teenagers. Santiago del Estero bishop emeritus. Died March 2015.

Archbishop Edgardo G. Storni
Appointed archbishop of Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz 1984. Investigated by church in 1994 for alleged abuse of dozens of seminarians. Resigned October 2002, age 66, per canon 401.2 after reports he abused dozens of young men and boys. Some of the alleged victims were as young as 15 or 16. Convicted 2009 and sentenced to eight years in prison for sexual abuse of a seminarian who was reportedly age 18. Allowed to serve sentence at home, because of his age. Appeals court overturned sentence 2011, ordering lower court to re-sentence. Before this could occur, Storni died, on 2/20/2012. He retained title of Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz archbishop emeritus until his death. In 2016, a civil court ordered the church to pay $50,000 (756,000 pesos) in moral damages to victim whose charges had resulted in conviction. This ruling was reversed on appeal in 2018, with the higher court finding that the incidents were prescribed.

Bishop Adolfo A. Uriona, F.D.P.
Bishop of Añatuya 2004-2014; bishop of Villa de la Concepción del Río Cuarto 2014-Present. Arrested 2006 after a 24-year-old woman accused him of groping her during a bus ride. Denied the charge. Case dismissed. Met with Pope Francis 1/23/2014. Appointed bishop of Villa de la Concepción in late 2014.

Bishop Gustavo Óscar Zanchetta
Named bishop of Orán 7/23/2013. This was one of first episcopal appointments by Pope Francis, with whom Zanchetta has said he has ‘a very close relationship.’ Lay leaders in Zanchetta’s prior diocese of Quilmes publicly protested the appointment, citing his alleged financial misdealings and abuse of power. Zanchetta abruptly resigned Orán post 7/29/2017, leaving the diocese “in a matter of hours,” skipping the customary farewell Mass. In a brief public letter, Zanchetta attributed his hasty departure to ill health, but local media reported Zanchetta’s alleged financial mismanagement and harsh treatment of respected priests. On 12/19/2017, Vatican announced Zanchetta’s appointment to APSA, the office that manages the Holy See’s 5000+ properties and other financial holdings. Zanchetta’s position, ‘assessor,’ hadn’t existed previously; it was created for him, reportedly upon orders from the Pope. On 12/28/2018, the Salta newspaper El Tribuno reported Zanchetta’s alleged sexual abuse of seminarians. Vatican announced 1/4/2019 that Zanchetta would step down while allegations were investigated; spokesperson said that allegations had first come to their attention in the fall of 2018. This was contradicted by an El Tribuno report, that Orán priests had informed papal nuncio Emil Tscherrig in 2015 of the bishop’s alleged sexual abuse of seminarians. In a 1/20/2019 AP report, the former Orán vicar general said Pope had met with Zanchetta in both 2015 and 2017 to discuss allegations. Vatican again denied that there had been prior accusations of sexual abuse. In June 2019, shortly after the Pope told a Mexican journalist that he had authorized a canonical trial of Zanchetta, the Salta public prosecutor charged the bishop with “aggravated sexual abuse” of two seminarians between 2016 and 2017. He denies the charges. In June 2020, AP reported that Zanchetta had resumed work in the Vatican’s APSA office, despite the still-pending criminal investigation by Argentine judicial authorities. Same AP report quoted Zanchetta’s lawyer as saying that the Vatican’s investigation had wrapped up in December 2019.

On 3/4/2022, Zanchetta was sentenced to four years and six months in prison for the aggravated sexual abuse of two seminarians. He was immediately arrested and detained. In June 2022, however, he was transferred to a private medical clinic, reportedly because of hypertension, and in July 2022, the court agreed to Zanchetta’s plea to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest. He will reside in the northern Argentine city of Nueva Orán, at a monastery for retired priests where, according to one of Zanchetta’s victims, children sometimes attend Mass and catechism classes.

In another surprise turn, Argentine news outlets revealed in late June 2022 that a papal envoy is investigating those who blew the whistle on Zanchetta. The Spanish canon lawyer who had defended Zanchetta in his canonical proceedings reportedly is now investigating the priests, deacons and seminarians who testified against Zanchetta in his criminal trial. According to the judge who runs Salta’s ecclesiastical tribunal, the appointment of the canon lawyer “came from the Vatican and Pope Francis.”


AUSTRALIA

Bishop Max L. Davis
Bishop of Australia, Military 2003-2021.

Criminally charged June 2014 with 1969 sexual abuse of child in New Norcia, prior to ordination. Denied the charge. Stepped aside as Military bishop while court case active. Tried in Perth court February 2016 on charges of “indecent dealings” with five boys, ages 13-15, between 1969-1972. Jury found him not guilty. Retired May 2021, age 75.7.

Cardinal George Pell
Auxiliary bishop of Melbourne 1987-1996; archbishop of Melbourne 1996-2001; archbishop of Sydney 2001-2014; elevated to cardinal 2003; Prefect of the Secretariat of the Economy 2014-2018. Retired October 2018, age 77. Died January 10, 2023.

Acquitted 4/7/2020 of sexual offenses against two 13-year-old choirboys after serving more than a year in prison.

[For a detailed summary of the allegations against Pell, click here.]

Bishop Christopher A. Saunders 
Bishop of Broome diocese 1996-2021. Resigned 8/28/2021 at age 71.

On 3/11/2020, 7News in Australia broke the story that 18 months earlier, in October 2018, two young Aboriginal men had filed reports with Western Australia police alleging sexual abuse by Saunders. The Catholic Professional Standards board also had been notified of the allegations in October 2018. (We would later learn that the victims were assisted in coming forward by Fr. John Purnell, a priest in the Broome diocese who is also a survivor of clergy sex abuse.)

Within hours of the 7News broadcast on 3/11/2020, the metropolitan archbishop, Timothy Costelloe of Perth, issued a communique saying that the Holy See had sent an investigator to Broome and that Saunders, then age 70, had “voluntarily” stepped aside from running the diocese. (Saunders stepped aside 3/9/2020, according to the ABC.) Saunders told 7News that he had never abused anyone. In July 2020, the ABC reported that Saunders remained visible in Broome, continuing “in many of his official capacities,” including presiding at funerals. In November 2020, after a second priest publicly complained of Saunders’ continued activities in the diocese, Archbishop Costelloe announced that the Vatican had ordered Saunders to leave the diocese for six months, an order that he reportedly ignored.

In May 2021, the news media reported that the police had submitted their findings to prosecutors in late 2020, and that prosecutors had decided not to charge Saunders with any crimes.

On 8/28/2021, the Vatican’s daily Bulletin announced the Pope’s acceptance of Saunders’ resignation at age 71; no reason was given. In an open letter, Saunders acknowledged no wrongdoing or even controversy; he said he was leaving for reasons of health.

In February 2022, the ABC reported that the Vatican had launched a second probe into Saunders, this time under the procedures of Vos estis lux mundi. (An earlier church investigation, to which Archbishop Costelloe had alluded in March 2020, had been an “apostolic visitation,” looking into issues other than sexual abuse, so as to avoid interfering with the police investigation, the church said.) In September 2022, Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane and acting administrator of Broome, Bishop Michael Morrisey, wrote in an open letter to Broome parishioners that a Vos estis investigation of Saunders was “underway,” and that Coleridge had been appointed to head it. The letter noted that Coleridge had ordered Saunders to live outside the Broome diocese for the duration of the investigation.

On 9/18/2023, 7News reported that it had obtained a leaked copy of the secret 200-page Vos estis report that had been sent to the Vatican the previous April. According to 7News, the report said that witnesses described Saunders as “a sexual predator that seeks to prey upon vulnerable Aboriginal men and boys.” The Vos estis report also said that four victims of sexual assault by Saunders had been identified, and “67 additional Aboriginal boys and men were also identified as persons that may have been subjected to delictual acts or grooming behaviors by Bishop Saunders.” Saunders groomed young Aboriginal males by plying them with alcohol and cash, the report said, and he allegedly had been perpetrating sexual assault throughout his 45-year priesthood; one victim identified by the investigators was allegedly abused in 1976, the year Saunders was ordained. Within a day or two of the 7News broadcast, the Western Australia police asked church officials to send them the 200-page report. On 9/22/2023, the bishops’ conference issued a statement saying that they had done so. It also said that none of the alleged victims cited in the Vos estis report were under age 18.

In January 2024, police raided a residence owned by Bishop Saunders and questioned him. On 2/21/2024, police arrested Saunders at his home, charging him with 26 crimes, including 19 sexual offenses: two counts of sexual penetration without consent, three counts of indecent dealings with a child, and 14 counts of unlawful and indecent assault. According to the ABC, the sexual assaults charges relate to one victim, whose alleged abuse began in 2008 when he was age 16 or 17. As of 3/17/2024, there was no update of the status of the Vos estis process.

Bishop Christopher H. Toohey
Bishop of Wilcannia-Forbes diocese 2001-2009.

Resigned suddenly 6/9/2009, age 57, per canon 401.2, supposedly for “health and personal reasons.” On 4/28/2011, Toohey published a vague admission of wrongdoing: “My behaviour … with some young adults in my pastoral care … was not consistent with that required of a good person.” As a result, he said, would not be returning to active ministry. According to church spokesperson, Toohey’s admission was a condition of an agreement with a young woman who had filed complaint with Towards Healing in 2008 or 2009. He reportedly had improper relationships with “a number of young women.” Toohey remains bishop emeritus.

AUSTRIA

Cardinal Hans H. Groër, O.S.B.
Accused publicly 1995 of abusing boys and young monks. Retired as archbishop soon after, age 75, with JP II saying Christ too faced “unjust accusations.” Named head of priory 1996. Removal announced early 1998, after more victims surfaced. Schönborn and 3 others confirmed Groër’s abuses February 1998. Resigned April 1998 from all duties. Remained cardinal and Vienna archbishop emeritus. Some estimated 2,000 victims. Died 2003.

Bishop Klaus Küng
Bishop of Feldkirch, 1989-2004; Bishop of Sankt Pölten, 2004-2018. Retired May 2018, age 77.

In late January 2020, news outlets reported that in 2019, a Sankt Pölten diocesan priest reported an incident of abuse by Küng to the Vienna archdiocese. According to the priest (whose own account was published 1/28/2020 on the website of a victim support organization), Küng summoned him to a meeting on 12/6/2004, shortly after Küng became bishop of Sankt Pölten, and accused the priest of having a romantic relationship with another man. The priest fainted, and Küng, who was trained as a medical doctor but not licensed, gave him a sedative and then inappropriately touched and caressed him. The touching was “not on the genitals, but still in places where one must not touch another,” according to a report in Süddeutsche Zeitung. Küng denied the allegation. On 9/14/2020, the diocese of Sankt Pölten announced that the Vatican had found the priest’s allegations to be baseless. In 2021, the priest, Dr. Wolfgang Rothe, published a book containing a paragraph about the alleged assault. Küng sued Rothe’s publisher for defamation, but the courts in both the first and second instances dismissed the suit. Rothe today is based in Munich but remains a priest of the Sankt Pölten diocese. Küng remains emeritus bishop of Sankt Pölten.

BELGIUM

Bishop Roger J. Vangheluwe
Bishop of Brugge 1984-2010. Resigned 2010, age 73. Laicized 2024.

Resigned 2010, age 73, per canon 401.2 after admitting to sexual abuse of boy, later revealed to be his nephew. Sent by Vatican to monastery in France for “spiritual and psychological treatment.” Admitted on television in April 2011 to abuse of two nephews, one beginning at age 5, over 13-year period in 1970s and ’80s. Left monastery amidst public outcry three days after TV appearance. Not prosecuted due to expired statute of limitations.

On 3/21/2024, Belgian papal nuncio Franco Coppola announced that Pope Francis had laicized Vangheluwe, 14 years after he admitted to molesting his nephew. The Belgian bishops reportedly had been requesting his laicization for years, and the DDF finally re-opened the case after “serious new elements” emerged.

BRAZIL

Archbishop Alberto Taveira Corrêa
Auxiliary bishop of Brasília, 1991-1996; archbishop of Palmas, 1996-2009; archbishop of Belém 2010-Present.

In December 2020 and early January 2021, four former seminarians went public with allegations of sexual harassment and sexual abuse by Corrêa. Alleged incidents occurred between 2010 and 2014 when victims were ages 15 to 20. All were students at Seminario St. Pio X (St. Pius X seminary) in Ananindeua, a city in northern Brazil. In June 2019, two priests had reported the allegations to a Brazilian bishop, and in August 2020, the four victims had notified criminal authorities. The church then did an apostolic investigation, which concluded in early December 2020. As of January 2021, both criminal and church probes were ongoing, and Archbishop Taveira remained in his position. He denies all allegations.  

Bishop Tomé Ferreira da Silva
Auxiliary bishop of São Paulo, 2005-2012; bishop of São José do Rio Preto, 2012-2021

News in August 2018 of investigation by papal envoy into Ferreira’s suspected sexual harassment of a young man. Also accused of protecting abusive priests, including one who was arrested in 2017 for possessing pornographic images of children. Ferreira resigned 8/18/2021 at age 60, several days after a video showing him masturbating was circulated on social media.

Archbishop Aldo di Cillo Pagotto
Resigned 2016, age 66, per canon 401.2, after Vatican investigation into charges he accepted into the archdiocese priests and seminiarians rejected by other dioceses for suspected pedophilia. In a public letter explaining his resignation, Pagotto said his welcome of problem priests was an act of mercy. In January 2019, civil court ordered Paraíba archdiocese to pay victims 12 million Brazilian real or US $3,229,740. The victims had been sexually abused as children or young adults by Pagotto and four Paraíba priests. Pagotto remained Paraíba archbishop emeritus until his death on 4/14/2020.

Bishop Antônio Sarto, S.D.B.
Bishop of Barra do Garças 1982-2001. Priest went public in 2005 ISTOÉ feature, accusing Sarto of sexual harassment beginning when the priest was ordained in 1988. Priest reported Sarto to ecclesiastical tribunal and then, in 2003, to Vatican.  Nothing was done. Sarto died September 2008. Bishops’ conference praised him, saying he had served with a ‘pastor’s zeal and father’s love.’

CANADA

Bishop Jean-Pierre Blais
Auxiliary bishop of Québec archdiocese, 1994-2009; bishop of Baie-Comeau, 2009-Present.

Blais was publicly accused of child sexual abuse on 12/1/2022, when his name appeared in an updated list of Québec clergy accused in a class action lawsuit against the Québec archdiocese. He is accused of touching and masturbating with a 12-year-old child at the presbytery of Charny between 1973 and 1975. Blais would have been a Québec archdiocesan priest at the time. The bishop denies the accusation and remains bishop of the diocese of Baie-Comeau.

Bishop Clément Fecteau
Auxiliary bishop of Québec archdiocese, 1989-1996; bishop of Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière, 1996-2008. Retired 2008, age 75.

Died 12/31/2017. On 12/1/2022, Fecteau’s name appeared on a law firm’s updated list of clergy accused by victims in a class action lawsuit against the archdiocese of Québec. He is accused of exhibitionism and of inappropriately touching a 13-year-old child in 1987, in the sports locker room of the Séminaire de Québec and in a wooded area. Fecteau would have been a Québec archdiocesan priest at the time.

Bishop John S. Knight
Accused 2000 of sexual misconduct with person over age 16. Not known if alleged victim was under age 18. Church deemed allegation “substantive enough to warrant a full examination.” Removed from ministry during Church investigation. Resigned same year, age 58. Toronto auxiliary bishop emeritus.

Bishop Jean-Paul Labrie
Auxiliary bishop of Québec, 1977-1995.

Resigned 4/19/1995 at age 72. Died 2001. On 8/16/2022, his name appeared on a list of accused priests, religious, lay employees and volunteers who worked in the Québec archdiocese. The list was appended to a class action lawsuit filed with the court on 8/16/2022 on behalf of 101 Québec victims. According to the document, Labrie sexually abused a 16-year-old and 17-year-old in 1968, when he was general director of the seminary of Saint-Victor de Beauce.

Archbishop Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, I.S.P.X.
Auxiliary bishop of Archdiocese of Québec, 2009-2011; archbishop of Québec, 2011-Present. Named to the Pope’s Council of Cardinals, March 2023.

On 1/29/2024, the archdiocese of Québec announced that Lacroix would be temporarily stepping down as archbishop after he was named as an alleged abuser of a 17-year-old girl in a class action against the archdiocese. The alleged incidents occurred in Quebec City on two occasions, in 1987 and 1988, when he was a consecrated lay member of a secular institute. According to the victim’s lawyer, the incidents involved inappropriate touching, fellatio and penetration. The allegation appeared in a court document filed 1/25/2024 as an addendum to a class-action lawsuit originally filed in August 2022. Lacroix denied the allegation, and a week later, he went to Rome to attend a two-day meeting of the Council of Cardinals, to which he was appointed by the Pope in March 2023. On 2/8/2024, Pope Francis appointed retired Canadian judge André Denis to investigate “the facts, circumstances and imputability of the alleged offense.” In a letter to Denis, the Pope said the case would proceed according to Vos estis lux mundi. On 5/6/2024, Denis submitted a report to the Pope stating that because the victim had refused to speak with him, he is “unable to say whether the alleged act took place or not,” adding that he was unable to identify the place, date, or any other circumstance. Denis did interview Lacroix, however, and people who know him. He noted that the cardinal’s record was “beyond reproach” and that he believed Lacroix’s denial, writing that the cardinal “could never have lived with such secrecy, nor accepted the functions he occupies with such a weight on his conscience. … He could never have done this to the Church which is his whole life.” According to Denis, the evidence showed that Lacroix had “never” committed a sexually inappropriate act during his religious life and that a canonical trial would not be justified. On 5/21/2024, the Vatican announced Denis’ findings and said that there would be “no further canonical procedure.” In a video responding to the findings, Lacroix again maintained his innocence but said that he would remain out of public ministry for the time being.

Bishop Raymond J. Lahey
Bishop of St. George’s, Newfoundland, 1986-2003; bishop of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, 2003-2009.

Arrested in 2009 for possession of child abuse images. Resigned as Antigonish bishop on 9/26/2009 per canon 401.2, age 69. Lahey pled guilty 5/4/2011 to possession of a single child abuse image; court, however, had heard that his laptop and handheld device contained 588 pornographic images, many of young boys being sexually abused and tortured. With his sentencing pending, Lahey asked to start serving his mandatory minimum sentence of one year immediately. Imprisoned for eight months. Sentenced 1/4/2012 to 15 months in prison and two years’ probation, but given time served. Vatican laicized Lahey 3/16/2012. Note: in addition to possessing abuse images, Lahey has been accused by at least two men of sexually abusing them as children: one man sued him in April 2010, saying that in the 1980s, when he was a child at the Mt. Cashel orphanage in Newfoundland, he was sexually assaulted by Lahey over a four-year period; and another alleged victim came forward outside the courtroom after Lahey’s sentencing hearing in January 2012, telling reporters that Lahey had sexually abused him when he was 11 years old.

Bishop Eugène P. LaRocque
Retired 2002. Investigated late 1990s-early 2000s by police probing sexual abuse in Cornwall. Per LaRocque, original allegations date to 1961. Not charged. Accused 2005 of 1970s sexual abuse of altar boy. Denied all accusations. Remained Alexandria-Cornwall bishop emeritus until his death in December 2018.

Bishop Hubert P. O’Connor, O.M.I.
Bishop of Whitehorse, Yukon, 1971-1986; bishop of Prince George, British Columbia, 1986-1991.
Resigned 1991, age 63, after being charged with sex crimes that took place between 1964 and 1967, when O’Connor was a priest and the principal of the St. Joseph’s residential school near Williams Lake, British Columbia. He was charged with two counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault. The victims were four young aboriginal women, each a former student. At the time they were abused, all were reportedly older than 18 and employed at the school. Convicted 1996 of one charge of indecent assault of one woman and one charge of raping another woman. Sentenced to 2½ years in prison. Released on bail after serving 6 months. Conviction on indecent assault was changed to acquittal in 1998, and a new trial was ordered for the rape conviction, on the grounds that the judge “did not apply correct legal tests in determining guilt.” The Crown decided, however, to forego the new trial after the bishop agreed to formally apologize to the victim in a native healing circle. Despite his admission, O’Connor remained Prince George bishop emeritus until he died in 2007. Accused 4/9/2020 in a claim filed with the Yukon Supreme Court of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 1985, when O’Connor was Whitehorse bishop. Accused in another lawsuit filed July 2021 of anally raping a 13-year-old boy in the late 1950s while the child was simultaneously being assaulted by another priest, Rev. Alan MacInnes, OMI. MacInnes was the brother of the victim’s foster mother.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S.
Archbishop of Québec, 2002-2010; President, Pontifical Commission for Latin America, 2010-2023; Prefect, Dicastery for Bishops, 2010-2023. Resignation as president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and as prefect for the Dicastery for Bishops announced 1/30/2023, to take effect 4/12/2023.
Summary: Ouellet has been publicly accused of sexual misconduct by two women. Before the cases became public, each woman’s account was conveyed directly to Pope Francis, who decided that a full canonical investigation was not warranted in either case.  

Background: Ouellet was first accused publicly on 8/16/2022, when a law firm representing 101 clergy sex abuse victims published its court-filed application for class action against the Québec archdiocese. The cardinal’s alleged abuses were detailed in the complaint, and his name also appeared in the list of 88 accused Québec clerics and other archdiocesan personnel that was appended to the document. According to the filing, Ouellet subjected a young woman to “touching of a non-consensual sexual nature,” including putting his hands on her buttocks. The incidents occurred three times from August 2008 to February 2010, when Ouellet was Québec archbishop and the alleged victim, called “F” in the law firm’s documents, was a pastoral intern, ages 23-25. The young woman had reported the incidents without naming Ouellet to the Québec archdiocese’s Committee for the Sexual Abuse of Minors and Vulnerable Persons in November 2020. At the committee chair’s request, she detailed her allegations, naming Ouellet, in a letter to Pope Francis dated January 26, 2021. In February 2021, F was contacted by Rev. Jacques Servais, S.J., who said that the Pope had asked him to investigate her allegation. Servais is an associate of Ouellet: he directs Casa Balthasar, a house of formation in Rome run by the Lubac-Balthasar-Speyr Association, for which Ouellet sits on the board. Servais interviewed F virtually on March 4, 2021.

[The summary of allegations against Cardinal Ouellet continues here.]

Archbishop Luigi Ventura * 
Italian. Joined Vatican diplomatic corps 1978, working in Brazil, Bolivia and UK. Appointed papal nuncio 1995, subsequently serving in: Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Niger (1995-1999); Chile (1999-2001); Canada (2001-2009); and France (2009-2019). 

News February 2019 of preliminary sexual assault investigation by French prosecutors: Parisian city employee in his 30s alleged that Ventura had touched him ‘insistently‘ on the buttocks three times during a ceremony at Paris city hall the previous month. LaCroix reported several similar accounts from other young men. On 2/22/2019, similar incident reported to Vatican embassy in Ottawa; alleged incident took place at a Quebec shrine in 2008, when complainant was 32 and Ventura was papal nuncio to Canada. In July 2019, following more public allegations, Vatican waived Ventura’s diplomatic immunity, opening possibility of criminal trial in France. Six alleged victims had come forward at this point; one was an 18-year-old seminarian at the time of the alleged abuse. Vatican announced Pope’s acceptance of Ventura’s resignation on 12/17/2019, a week after Ventura reached the standard retirement age of 75. Convicted 12/16/2020 of placing his hands on the buttocks of five men. Given an eight-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay “13,000 euros ($15,800) to four of the men and 9,000 euros ($10,900) in legal costs.”

CHILE

Bishop Cristián E. Contreras Molina, O. de M.
Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Contreras at age 71 in September 2018. Contreras, who formerly led the diocese of San Felipe, remains a bishop emeritus. Chilean prosecutors are investigating claims that Contreras repeatedly abused a minor in the bishop’s house a decade ago. He denied this accusation in September 2018, saying “I feel absolutely free of any suggestion of any attitude of abuse or something related to sex.” He was previously investigated for alleged sexual abuse of a 15-year-old. In 2013, the Vatican sent two priests to investigate but no sanctions were imposed.

Archbishop Francisco José Cox Huneeus, P. Schönstatt
Laicized by Pope Francis in October 2018 at age 84.  Cox was under investigation for abusing minors in Chile and Germany. Cox resigned as the archbishop of La Serena in 1997 at age 63. At the time, the Church cited mental health reasons. In 2002, abuse rumors appeared in local newspapers, and the Church acknowledged Cox had been removed from ministry due to “improper conduct.” Later that year, Cox released a statement asking forgiveness “for this dark side that is opposed to the Gospel.” Died 8/12/2020 without ever facing trial.

Bishop Gonzalo Duarte García de Cortázar, SS.CC.
Bishop emeritus of Valparaíso. Accused of covering up abuse by other clergy members as well as committing abuse himself. Pope Francis accepted his resignation in June 2018 at age 75, the standard retirement age for bishops. Duarte served as Chile’s military bishop between 1995 and 1999 and is expected to testify in November 2018 about alleged abuses by Air Force chaplain Pedro Quiroz and how the accusations were handled. In addition, Duarte himself was accused in 2014 of abusing adolescent seminarians.

Former Bishop Marco Antonio Órdenes Fernández
Former Bishop Órdenes was expelled from the priesthood at age 53 by Pope Francis in October 2018. He had resigned as the Bishop of Iquique in 2012 during a Vatican investigation into accusations he molested an altar boy years earlier, but remained archbishop emeritus until he was laicized. Órdenes acknowledged “an imprudent act” with his accuser, but said the youth was 17 and thus not underage at the time. His accuser had said the abuse began when he was 15. He said at first it was forced, but they later became lovers. In January 2018, sex crimes charges against Órdenes were dismissed after an appeals court ruled there was not enough evidence.

Bishop Carlos Eduardo Pellegrín Barrera, S.V.D.
Bishop of San Bartolomé de Chillán diocese 2006-2018. News May 2011 that bishop was being investigated by prosecutors for alleged sexual abuse when he was rector of the Colegio Verbo Divino. Prosecutors dropped case February 2012 due to lack of evidence. Offered resignation to Pope 5/21/2018, along with the entire Chilean episcopacy. Investigated by Chile’s Public Ministry for allegations of sexual abuse that were reported in early August 2018. It’s not clear from public information whether the alleged victim was a minor or adult. Pellegrín’s was one of only seven resignations that Pope ultimately accepted. He left office 9/21/2018 at age 60, one week after Chillan diocesan headquarters were raided by prosecutors. While indicating that he would fight the legal charges, he asked for forgiveness “for the times when I was not at the height of what my responsibility as a pastor requires.” In February 2021, Pellegrín notified his fellow bishops that the Public Ministry had acquitted him of criminal wrongdoing.

Archbishop Bernardino Piñera Carvallo
Archbishop of La Serena 1983-1990. Retired 1990, age 75. Announcement by Chilean apostolic nuncio 8/20/2019 that Piñera, uncle of Chilean president Sebastián Piñera, is being investigated by Vatican for alleged sexual abuse of a minor “more than 50 years ago.” Piñera denies the allegation.

COLOMBIA

Bishop Óscar Augusto Múnera Ochoa
Ordained bishop 2015; apostolic vicar of Tierradentro 2025-2024. Resigned 7/20/2024, age 62.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Bishop Ramón Benito Ángeles Fernández
Auxiliary Bishop of Santo Domingo, 2017-2024.

On 2/16/2024, a detailed report claiming that the Vatican was investigating Ángeles for alleged child sexual abuse appeared in the website Infovaticana, a conservative news portal in Spain that focuses on the Catholic Church. Infovaticana said that in 1994, Ángeles allegedly had sexually abused a 14-year-old boy attending the minor seminary of La Vega. In a written statement, the Santo Domingo archdiocese supported Ángeles, saying that it had no evidence of an investigation and accusing Infovaticana of trying to defame the bishop. Pope Francis accepted Ángeles‘ resignation on 3/18/2024, one day after the bishop turned 75.

Bishop Príamo Pericles Tejeda Rosario
Resigned as Baní bishop in 1997, age 63, then worked as priest in Venice FL. Accused in 2007 of sexual assault of a 42-year-old man for 11 years. Venice diocese removed faculties. Not charged. Baní bishop emeritus.

Archbishop Józef Wesołowski *
Polish. Resigned as papal nuncio to Dominican Republic August 2013 and was secretly recalled to Vatican, just days before DR news media exposed his alleged sex assaults of children on Santo Domingo waterfront. Church officials did not inform DR law enforcement. Prosecution sought by both DR and Poland. Vatican reportedly rebuffed extradition request by Poland January 2014. Laicization announced June 2014, four days after DR bishop tweeted about seeing Wesołowski strolling in Rome. Diplomatic immunity removed August 2014, day after NY Times exposé. Put under house arrest in Vatican City State September 2014. Found with 100,000+ child abuse images on his laptop and Vatican-owned computer. Released from house arrest after 60 days; free to move around Vatican City State beginning late November 2014. Hospitalized night before his July 2015 trial in VCS, causing trial to be indefinitely postponed. Released from hospital one week later, and freed to walk around Vatican City, according to BBC. Found dead in his Vatican apartment August 28, 2015. Trial never resumed.

ENGLAND

Bishop Kieran Thomas Conry
Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, 2001-2014.

Resigned September 2014 after publicly admitting to sexual relationship with woman six years earlier. Admission was prompted by threatened lawsuit by husband of another woman with whom Conry allegedly also had an affair. Conry denied that the relationship with second woman was sexual. Resignation accepted by pope 10/4/2014. Conry remains bishop emeritus.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor
Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, 1977-2000; Archbishop of Westminster, 2000-2009. Retired 2009, age 76. Died 2017.

Died 2017. Accused publicly September 2018, via a LifeSiteNews article and letter from former papal nuncio Archbishop Carlo Viganò. LifeSite alleged that in June 2013, Pope Francis ordered then-CDF Prefect Gerhard Müller to drop investigation of child sexual abuse by Murphy-O’Connor. Müller confirmed the story. According to National Catholic Register, a woman first reported Murphy-O’Connor to English church authorities in December 2008. She was age 13-14 in the late 1960s, when Murphy-O’Connor, still a priest, allegedly joined convicted offender Fr. Michael Hill and other priests in abusing her. Police interviewed Murphy-O’Connor in April 2009 and, according to The Tablet, decided not to pursue case. English bishops reported allegation to CDF in 2011; The Tablet says then-CDF Prefect Levada ruled “there was no case to answer.” Canonical case was still formally open when Müller took over CDF in 2012; it’s not known when or if Vatican closed it. Murphy-O’Connor, who retired as Westminster archbishop in 2009 at age 76, remained archbishop emeritus until his death on 9/1/2017. In November 2019, two English bishops testified to Britain’s Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) that they recently had decided against publicly affirming the credibility of Murphy-O’Connor’s accuser after a church communications director conveyed Cardinal Vincent Nichols’ concern that their affirmations would bolster anti-Francis efforts by LifeSite, Viganò, and others. Cardinal Nichols disputed this interpretation. He also said the alleged abuse by Murphy-O’Connor was not possible for logistical reasons; see Nichols’ written submission to IICSA and the transcript of his 11/7/2019 testimony to IICSA.

FRANCE

Archbishop Michel Aupetit
Auxiliary bishop of Paris, 2013-2014; bishop of Nanterre, 2014-2017; archbishop of Paris, 2018-2021.

Resigned as Paris archbishop 12/2/2021 at age 70 following a November 2021 article in Le Point alleging Aupetit’s inappropriate relationship with a woman in 2011 or 2012.  Shortly after accepting Aupetit’s resignation, Pope Francis defended him, saying that “hypocrisy” and “gossip” had forced his departure. In early January 2023, a French TV program revealed that in response to a notification by the Paris archdiocese, the Parish public prosecutor had opened a preliminary investigation into whether Aupetit’s relationship with the woman constituted sexual assault of a vulnerable person. The woman had been “under guardianship as a vulnerable adult at the time.” The archdiocese issued a communique saying it had alerted the prosecutor in late November 2022 as required by its 2019 agreement with that office. Aupetit denies that the relationship was sexual or intimate.

Bishop Jean-Michel di Falco Léandri
Auxiliary bishop of Paris 1997-2003; auxiliary bishop of Gap 2003; bishop of Gap 2003-2017.

News in 2002 of 2001 criminal complaint against di Falco. Man said he was age 12 in 1972 when alleged sexual assaults by di Falco began. Case dropped 2002 because of prescription, and di Falco promoted to bishop of Gap in 2003. In 2016, same complainant filed civil case, suing di Falco for damages. He was supported by second alleged di Falco victim. Di Falco stepped down as Gap bishop in 2017, at standard retirement age of 75. Court ruled in his favor in March 2018, saying filing period had expired. Victim ordered to pay bishop’s legal fees. Di Falco denies any wrongdoing. He remains Gap bishop emeritus.

Archbishop Maurice Gardès
Archbishop of Auch, 2004-2020. Retired 10/22/2020, age 75.7.

On 4/26/2023, a French religious weekly revealed that in 2021, the Holy See had restricted Gardès to a life of prayer and penance for sexually assaulting a nun. The article prompted a public statement by the Auch prosecutor and a joint press release by the archbishops of Lyon, Auch and Toulouse. The archbishops said that in September 2020, a nun had notified the Lyon archdiocese that Gardès had subjected her to “moral and sexual harassment, spiritual abuse and sexual assault.” In October 2020, Gardès’ offer of resignation, tendered months earlier when he had turned 75, was accepted. In 2021, according to the archbishops, the Holy See reportedly penalized Gardès, banning him from the Auch archdiocese and from public ministry, assigning him to a life of prayer and penance, and obligating him to receive psychotherapy. The Auch prosecutor said that in December 2020, the Lyon prosecutor had notified him of the archbishop’s alleged sexual assault and attempted rape of a nun between late 2007 and 2009, in the southwest French department of Ger. He dropped the case in April 2022, he said, citing an “insufficiently characterized offense;” the statute of limitation (or prescription period) for sexual assault had expired, and the attempted rape could not be proven. As of 5/1/2023, Gardès remained archbishop emeritus.

Archbishop Jean-Pierre Grallet, O.F.M.
Auxiliary bishop of Strasbourg, 2004-2007; Archbishop of Strasbourg, 2007-2017. Retired February 2017 at age 75.7.

On 11/16/2022, the French bishops’ conference issued a statement by Grallet in which he admitted to making “inappropriate gestures” toward a “young adult woman” in the 1980s. His successor as Strasbourg archbishop, Archbishop Luc Ravel, C.R.S.V., said that the victim had reported the abuse to him in December 2021 and that he in turn had notified the Strasbourg public prosecutor in January 2022. According to Ravel, Grallet committed the abuse in 1985 when he was a Franciscan priest. The president of the French bishops’ conference, Reims archbishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, confirmed that Grallet was one of the three French bishops under Vatican investigation to whom he had referred at a news conference on 11/8/2022. Neither de Moulins-Beaufort nor Ravel provided further details about the abuse. Before being appointed bishop, Grallet had worked as a chaplain in several high schools and universities, and he served as Franciscan “visitor general” in Canada, Morocco, Rwanda, Madagascar, Togo and Ivory Coast.

Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard
Auxiliary Bishop of Grenoble, 1993-1996; Coadjutor Bishop of Montpellier, 1996; Bishop of Montpellier, 1996-2001; Archbishop of Bordeaux, 2001-2019. Elevated to Cardinal 2006. Member of the Council for the Economy, 2014-2020. Also member of several dicasteries, including Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith. Ricard’s retirement offer approved by Pope 10/1/2019, four days after his 75th birthday.

On 11/7/2022, at the annual fall meeting of the French bishops’ conference, conference head Archbishop Éric Moulins-Beaufort read aloud a statement by Cardinal Ricard in which he said that he had “behaved in a reprehensible way” towards a 14-year-old girl. The behavior had occurred 35 years earlier, he wrote, when he was a priest, and it had had “serious and lasting consequences” for the victim. On 11/8/2022, the public prosecutor of Marseille said in a press release that he was opening a preliminary investigation of the cardinal for “aggravated sexual assault.” The prosecutor explained that in February 2022, the victims’ parents had contacted the bishop of Nice after hearing that Ricard had been appointed by the Pope to temporarily run Foyers de Charité, a group of foster homes whose co-founder had been revealed as an abuser. The Nice bishop contacted Ricard, who said he had “kissed” the girl. The Nice bishop did not report the incident to prosecutors until October 2022; reportedly, he hadn’t realized initially that the victim had been a minor at the time of the abuse.

Meantime, also on 11/8/2022, Sister Véronique Margron, president of the Conference of Religious Men and Women of France (CORREF), described in a media interview the suffering of the victim, with whom she had spoken. Margron said, “She told me that she had been a victim of Jean-Pierre Ricard as a child, in a close family setting, he was a friend of the family.” The nun added, “What she was telling me was credible and sincere. The trauma she experienced was extremely strong and was very violent.” Margron said that she believed it was “very possible” that Ricard was “minimizing” the abuse.

It was later reported that according to the victim, the abuse took place for three years in the late 1980s and ended only when Ricard transferred from the parish, which was in Bouches-du-Rhône, in the archdiocese of Marseille.

On 11/11/2022, Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni told reporters that the Vatican had opened a preliminary investigation into Ricard.

On 2/25/2023, the Marseille prosecutor said he was closing the criminal case against Ricard because the statute of limitations had expired.

In September 2023, La Croix reported that sometime during the spring, Ricard had been sanctioned by the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith. He has been “permanently banned from all public ministry … for a renewable period of five years,” except in his diocese of residence, where he may publicly minister with the bishop’s permission. He retains his title.

Bishop Michel Santier
Bishop of Luçon, 2001-2007; bishop of Créteil, 2007-2021. Resigned 1/9/2021, age 73.

In June 2020, Santier announced he would be resigning early due to health issues and to unnamed “other difficulties.” In a written statement, he said he had submitted his resignation at the end of 2019 and that Pope Francis had accepted it. In January 2021, he officially ceased being bishop of Créteil.

On 10/14/2022, a French weekly, Famille Chrétienne, revealed that Santier’s early resignation had actually been prompted by allegations of sexual abuse. In 2019, two men had told church authorities that as young adults in the 1990s, they had been sexually abused by Santier, who was then a priest running a one-year prayer training school, L’École de la foi, in the diocese of Coutances. Santier had admitted his guilt to his metropolitan, Paris archbishop Michel Autpetit, and in December 2019, Aupetit had relayed the information to the Vatican. Around that same time, Santier wrote a letter to Pope Francis acknowledging his guilt.  In October 2021, the bishop was assigned to prayer and penance and limited ministry by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, which had jurisdiction over the case since it involved abuse during confession: Santier reportedly had forced the two young men, one of whom became a priest, “to make so-called striptease confessions. In front of the tabernacle they had to take off a piece of clothing for every confessed sin.”

Shortly after the October 2022 exposé in Famille Chrétienne, Rouen archbishop Dominique Lebrun said that five other men had come forward claiming abuse by Santier. As of late 2022, Santier was living with a community of nuns at the abbey of Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte in Manche, where he serves as chaplain. He remains bishop emeritus.

Archbishop Luigi Ventura * 
Italian. Joined Vatican diplomatic corps 1978, working in Brazil, Bolivia and UK. Appointed papal nuncio 1995, subsequently serving in: Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Niger, 1995-1999; Chile, 1999-2001; Canada, 2001-2009; and France, 2009 to 2019. 

News February 2019 of preliminary sexual assault investigation by French prosecutors: a Parisian city employee in his 30s alleged that Ventura had touched him ‘insistently‘ on the buttocks three times during a ceremony at Paris city hall the previous month. LaCroix reported several similar accounts from other young men. On 2/22/2019, a similar incident was reported to the Vatican embassy in Ottawa; the alleged incident took place at a Quebec shrine in 2008, when the complainant was 32 and Ventura was papal nuncio to Canada. In July 2019, following more public allegations, the Vatican waived Ventura’s diplomatic immunity, opening the possibility of a criminal trial in France. Six alleged victims had come forward at this point; one was an 18-year-old seminarian at the time of the alleged abuse. Vatican announced the Pope’s acceptance of Ventura’s resignation on 12/17/2019, a week after Ventura reached the standard retirement age of 75. Convicted 12/16/2020 of placing his hands on the buttocks of five men. Given an eight-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay “13,000 euros ($15,800) to four of the men and 9,000 euros ($10,900) in legal costs.”

FRENCH GUIANA

Bishop Emannuel Lafont
Bishop of Cayenne, French Guiana, 2004-2020.

On 10/18/2020, Lafont called police saying he was being physically threatened by a 27-year-old man living at his residence. The young man, a recent Haitian immigrant, said Lafont had offered him lodging and assistance obtaining residency papers in exchange for sex. Lafont submitted his resignation to Pope Francis one week later, on 10/26/2020, his 75th birthday; Pope accepted it that same day. Cayenne prosecutor opened preliminary investigation in March 2021, after young man filed official complaint. In early April 2021, church officials announced that Lafont would be investigated under Vos estis lux mundi. News coverage 4/7/2021 revealed that in 2008, five priests of the Cayenne diocese, including the vicar general and chancellor, had written to the papal nuncio complaining about Lafont’s “financial, pastoral and sexual conduct.” Lafont denied the allegation. On 12/20/2022, a Catholic news outlet reported that in October 2021, the Vatican had pronounced Lafont guilty of sexual abuse, sentenced him to a life of prayer and penance, and ordered him to stay at a monastery in France. He is banned from public ministry, from wearing his bishop’s insignia (including his mitre and crozier), and from contacting young migrants and acquaintances in French Guiana. In the meantime, he reportedly is being investigated by Cayenne public prosecutor’s office for human trafficking, breach of trust, and aiding illegal residents.

GERMANY

Bishop Franziskus Eisenbach
Resigned age 58 in 2002 per canon 401.2 after female university professor accused him of sexual abuse while performing an exorcism. Mainz auxilary bishop emeritus.

Cardinal Franz Hengsbach
Auxiliary bishop of Paderborn 1953-1957; Bishop of Essen 1957-1991; Bishop of Germany, Military 1961-1978; Elevated to cardinal 1988; Retired 1991, age 80; Died 1991.

On 9/19/2023, the bishop of Essen, Franz-Joseph Overbeck, revealed in a public statement that Cardinal Hengsbach, Essen’s founding bishop and a renowned national figure, had been accused by three people of sexual abuse. Overbeck said that in October 2022, a woman had contacted the victims’ liaison of the Essen diocese to say that she had been sexually assaulted by Hengsbach in 1967, when he was bishop of Essen. According to Overbeck, he did not hear of this report until March 2023, at which point he ordered an internal file review. That inquiry surfaced two other allegations, both of which had been reported in 2011 to church officials, including Overbeck himself. One allegation involved abuse by Hengsbach in 1954, when he was auxiliary bishop of the nearby archdiocese of Paderborn. The victim was an “underage girl,” according to a diocesan press release accompanying Overbeck’s statement. That case had been forwarded to the then-CDF by the Paderborn archdiocese at the time and deemed “implausible.” The second 2011 allegation involved sexual abuse by Hengsbach when he was bishop of Essen. That victim withdrew the complaint in 2014, Overbeck wrote. According to a statement that same day (9/19/2023) by the archdiocese of Paderborn, the underage victim in 1954 was age 16, and she allegedly was abused jointly by Hengsbach and his brother Paul, also a Paderborn priest. The archdiocese said that it now found the allegation to be credible. On 9/22/2023, Overbeck published a letter admitting that he had been wrong to not question the quick dismissal of the 2011 allegations. The cases had been misjudged, and the victims had been wronged, he said. On 9/25/2023, the Essen diocese removed a statute of Hengsbech from its cathedral. Church officials announced an investigation of possible sexual assaults by Hengsbach during the 17 years he headed the diocese of the military. Within a month of the initial revelations, at least ten more victims of the cardinal had come forward.

Bishop Heinrich Maria Janssen
Hildesheim bishop 1957-1983. Retired at age 76. Died 1988. Accused in 2015 of sexual abuse of a boy from 1958 to 1963, beginning when the boy was age 10. Abuse was said to have included masturbation, anal and oral sex. Diocesan investigators deemed the accusations “plausible” and awarded Janssen’s accuser 10,000 euros “in recognition of his suffering.” In October 2018 a 70-year-old man alleged abuse in 1957 by Janssen, and by two other priests who were involved with children’s homes. Janssen’s first accuser stated that Janssen was a “great patron” of the children’s homes and “liked to hang out there often.”

Bishop Walter Mixa
Bishop of Eichstätt, 1996-2000; Bishop of Germany, Military, 2000-2010; Bishop of Augsburg, 2005-2010.

Resigned as bishop of Military and bishop of Augsburg on 5/8/2010 at age 69 per canon 401.2 after accusations he severely beat children at at a Schrobenhausen orphanage in the 1970s and misappropriated the orphanage’s funds. Reportedly sexually abused minors, including an altar boy; Office of Public Prosecution opened investigation which it soon closed, citing insufficient evidence. Accused also of sexually abusing seminarians between 1996 and 2005. Augsburg bishop emeritus.

Bishop Emil Stehle
German. Auxiliary bishop of Quito, Ecuador, 1983-1987; Prelate of Santo Domingo de los Colorados, Ecuador, 1987-1996; Bishop of Santo Domingo de los Colorados, Ecuador, 1996-2002.

Retired from bishopric at age 75. Died 2017. In June 2022, report München and the Spanish newspaper El País revealed that as the head of Fidei Donum, the German church’s agency overseeing missionary work, Stehle had systematically relocated abusive priests to Latin American countries in order to shield them from prosecution. In addition, according to report München, more than 10 women had notified the church of sexual assaults by Stehle himself; one was only 11 years old when allegedly abused by him. On 8/8/2022, the German bishops’ conference published a report of an internal investigation into cover-up and abuse by Stehle and other Fidei Donum priests. It found indications of at least 16 Stehle victims; he committed sexual assaults “as a priest in Bogotá (Colombia), as head of the coordination office and Adveniate managing director in Essen and later as auxiliary bishop of Quito and as bishop of Santo Domingo in Ecuador.” One victim had reported Stehle’s sexual assaults to the German bishops’ conference in 2005; the prelates who received her report, Cardinal Karl Lehmann and Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, appear not to have replied. That victim said that Stehle had admitted his guilt to her in writing and given her compensation.

GUAM

Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, O.F.M.Cap.
Agaña archbishop 1986-April 2019.  Accused of raping and/or molesting at least seven minors. Found guilty of unspecified canonical crimes and sentenced to removal from office and exile from Guam, according to 3/16/2018 press release by the Apostolic Tribunal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Apuron appealed. In a press release on 4/4/2019, the Vatican announced that the CDF’s Tribunal of Second Instance had upheld the initial verdict, finding Apuron “guilty of delicts against the Sixth Commandment with minors.” Despite the finding, Apuron was neither laicized nor stripped of his title. His penalties are: the loss of his office, permanent prohibition from entering the Agaña archdiocese (which comprises all of Guam), and permanent prohibition from “using the insignia attached to the rank of Bishop.” He remains archbishop emeritus of Agaña and receives a monthly stipend of $1,500 from the church.

An August 2019 investigative report by AP revealed that as archbishop, Apuron had covered up for other abusers, blocked SOL reform legislation, and destroyed all of the archdiocese’s abuse files before leaving the post in 2016.

[This summary is continued here.]

Bishop Tomas Aguon Camacho
Bishop of Chalan Kanoa, Northern Mariana Islands, 1985-2010. Accused in a lawsuit filed in February 2017 of the rape and sexual abuse of a 10-year-old altar boy on Guam approximately 1971-1974. Accused in a second lawsuit, filed in 4/2017, of repeated sexual abuse of another 10-year-old altar boy, in the early 1960s at a Mongmong parish. Second accuser said he found porn in the rectory and Camacho caught him, perfomed sex acts on him, then threatened to tell the boy’s mother he looked at porn if he told. Remained Bishop Emeritus of Chalan Kanoa. Died 3/5/2018.

Archbishop Felixberto Camacho Flores
Appointed Agaña Apostolic Administrator 1970, Bishop 1971, then Archbishop 1984. Died 10/25/1985. Accused in a 5/31/2017 lawsuit of sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy in 1966. His accuser said he was a student at Cathedral Grade School at the time and Flores was an Agaña Cathedral priest.

HONDURAS

Bishop Juan José Pineda Fasquelle, C.M.F.
Accused 2017 by two former seminarians of sexual abuse in the early 2010’s, when Pineda taught at Tegucigalpa archdiocesan seminary. Alleged victims submitted testimonies to papal envoy, who visited archdiocese in May 2017. Envoy also investigated alleged financial misdeeds by Pineda and Cardinal-archbishop Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, S.D.B.. Allegations were referenced in December 2017 news reports (12) and detailed in March 2018 news report. Pineda resigned as auxiliary bishop of Tegucigalpa on 7/20/2018, at age 57. Tegucigalpa auxiliary bishop emeritus.

ICELAND

Bishop Joannes B.M. Gijsen *
Bishop of Roermond, Netherlands, 1972-1995; bishop of Reykjavik, Iceland, 1996-2007. Retired 2007, age 75. Dutch. News in 2010 of 1950s alleged abuse of two boys. Remained Reykjavik bishop emeritus. Died 2013. Dutch church acknowledged his guilt in 2014.

INDIA

Bishop Franco Mulakkal
Auxiliary bishop of Delhi 2009-2013; bishop of Jullundur (also known as Jalandhar) 2013-2023. Resigned 6/1/2023 at age 59.

Accused in 2018 of raping a nun 13 times from 2014 to 2016. Acquitted in 2022; the victim is appealing the verdict. Resigned as bishop of Jullundur in June 2023 at age 59. According to the papal nuncio, Mulakkal’s resignation was not a punishment; he resigned “pro bono Ecclesiae” (for the good of the church), his status is now bishop emeritus, and he has no canonical restrictions on his ministry.

Background: Accused in a police report filed in late June 2018 of raping a Missionaries of Jesus’ mother superior 13 times from 2014 to 2016. Mulakkal had been the official patron of the nun’s community. He allegedly first raped her on 5/5/2014 at her convent, St. Francis Mission House, in Kuravilangad, Kerala. Beginning in January 2017, she reported the abuse to the church repeatedly, contacting nearly a dozen officials. They included Cardinal George Alencherry, who in November 2017 discouraged her from taking her case to the media or police, according to her family members. She sent letters to the papal nuncio to India, Archbishop Giambattista Diquattro, on 1/28/2018 and 6/25/2018. She also reportedly told Delhi Archbishop Couto in early May 2018 when he visited her order’s house. Yet church authorities took no action until September 2018, following a protest by fellow nuns in support of the victim at Kerala’s High Court. The Vatican finally relieved Mulakkal of his administrative duties on 9/20/2018 [see episcopal conference notice]. He was arrested 9/21/2018, jailed for 25 days, and released on bail 10/15/2018, returning home to hundreds of well-wishers.

[The summary of the allegations against Bishop Mulakkal continues here.]

Bishop Kannikadass Antony William 
Bishop of Mysore, 2017-2024. Resigned 1/13/2024, at age 58.

In November 2019, 37 of Mysore’s roughly 100 priests publicized a letter they had written to Pope Francis requesting William’s removal. They accused the bishop of “crimes of moral turpitude … involving financial irregularities, sexual misconduct, kidnapping and suspected murders.” They said the bishop had had sexual relationships with at least 10 women and fathered at least two children. The bishop denied the allegations, saying the priests were retaliating because they opposed the bishop’s “administrative reforms.” In December 2019, a citizens’ group filed an initial complaint with police accusing the bishop of threatening a woman who had tried to report sexual harassment by a priest. In June 2020, a retired high court judge formally complained to Indian church authorities, accusing William of murder, corruption, sexual misconduct, and other crimes. In January 2023, William was placed on administrative leave although his title remained bishop of Mysore.

On 1/13/2024, a one-line Vatican announcement stated that Bishop William’s resignation had been accepted by Pope Francis. The Indian bishops’ conference said in a statement that same day that William was stepping down not as a disciplinary measure but “pro bono Ecclesia (for the good of the Church)” to relieve the “distressing” situation in the diocese and make possible a transition in leadership. There are no restrictions on William’s ministry, the statement said.

IRELAND

Archbishop Richard A. Burke, S.P.S. *
Accused 2009 of 1983 sexual abuse of 14-year-old girl in Nigeria. [See victim’s statement.] Resigned 2010, age 61, per canon 401.2Admitted “failure to observe his oath of celibacy.” Sued RTÉ, claiming victim was 20, not 14. Suit settled 2015: RTÉ paid legal costs but made no concession on victim’s age. Benin City archbishop emeritus.

Bishop Eamonn Casey
Resigned 1992, age 65, after revelation that he fathered a child in 1970s. Fled Ireland,  worked in Ecuador missions, then English diocese.  Accused 2005 of sexual assault of girl, age 5, 30 years earlier. Casey denied accusation. Not charged. Returned to Ireland 2006.  Retired to nursing home 2011. New accusation April 2016 by a Limerick woman.  Remained  Galway and Kilmacduagh bishop emeritus until his  death March 13, 2017.  News report March 2019 that victim who reported Casey in 2005 was his niece; she says she was raped and sexually abused by Casey for a decade beginning at age 5. News report also revealed settlements with two other victims: the Limerick woman who came forward in 2016, and another woman compensated by the Redress board in 2005. Both women allege being sexually assaulted by Casey as children in the 1950s and 1960s.

Bishop Brendan Oliver Comiskey, SS.CC.
Resigned 2002, age 66, per canon 401.2, after revelations that he protected serial abuser Fr. Sean FortuneFerns inquiry in 2005 reported two allegations against Comiskey: 1990 complaint of misconduct toward young woman over age 16, and accusation by Fortune in his 1999 suicide note. Comiskey denied both. Ferns bishop emeritus.

Bishop John Magee, S.P.S.
Stepped aside but didn’t resign 2009 after internal watchdog report that he had mishandled two abusive priests. State launched its own inquiry. Resignation announced 2010, per canon 401.2State’s report 2011 revealed more cover-up and 2008 report to church of Magee’s inappropriate behavior toward teen, age 17-18. Magee admitted conduct, denied sexual intent. Not charged. Cloyne bishop emeritus.

Archbishop John Charles McQuaid, C.S.Sp.
Retired 1971, age 76, as Dublin archbishop. Died 1973. First accused of sex abuse in 1999 book. News in 2011 that McQuaid was cleric described in 2010 supplement to Murphy report with two complaints of child sex abuse, including of a 12-year-old boy in 1961, and one “separate concern.”

ITALY

Bishop Gerardo Antonazzo
Bishop of Sora-Cassino-Aquino-Pontecorvo 2013-Present.

Investigation April 2016 by prosecutors in Cassino, in response to a letter from a seminarian accusing Antonazzo of sexually molesting him and seven other adults. Remains in post as of July 2024.

Bishop Giuseppe Carraro
Auxiliary bishop of Treviso 1952-1956; bishop of Vittorio Veneto 1956-1958; bishop of Verona 1958-1978. Retired 1978, age 78. Died 1980.

Accused 2009 of repeatedly molesting a boy who attended the Provolo-run residential school for the deaf in Verona. Carraro was being considered for beatification at the time of the complaint.

JAMAICA

Bishop Gordon Bennett, S.J.
Auxiliary bishop of Baltimore 1998-2004. Made bishop of Mandeville, Jamaica in 2004. Removed as Mandeville bishop in 2006 at age 59, per canon 401.2. News reports at the time attributed the early departure to ill health, but in March 2019, Baltimore archbishop Lori revealed that Bennett’s removal had been due to “an allegation of sexual harassment of a young adult.” As of Lori’s March 2019 announcement, Bennett is restricted from ministry in the Baltimore and Wheeling-Charleston WV dioceses.

KENYA

Bishop Cornelius Schilder, M.H.M. *
Bishop of Ngong 2002-2009. Vatican informed in 2007 of reports of Schilder’s early 1990s abuse of a Maasai herds boy. Dutch. Resigned 2009, age 67, per canon 401.2. Accused in 2013 of early 1990s sexual abuse of a young seminarian. Ngong bishop emeritus.

LIBERIA

Bishop Andrew J. Karnley
Apostolic administrator of Monrovia 2005-2009; Cape Palmas bishop 2011-Present.

Publication May 2019 in Liberian news outlet of an 8/15/2018 letter from former priest to the papal nuncio, Archbishop Dagoberto Campos Salas, alleging sexual harassment and abuse of power by Karnley and Archbishop Lewis J. Zeigler, archbishop of Monrovia. Alleged victim is a former Monrovia priest. He accuses Karnley of repeated sexual overtures that began in 1997, when Karnley was vocations director and the priest was a seminarian. Zeigler is accused of making a sexual advance to the priest on one occasion, after Zeigler became Monrovia archbishop. The complainant said he endured repeated retaliations from both bishops because of his refusal to have sex with them. Karnley emphatically refuted the allegations. In December 2018, the president of the Liberia Bishop’s Conference, Bishop Anthony Borwah, reportedly emailed the priest asking him not to go public with the allegations. In June 2019, after publication of the complainant’s letter, Borwah and papal nuncio Campos Salas were summoned to the Vatican to discuss the situation. A news article questioned the accuser’s veracity. As of January 2020, the alleged victim had left the priesthood and his country, and Zeigler and Karnley remained bishops of their respective dioceses.

Archbishop Lewis J. Zeigler
Coadjutor of Monrovia 2009-2011; archbishop of Monrovia 2011-2021. Retired June 2021, age 77. Died August 2022.

Publication May 2019 in a Liberian news outlet of an 8/15/2018 letter from former priest to the papal nuncio, Archbishop Dagoberto Campos Salas, alleging sexual harassment and abuse of power by Zeigler and Bishop Andrew J. Karnley of the Cape Palmas diocese. Alleged victim is a former Monrovia priest. He accuses Karnley of repeated sexual overtures that began in 1997, when Karnley was vocations director and the priest was a seminarian. Zeigler is accused of making a sexual advance to the priest on one occasion, after Zeigler became Monrovia archbishop. The complainant said he endured repeated retaliations from both bishops because of his refusal to have sex with them. Karnley emphatically refuted the allegations. In December 2018, the president of the Liberia Bishop’s Conference, Bishop Anthony Borwah, reportedly emailed the priest asking him not to go public with the allegations. In June 2019, after publication of the complainant’s letter, Borwah and papal nuncio Campos Salas were summoned to the Vatican to discuss the situation. A news article questioned the accuser’s veracity. As of January 2020, the alleged victim had left the priesthood and his country, and Zeigler and Karnley remained bishops of their respective dioceses. Zeigler retired 6/7/2021 at age 77 and died 8/12/2022.


MEXICO

Bishop José Luis Fletes Santana
Auxiliary bishop of Mexico City, 2000-2003. Resigned 5/31/2003, age 55.

On 5/31/2003, at the age of 55, Fletes resigned as auxiliary bishop of Mexico City. Unbeknown to the public, Fletes’ resignation was triggered by a child sex abuse allegation against him, as reported in this March 2019 Newsweek Mexico article. The allegation had been reported to his mentor and archbishop, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, who reportedly promised the victim’s family that Fletes would leave Mexico and never return. Thanks to Rivera’s influence and, according to a blogger, the involvement of a top federal government official, Fletes was able to settle out of court with the victim and avoid criminal prosecution. In 2004, according to Newsweek, he was sent to a monastery in northern Italy. In 2005, however, he returned to Mexico City, and Cardinal Rivera appointed him archdiocesan Vicar of the Laity. In late 2005 or early 2006, Fletes “mysteriously disappeared” from public religious ceremonies, and by 2009, his name had been deleted from the directory of the Mexican Bishops’ Conference.

NETHERLANDS

Bishop Ronald Philippe Bär, O.S.B. 
Bishop of the Military, 1982-1993; bishop of Rotterdam, 1983-1993. Resigned March 1993, age 64.

Resigned abruptly 1993, age 64, as bishop of Rotterdam and the Military diocese. Told a Dutch journalist his departure was due to blackmail and “rumors of homosexuality.” Retired to Belgian monasteryBanned from public speaking in 2003 by Vatican. Deetman report 2011 said Bär had allowed unsuitable men to become priests. News report 2018:  20 of 39 Dutch bishops 1945-2010 were complicit in child sexual abuse, and four perpetrated abuse: Bär, Niënhaus (Utrecht), Gijsen (Roermond), and ter Schure (Den Bosch). Bär’s alleged victims were seminarians. He remains bishop emeritus of Rotterdam.

Bishop Johannes Willem Maria Bluyssen
Resigned 1984, age 57, as s’Hertogenbosch bishop. Admitted 2010 to destroying abuse files in 1970s. Died 2013. Accused 2014 of repeated rape of Beekvliet minor seminary student 1957-1959. A church Complaints Committee announced August 2015 that evidence was not sufficient, although it did not “exclude” that the victim had been sexually abused.

Bishop Joannes B.M. Gijsen *
Retired 2007, age 75. Dutch. News in 2010 of 1950s alleged abuse of two boys. Remained Reykjavik, Iceland bishop emeritus. Died 2013. Dutch church acknowledged his guilt in 2014.

Bishop Jan Niënhaus
Utrecht auxiliary bishop. Died 2000. Dutch church admitted 2014 he molested young boys 1950s-1970s.

Bishop Cornelius Schilder, M.H.M. *
Bishop of Ngong, Kenya, 2002-2009. Resigned August 2009, age 67.

In 2007, the Vatican was informed of reports of Schilder’s early 1990s abuse of a Maasai herds boy. Dutch. Resigned 2009, age 67, per canon 401.2. Accused in 2013 of early 1990s sexual abuse of a young seminarian. Ngong bishop emeritus.

Bishop Joannes Gerardus ter Schure, S.D.B.
Retired 1998, age 76. s’Hertogenbosch bishop. Died 2003. News in 2010 that Salesians settled claim of sexual abuse of a boy by ter Schure at Don Rua monastery in Ugchelen 1948-53.

NEW ZEALAND

Cardinal John Dew
Auxiliary bishop of Wellington 1995-2004; Coadjutor archbishop of Wellington 2004-2005; Archbishop of Wellington 2005-2023; Bishop of New Zealand, Military, 2005-2023; Elevated to cardinal 2015; Apostolic administrator of Palmerston North 2019-2023.

Pope Francis accepted Dew’s resignation as Wellington archbishop on 5/5/2023, the cardinal’s 75th birthday. The next day, according to a statement the cardinal released in March 2024, he learned that an allegation against him had been reported. The allegation became public in early March 2024, when the New Zealand Supreme Court ruled against Dew’s bid to block the media outlet Newshub from reporting on it. The alleged victim said that then-Father Dew had sexually abused him at age 7, in November 1977, when he was briefly placed in St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Upper Hutt. The orphanage was within walking distance of St. Joseph’s parish, where Dew worked as a priest from 1976 to 1979. Dew worked at the parish with multiply accused priest Noel Donoghue, who the complainant says also sexually abused him. Dew strongly denied the allegation, stating that he did not know the alleged victim and that he had never entered the orphanage. In his 3/7/2024 statement, Dew said that the police would not be charging him and that they had closed the investigation. Newshub reported, however, that it had been told by police that while they had been unable to locate sufficient evidence, they would be willing to consider any new evidence that might come to light. In a 3/7/2024 statement, current Wellington archbishop Paul Martin SM said that Dew had refrained from “from all public church activities” since the church first learned of the allegation. Martin also said that with the police investigation ended, the church would now commence its own inquiry into the allegation. The Catholic News Agency reported that the investigation was following the Vos estis lux mundi protocol. On 6/5/2024, Archbishop Martin announced in a public letter that the Vatican had concluded that “no further church investigations [of the allegation against Dew] are required.” Dew was now free to resume “public Church activities,” Martin stated. The complainant told Newshub that the Vatican did not contact him during its inquiry.

Bishop Charles Edward Drennan
Coadjutor bishop of Palmerstown North 2011-2012; Bishop of Palmerstown North 2012-2019. Resigned 2019, age 59.

Resigned October 2019, age 59, as bishop of Palmerston North diocese, following Vatican investigation of “unacceptable” sexual behavior toward a young woman. Cardinal John Dew, head of NZ church, then revealed second sexual misconduct complaint, concerning Drennan’s relationship several years earlier with a “mature woman” that did not involve sexual assault. On 9/25/2020, the Vatican imposed penalties on Drennan’s ministry, having completed an investigation of him under Vos estis lux mundi. According to a report released December 2021 by New Zealand’s Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care, the Vatican has banned Drennan from his diocese and prohibited him from public ministry, wearing clerical clothes, and participating in events as bishop [see page 182 of report]. Nonetheless, the report noted, the Palmerston diocese remains responsible for paying Drennan’s living expenses, including the house he rents in the Auckland diocese. Drennan remains bishop emeritus.

NIGERIA

Archbishop Richard A. Burke, S.P.S. *
Coadjutor bishop of Warri 1995-1997; bishop of Warri 1997-2007; archbishop of Benin City 2007-2010. Accused 2009 of 1983 sexual abuse of 14-year-old girl in Nigeria. [See victim’s statement.] Resigned 2010, age 61, per canon 401.2. Admitted “failure to observe his oath of celibacy.” Sued RTÉ, claiming victim was 20, not 14. Suit settled 2015: RTÉ paid legal costs but made no concession on victim’s age. Benin City archbishop emeritus.

NORWAY

Bishop Georg Müller, SS.CC.
Apostolic administrator of Trondheim prelature 1988-1997; prelate of Trondheim 1997-2009. Admitted 2009 to 1990s sexual abuse of boy. Resigned as Trondheim prelate same year, age 58, per canon 401.2. Retained titles of bishop and Prelate Emeritus until his death on 10/25/2015.

PARAGUAY

Bishop Jorge Adolfo Carlos Livieres Banks
Accused 2002 in criminal complaint by three young men of sexual assault of minors. Livieres filed counter-charges of extortion and libel. Accusers then produced document allegedly signed by Livieres showing he tried to pay them to stay quiet. Case stalled and ended ambiguously. Resigned 2003, age 74, per canon 401.2. Encarnación bishop emeritus until his death in 2018.

Bishop Fernando Armindo Lugo Méndez, S.V.D.
Resigned as San Pedro bishop in 2005, age 55, per canon 401.2. Voluntarily laicized 2008 so that he could run for office. Paraguay president 2008-2012. Admitted 2009 to fathering a child in 2007; another woman said he had fathered her child too, and that their involvement began when she was 18 and Lugo still a bishop. Admitted 2012 to fathering child of another woman while bishop.

PERU

Bishop Guillermo Martín Abanto Guzmán
Fathered child in 2011. Resigned July 2013, age 49, per canon 401.2, after child’s mother took him to court, demanding he recognize paternity. Peru Military bishop emeritus.

Bishop Gabino Miranda Melgarejo
Removed as Ayachucho o Huamanga auxiliary bishop May 2013, age 53, after accused of molesting children he is said to have targeted during confession. Laicized July 2013.

PHILIPPINES

Bishop Teodoro C. Bacani, Jr.
Resigned 2003, age 63, per canon 401.2, after accused by secretary of sexual misconduct. Apologized. Novaliches bishop emeritus.

Bishop Filomeno Gonzales Bactol
Bishop of Naval 1988-2017. Accused 2007 of molesting boys by ex-missionary who himself faced deportation for alleged pedophilia in 1990s. Retired 2017, age 77. Naval bishop emeritus.

Bishop Dinualdo Destajo Gutierrez
Bishop of Marbel 1982-2018. Retired at age 79. Died 2/10/2019. Accused of child molestation in two complaints filed in 2020 under the Child Victims Act in New York, USA. Both victims were altar boys and worked in the rectory at St. Francis de Sales parish in Belle Harbor NY, where Gutierrez was a visiting priest. One victim was ages 11-13 in 1969-1971 when he was allegedly repeated sexually abused by Gutierrez [see complaint filed 2/16/2020.] The second victim was ages 11-13 in 1970-1972 when Gutierrez allegedly abused him [see complaint filed 7/8/2020.] In 2021, the diocese of Brooklyn paid a six-figure settlement to one of the victims.

Bishop Crisostomo A. Yalung
Resigned as Antipolo bishop 2002, age 49, per canon 401.2, after news he had fathered a child. Antipolo bishop emeritus.

POLAND

Cardinal Henryk Gulbinowicz 
Wrocław archbishop 1976-2004. Made cardinal 1985. Accused in 1997 news interview of child sex abuse; neither church nor civil authorities responded. Retired 2004 at age 80. Accused publicly again May 2019 by same victim, who said alleged abuse occurred in January 1989, when he was age 15. Cardinal denied allegation. In September 2019, prosecutors dropped case because prescription period had passed. On 11/6/2020, the Vatican embassy in Poland announced sanctions against the cardinal, as a “result of an investigation into accusations made against [him] and after an analysis of other allegations” from his past. The Vatican publication Osservatore Romano said that he had been found guilty of “sexual harassment, homosexuality, [and] cooperation with the Security Service.” (Long considered a hero of Poland’s Solidarity movement, Gulbinowicz’s secret 16-year collaboration, from 1969 to 1985, with the notorious secret police had been revealed several months earlier by a Polish historian.) The cardinal was forbidden from using his bishop’s insignia or participating in religious or public events, and was denied the right to a cathedral funeral Mass or cathedral burial. He was also required to make a donation to the St. Joseph Foundation, a victims’ fund set up by the Polish bishops. However, he retained the titles of cardinal and archbishop emeritus. Gulbinowicz died shortly thereafter, on 11/16/2020. It is possible but not clear that Gulbinowicz’ investigation was conducted under the protocol of Vos estis lux mundi.

Bishop Marek Mendyk
Auxiliary Bishop of Legnica, 2008-2020; Bishop of Świdnica, 2020-Present. Accused publicly in August 2022 of sexually abusing an eight-year-old boy in a hospital in the early 1990s. See the original article here. Mendyk denies the allegation.

Archbishop Juliusz Paetz
Bishop of Łomża 1983-1996; Archbishop of Poznań 1996-2002. Resigned 2002, age 67, after accused of sexually abusing young seminarians. Paetz denied the allegations. Initially banned from public ministry, but ban lifted by Vatican June 2010. Then ban at some point was reinstated: in April 2016, Vatican warned Paetz to stop public appearances and resume private life of “repentance and prayer.” Remained Poznan archbishop emeritus. Died 11/15/2019.

Bishop Jan Szkodoń
Auxiliary bishop of Kraków 1988-2022. Victim reported him to papal nuncio in May 2019. She alleges bishop sexually abused her for years, starting in 1998, when she was 15. Prosecutor dropped case due to statute of limitations, but wrote that the evidence indicated a “high probability” the allegation is true. Case made public in Polish newspaper February 2020. While denying wrongdoing, the bishop stated that he would step down from ministry while Vatican investigated. On 7/23/2021, the Polish papal nuncio announced that a canonical process had judged the bishop’s guilt “not proven.” Vatican found he had “acted imprudently,” however, by meeting alone with the girl in his private apartment, and it ordered him to do a three-month closed retreat. The nuncio said that the bishop already had fulfilled this requirement, as he had been living in seclusion since February 2020. Szkodoń retired as Kraków’s auxiliary bishop in March 2022, three months after reaching the standard retirement age of 75.

Archbishop Józef Wesołowski *
Polish. Resigned as papal nuncio to Dominican Republic August 2013 and was secretly recalled to Vatican, just days before DR news media exposed his alleged sex assaults of children on Santo Domingo waterfront. Church officials did not inform DR law enforcement. Prosecution sought by both DR and Poland. Vatican reportedly rebuffed extradition request by Poland January 2014. Laicization announced June 2014, four days after DR bishop tweeted about seeing Wesołowski strolling in Rome. Diplomatic immunity removed August 2014, day after NY Times exposé. Put under house arrest in Vatican City State September 2014. Found with 100,000+ child abuse images on his laptop and Vatican-owned computer. Released from house arrest after 60 days; free to move around Vatican City State beginning late November 2014. Hospitalized night before his July 2015 trial in VCS, causing trial to be indefinitely postponed. Released from hospital one week later, and freed to walk around Vatican City, according to BBC. Found dead in his Vatican apartment 8/28/2015. Trial never resumed.

PORTUGAL

Bishop Carlos Alberto de Pinho Moreira Azevedo
Auxiliary bishop of Lisbon 2005-2011. Accused 2010 of 1980s sexual abuse of seminarian. Delegate of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Vatican City, 2011-Present.

PUERTO RICO

Bishop Daniel Fernández Torres
Auxiliary bishop of San Juan 2007-2010; bishop of Arecibo 2010-March 2022. Prosecutor stated in February 2014 that Fernández Torres had been accused of perpetrating lewd acts against a male minor shortly before becoming bishop in 2010. Bishop denied allegation, said it was an “act of revenge.” At the time, the Arecibo diocese was under scrutiny for mishandling of sex abuse cases. Archbishop Roberto González called the allegations “slander.” Case dismissed by Vatican April 2014. Victim’s attorney said client wasn’t interviewed by Vatican. Victim had reported allegations to Archbishop Jozef Wesołowski in his capacity as PR apostolic delegate (January 2008-August 2013). Fernández Torres was removed from office 3/9/2022, at age 57. Vatican announced that he had been “relieved” of his pastoral duties but did not cite a cause. Bishop decried his removal as “totally unjust” and said he had been told that he had committed no canonical crime. News reports cited insubordination and other possible causes unrelated to sexual abuse.

SCOTLAND

Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O’Brien
St. Andrews and Edinburgh archbishop 1985-2013. Vatican announced his retirement on 2/25/2013, a few weeks before he turned 75 and shortly after he was accused publicly of sexual advances toward priests, dating to 1980s. Despite circumstances, retirement was accepted per canon 401.1. See also church announcement. O’Brien issued partial admission and apology [1,2]. Remained archbishop emeritus. Following 2014 investigation of allegations by Bishop Charles Scicluna, Pope Francis in March 2015 accepted O’Brien’s resignation of his “rights and privileges” as a Cardinal. He was allowed to retain the title, however. Died 3/19/2018.

Bishop Roderick Wright
Resigned 1996, age 56, after admitting to sex with woman he counseled. Married the woman. Admitted to son with previous woman. Remained Argyll and The Isles bishop emeritus. Died 2005.

SOUTH AFRICA

Bishop Reginald Joseph Orsmond
Johannesburg bishop 1984-2002. Founded South Africa’s Boys Town 1958; there until named bishop 1984. Died 2002. Accused in former Boys Town resident’s 2007 memoir of of rape and molestation over a three-year period, beginning when the author was age 13 in the 1960s. Orsmond is said to have plied the boy with alcohol. Several other men also alleged sexual abuse as boys in the facility by Orsmond; an ex-staffer said it was an “open secret” that Orsmond had boys sleep in his room. Archdiocesan “professional conduct committee” deemed the allegations credible.

SWITZERLAND

Bishop Hansjörg Vogel
Appointed bishop of Basel 1994. Resigned 1995, age 44, after acknowledging impregnating woman. Basel {Bâle, Basilea} bishop emeritus.

TIMOR-LESTE

Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, S.D.B.
Ordained bishop 1988. Apostolic administrator of Timor-Leste, 1988-2002. Resigned 2002, age 54.

On 9/28/2022, a major article in De Groene Amsterdammer, a Dutch weekly, reported Belo’s alleged sexual abuse of numerous minors in Timor-Leste in the 1980s and 1990s, beginning soon after he was ordained a priest and continuing during his tenure as apostolic administrator. One victim quoted in the article was sexually abused at age 15 or 16 in or around 1996, the year that Belo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for being a champion of human rights during Timor-Leste’s occupation by Indonesia. According to the article, the allegations against Belo had been a “massive public secret” since 2002 but journalists didn’t report them then because the bishop was seen as “too big to fail.” On 11/26/2002, Belo abruptly resigned from his duties as apostolic administrator, saying he suffered “from both physical and mental fatigue.” (See Vatican bulletin, citing canon 401.2.) Several weeks later, he left the country, never to live there again. In June 2004, he became an assistant priest in Maputo, Mozambique, telling UCA News with a laugh that he was doing “pastoral work by teaching catechism to children, giving reteats to young people. I have descended from the top to the bottom.” He also told UCA News that he had been encouraged to seek work in Africa by Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, an Italian bishop who then headed the Vatican’s missionary office.

On 9/29/2022, the day after the De Groene Amsterdammer article appeared, a Vatican spokesman said that the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith had received complaints of Belo’s alleged crimes in 2019 and that it had sanctioned him in 2020, limiting his ministry and travel, and prohibiting “voluntary contact with minors, of interviews and contacts with Timor Leste.” On 10/7/2022, La Croix International reported that the Vatican had opened a fresh investigation into Belo. On 1/25/2023, AP published an interview with Pope Francis, in which he admitted that the Vatican had long known of the allegations against Belo and had allowed him to resign quietly rather than face punishment for his crimes. “These were decisions made 25 years ago when there wasn’t this awareness,” the Pope said. Belo reportedly now resides in Portugal.

UNITED STATES

Bishop Juan A. Arzube
Accused 2003 of sexual abuse of 11-year-old boy 1975-76. Remained Los Angeles CA auxiliary bishop emeritus. Died 2007.

Bishop Floyd L. Begin
Auxiliary bishop of Cleveland OH, 1947-1962; founding bishop of Oakland CA, 1962-1977. Died 1977.

A lawsuit filed in December 2022 accuses Begin of sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl in 1968, when he was bishop of Oakland. The alleged abuse occurred once.

Bishop Gordon Bennett, S.J.
Auxiliary bishop of Baltimore MD 1998-2004. Made bishop of Mandeville, Jamaica in 2004. Removed as Mandeville bishop in 2006 at age 59, per canon 401.2. News reports at the time attributed the early departure to ill health, but in March 2019, Baltimore archbishop Lori revealed that Bennett’s removal had been due to “an allegation of sexual harassment of a young adult.” As of Lori’s March 2019 announcement, Bennett is restricted from ministry in the Baltimore and Wheeling-Charleston WV dioceses.

Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua
One of three clergy accused of sexually abusing a child in a September 2018 lawsuit. The alleged victim said that Bevilacqua had groped her chest at St. Gabriel’s church in Whitehall in the 1980s, when Bevilacqua was Pittsburgh bishop. Bevilacqua died in 2012.

Bishop Michael J. Bransfield
Alleged abuser of adults and minors. As Wheeling-Charleston WV bishop (2005-2018), Bransfield subjected eight young seminarians and priests to “unwanted sexual overtures, sexual harassment and sexual contact” and used diocesan monies to fund “an extravagant and lavish lifestyle,” according to a church-ordered investigation overseen by his metropolitan, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore. [See the church investigators’ February 2019 report, which was made public in December 2019 by the Washington Post.]

[The summary of the allegations against Bransfield continues here.]

Bishop Robert H. Brom
Accused in 1990s of coercing young seminarian into sex in 1980s, while Duluth MN bishop. Accuser retracted allegation, reportedly as condition of $85K settlement. Retired 2013, age 75. Remained San Diego CA bishop emeritus. Died 5/9/2022.

Bishop Tod D. Brown
News in 2007 of 1997 letter to church alleging Brown’s sexual abuse of boy, age 12, in 1965. Church had deemed it not credible. Brown denied abuse. Never charged. Neither he nor victim interviewed by police. Retired 2012, age 75. Orange in California bishop emeritus.

Bishop John B. Brungardt
Appointed bishop of Dodge City KS 2010. On 2/8/2021, the Dodge City diocese announced that Brungardt had been notified by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation of a child sexual abuse allegation against him. On the same day, citing SST and Vos estis lux mundi, the Kansas City KS archdiocesan newspaper announced that Archbishop Joseph Naumann had CDF authorization to head a preliminary church investigation. It also said that Brungardt had “asked to step down from ministry until the matter is resolved.” Brungardt issued a statement “adamantly” denying the allegation. On 3/23/2022, Naumann announced that Brungardt had been cleared and would be resuming his duties as bishop. According to Naumann, civil authorities had “declined to prosecute” Brungardt and the CDF subsequently had determined that the allegation was “not supported by the evidence.”

Bishop Leonard P. Cowley
St. Paul MN auxiliary bishop 1958-1973. Died 1973. Name released February 2015 as one of 17 archdiocesan clergy accused of sexual abuse or misconduct with a minor. A man filed a claim that Cowley sexually abused him at age 15 during trip to northern Minnesota in 1968.

Bishop Joseph P. Denning
Brooklyn auxiliary bishop 1959-1982. Died 2/12/1990. Included on diocese’s February 2019 list of credibly accused clergy. “Finding of credibility” occurred after Denning’s death.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio
Bishop of Brooklyn NY 2003-2021. [See his complete assignment history.]

Accused of child sexual abuse in November 2019 letter sent by victims’ attorney to Newark archdiocese. The alleged incidents took place in the mid-1970s when the complainant was an altar boy at St. Nicholas church and a student at St. Nicholas School in Jersey City NJ. He allegedly was abused repeatedly by DiMarzio and the late Rev. Albert Mark, both priests at St. Nicholas at the time. News January 2020 of Vatican-ordered Vos Estis probe of DiMarzio headed by NY metropolitan Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Dolan discussed the news on his radio show, saying of DiMarzio, “I love the guy, he’s a good friend.” Allegation by second man reported 6/4/2020. Man alleged repeated sexual abuse by DiMarzio when he was ages 6-7, in 1979 and 1980, at Holy Rosary church in Jersey City NJ. Both complainants reportedly sought $20M in compensation. DiMarzio denied both claims, and in a statement to AP, his attorney wrote, “We have uncovered conclusive evidence of Bishop DiMarzio’s innocence.” In February 2021, the second complainant repeated his allegations in a lawsuit filed with the New Jersey Superior Court. In March, a lawsuit was filed by the alleged victim whose allegation was revealed in November 2019. DiMarzio again denied both allegations. Throughout the 21-month Vos Estis process, DiMarzio remained in office; Vos Estis does not require an accused bishop to step down while being investigated. On 9/1/2021, the NY archdiocese announced that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had found the two allegations “not to have the semblance of truth.” and that it therefore “will not authorize any further canonical process to address the accusations.” In late September 2021, the Vatican announced that DiMarzio, age 77, would be retiring. As of May 2024, the civil cases remained pending in the New Jersey courts.

Bishop Harold J. Dimmerling
Rapid City SD bishop 1969-1987. Died 1987 at age 73 while in office. “Credible” allegation of child sexual abuse by Dimmerling revealed November 2018 by St. Cloud MN bishop Donald Kettler. Alleged abuse occurred sometime during Dimmerling’s years as a St. Cloud diocesan priest (1940-1969).

Bishop Carroll T. Dozier
First bishop of Memphis diocese, 1971-1982. Died 1985 at age 74. News coverage of his enabling of abusers in 2010. In February 2019, the Richmond VA diocese, where Dozier was a priest 1937-1970, included him on its newly released list of clergy with credible and substantiated allegations of abuse of minors. It noted that an allegation against Dozier was reported after his death.

Bishop Paul V. Dudley
Retired 1995, age 68, as Sioux Falls SD bishop. Accused 2002 of fondling altar boy age 11 or 12 in 1950s. Accused also by two women. “Cleared” by church 2003. Remained emeritus. Died 2006.

Bishop Thomas L. Dupre
Bishop of Springfield MA 1995-2004. Accused 2004 of sexual abuse of two youths in 1976 and 1979. Resigned age 70 per canon 401.2, on 2/11/2004, same day that news broke. Sent to treatment. Indicted 9/24/2004 on two counts of rape, but D.A. dropped case several days later, saying that SOL prevented prosecution. In late 2008, the Springfield diocese settled with 59 victims, including the two victims of Dupre who came forward previously. Dupre was forced to contribute his own funds towards the settlement. Remained Springfield MA bishop emeritus until his death on 12/30/2016 (see obit).

Bishop Joseph W. Estabrook
Ordained for the Albany diocese in 1969. Auxiliary bishop of U.S. Military, 2004-2012. Died 2/4/2012 (see obit). Accused in lawsuit filed August 2019 of sexually abusing a student ages 14-16 from 1969 to 1971 at St. Vincent de Paul parish in Albany. Not included in Albany diocese’s list of credibly accused priests as of 9/10/2021.

Bishop Joseph A. Ferrario
Honolulu HI auxiliary bishop and bishop 1977-1993. Accused of child rape in 1985 letter to papal nuncio. Lawsuit 1991 dismissed on SOL grounds. Retired as bishop 1993, age 67. Stayed in ministry and remained emeritus. Not charged. Died 2003. Named by more alleged victims 2013 and 2014.

Bishop Carl Anthony Fisher Jr.
Auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles 1987-1993Died 9/2/1993 at age 47. Included in an updated list of accused clergy posted by the Baltimore archdiocese on 4/24/2019. Archdiocese said it first was notified by a victim in 2002 and that “multiple individuals” have accused Fisher since then (see two versions of the archdiocesan list). Alleged abuse occurred in the 1970s, when then-Fr. Fisher was working in Baltimore parishes.  

Bishop Louis E. Gelineau
Resigned 1997, age 69, after accused of attempting to fondle then drown boy at Vermont orphanage in 1950. In 1997 deposition, denied 1993 sexual abuse of altar boy. Remains Providence RI bishop emeritus.

Archbishop Peter Gerety
Coadjutor bishop of Portland ME 1966-1967; apostolic administrator of Portland ME 1967-1969; bishop of Portland ME 1969-1974; archbishop of Newark NJ 1974-1986 (see career history). Retired 1986 at age 73. Died 9/20/2016 at age 104. First accused publicly in March 2021 lawsuit. Suit alleged that in 1976, when he was Newark archbishop, Gerety sexually assaulted a girl, age 5, on 3-4 different occasions in his bedroom in rectory of the Newark cathedral. According to a victims’ attorney cited in a May 2021 article, this was not the first allegation of sexual abuse against Gerety: in 2019, a man told the Newark archdiocese that Gerety had sexually abused him decades earlier.

Bishop Edward Grosz
Auxiliary bishop of Buffalo NY 1990-2020. Resignation accepted by Pope 3/2/2020, two weeks after Grosz turned 75. Along with diocese, Bishop Malone, and Bishop Scharfenberger, he was sued 11/23/2020 by NY Attorney General for failures to investigate, document, and monitor accused priests. Accused in a 7/12/2021 lawsuit of ‘forcibly touching‘ a 15-year-old boy in 1990, following the child’s confirmation Mass. The victim also alleged sexual abuse by Fr. Richard Keppeler. Grosz denied the allegation but voluntarily stepped aside from active ministry, pending a Vos Estis Lux Mundi investigation.

Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone
Bishop of Charleston SC 2009-2022. 

Accused in a lawsuit filed August 2019 in New York of sexually abusing a young boy in the 1970s when he was a priest at St. Martin of Tours church in Amityville NY (Rockville Centre diocese). Guglielmone denied the allegation, saying it has “no merit whatsoever.” On 12/6/2020, Guglielmone announced that based on a preliminary investigation by the diocese of Rockville Centre, the Vatican had found that the allegation had “no semblance of truth” and thus was “unfounded.” Guglielmone retired in February 2022 at age 76. As of April 2024, the lawsuit remained pending; civil proceedings froze when the Rockville Centre diocese filed for bankruptcy in October 2020.

Bishop Timothy J. Harrington
Worcester MA bishop 1983-1994. Died 1997. Accused 2005 of sexual abuse of boy from ages 11 to 15 in the 1950s.

Bishop Joseph H. Hart
Auxiliary bishop of Cheyenne WY 1976-1978; bishop of Cheyenne 1978-2001. Resigned as Cheyenne bishop per canon 401.2 on 9/26/2001, his 70th birthday.  Died 8/23/2023.

Hart by some reports was accused of sexually assaulting at least 18 children; 12 victims have come forward in the Kansas City-St. Joseph MO diocese, and six in the Cheyenne diocese. Both dioceses deemed the allegations to be credible or substantiated. Despite this evidence, Hart was not criminally charged, and in January 2021, the CDF found him not guilty of child sexual abuse in the 14 cases they considered.

For his first 20 years as a priest, from 1956 to 1976, Hart worked in the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese. In 2002, a KC newspaper revealed Hart was reported to that diocese in 1989 and 1992 for child molestation in the 1970s. In 1976, he left KC to become auxiliary bishop and then bishop of Cheyenne. In 2001, a victim whom Hart allegedly abused in 1978, after he had become Cheyenne bishop, reported his abuse to the Cheyenne Police Department. The police and local DA investigated and pronounced the allegation to be “without merit.” Sixteen years later, in July 2018, Cheyenne bishop Steven Biegler announced that a new internal investigation launched the previous December had found Hart “credibly accused” of sexually assaulting two boys, including the victim discredited by law enforcement in 2002. The KC-St. Joseph diocese then acknowledged that its abuse settlements in 2008 and 2014 had included 10 KC victims of Hart. In August 2018, Cheyenne police re-opened their 2001-2002 investigation, and the Cheyenne diocese said it had heard from a third credible WY victim. In August 2019, Cheyenne police indicated that they were recommending that Hart be criminally charged. In September 2019, the diocese disclosed “credible and substantiated” allegations by three additional victims, bringing the reported victim count in Wyoming to six. In July 2020, prosecutors in Natrona County WY closed their case against Hart without filing charges, rejecting the recommendation of Cheyenne police.

On 1/25/2021, the Cheyenne diocese announced the CDF’s ruling on Hart. Regarding his alleged assaults of 12 victims who were under age 16 (11 boys and one girl) : the CDF “exonerated” Hart of seven accusations and said five others “could not be proven with moral certitude.” A 13th case was not addressed, the diocesan announcement said. Two other cases, involving victims age 16 and 17, were dismissed because at the time of the abuse, the victims were not deemed minors under canon law. The CDF ruling was a “canonical rebuke,” citing Hart for his “flagrant lack of prudence” in being alone with minors and ignoring restrictions. Those restrictions — no contact with minors and seminarians, and no public engagements — remain in place. Responding to the ruling, Bishop Biegler of Cheyenne reiterated his belief in the credibility of Hart’s victims, and Bishop Johnston of KC-St. Joseph stated that Hart remains on his diocese’s list of priests with substantiated allegations. Hart remained bishop emeritus of Cheyenne until his death at age 91 on 8/23/2023.

Bishop Howard J. Hubbard
Albany bishop 1977-2014. Retired on 2/11/2014 at age 75. Died 8/19/2023.

Hubbard was accused publicly of sexually abusing one young adult and at least nine children.

Allegations against Hubbard first surfaced in February 2004: he was accused of paying a teen under age 18 for sex on two occasions in the 1970s, and having a sexual relationship with a young adult male who took his own life in 1978, leaving a note citing his abuse by “Howard” as the reason for his suicide. Hubbard denied allegations, saying he had not violated celibacy. He hired his own investigator, who issued a report in June 2004 saying there was “no credible evidence” of wrongdoing.

Hubbard retired as Albany bishop in February 2014 at the standard retirement age of 75. [The summary of the allegations against Hubbard continues here.]

Bishop John J. Jenik
Appointed auxiliary bishop of New York archdiocese 2014.  A 10/29/2018 announcement by Cardinal Dolan revealed a “credible and substantiated” allegation that Jenik had sexually abused a minor. Victim described inappropriate relationship 1980-1986, beginning in his early teens. Jenik denied the abuse. Included on NY archdiocese’s list of credibly accused priests. Removed from public ministry pending a Vatican review. Resignation at standard retirement age of 75 announced 10/10/2019 without comment by Vatican. Lawsuit filed August 2020 accused Jenik of “trafficking” boy, age 14, to a school tutor known to molest children.

Bishop Peter A. Libasci
Auxiliary bishop of Rockville Centre NY 2007-2011; bishop of Manchester NH 2011-Present. Accused of child sexual abuse in lawsuit filed 7/14/2021 in Suffolk County NY court. Alleged abuse occurred on “numerous occasions” in 1983-1984, when Libasci was pastor of Sts. Cyril and Methodius parish, Deer Park NY. Victim was an altar boy, ages 12-13. The alleged abuse included but was not limited to the then-priest’s fondling and groping of boy’s genitals. Libasci denies the allegation.

Bishop Robert N. Lynch
Bishop of St. Petersburg FL 1996-2016. Denied 2001 accusation of sexual harassment by diocesan communications director. Church paid accuser $100K; bishop said it was severance, not hush money. Accuser’s lawyer said there was “unwanted touching” but no “overt sexual actions.” Retired age 76 in 2016. Remains emeritus bishop.

Bishop Thomas W. Lyons
Auxiliary bishop Washington D.C. 1974-1988. Died 3/25/1988, age 64. In 2007 or 2008 SOL legislative reform hearing, victim told DC City Council that he had been raped as a ten-year-old in 1965 by then-Msgr. Lyons. In 2008, Richard Sipe went public with allegation of another victim, who was sexually abused by Lyons from ages seven to 17. Washington DC archdiocese included Lyons on its 10/15/2018 list of “credibly accused” clergy, noting that the archdiocese had received report in 2002.

Bishop Eugene A. Marino, S.S.J.
Resigned 1990, age 56, as Atlanta GA archbishop. Woman, age 27, soon went public regarding two-year sexual relationship with Marino, which he acknowledged. He remained archbishop emeritus. Died 2000.

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick
Auxiliary bishop of New York archdiocese 1977-1981; bishop of Metuchen NJ 1982-1986; archbishop of Newark NJ 1986-2000; elevated to cardinal 2001; archbishop of Washington D.C. 2001-2006.

Stripped of his clerical status on 2/13/2019, becoming the first cardinal to be laicized for sex crimes. As of December 2022, McCarrick had been publicly accused of sexually abusing an estimated 14 minors in New York and New Jersey [see list] and of sexually abusing and/or harassing at least eight seminarians and priests of the Metuchen diocese and Newark archdiocese.

[Our summary of the allegations against McCarrick continues here.]

Bishop James Francis McCarthy
Resigned 2002, age 59, after admitting to sexual involvement with adult women. Remains New York NY auxiliary bishop emeritus.

Bishop John R. McGann
Rockville Centre NY auxiliary bishop 1970-1976 and bishop 1976-2000. Died 2002. Accused of child sexual abuse by three individuals. Allegations first made public in February 2019 news conference. Two women described a party in the rectory of St. Agnes church, Rockville Centre, in 1967, when they were age 11. Then-Msgr. McGann and other priests were sitting around a table, and allegedly passed the girls from lap to lap, fondling them. The two filed individual lawsuits (see complaints 1 and 2) on 10/22/2019, with one victim citing 15 alleged incidents of abuse by McGann 1966-1971, when she was ages 10 to 15. A third complaint, also filed 10/22/2019 (see complaint), described McGann’s alleged sexual abuse of a boy on four occasions, starting in 1963 when the boy was 10.

Cardinal Humberto S. Medeiros
Boston MA archbishop 1970-1983. Died 1983. Accused 2002 of sexually abusing 14-year-old boy in 1979. Accuser said Medeiros touched his groin while giving him a “bear hug” in the archdiocesan chancery, where he was allegedly molested the same evening by vice-chancellor Rev. Fred Ryan.

Bishop-Elect Michel J. Mulloy
Appointed bishop of Duluth MN 6/19/2020. Resignation announced by Vatican 9/7/2020, before Mulloy could be installed. In a statement, the Rapid City SD diocese said it had received an allegation on 8/7/2020 that Mulloy had abused a minor in the early 1980s and that the “accusation met the standard of Canon Law for further investigation.” See also the statement by the diocese of Duluth. A priest of Rapid City since 1986, Mulloy served the diocese in several leadership roles, including vicar general, vicar for clergy, and interim diocesan administrator. As of 4/8/2021, he was not included in the Rapid City diocese’s online list of accused clerics.

Archbishop John C. Nienstedt
Auxiliary bishop of Detroit MI 1996-2001; bishop of New Ulm MN 2001-2007; coadjutor archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis MN 2007-2008; archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis 2008-2015. Resigned 6/15/2015 at age 68.

Stepped aside from duties December 2013 after allegation of inappropriately touching boy’s buttocks in 2009. Called allegation “entirely false.” Resumed duties March 2014 after prosecutor announced no charges due to insufficient evidence. Internal investigation of alleged misconduct toward adults revealed July 2014. It reportedly found Nienstedt made “sexual advances” toward two priests. Nienstedt kept findings secret and, according to MPR report , authorized new investigation by second law firm. Resigned June 2015, per 401.2, soon after archdiocese was charged criminally for contributing to child sex abuse. A December 2018 public letter by Archbishop Hebda, Nienstedt’s successor, revealed additional allegation: As New Ulm bishop in 2005, Nienstedt allegedly invited two minors to his hotel room in Germany, undressed in front of them, and invited them to do the same. [See redacted account in prosecutor’s affidavit, pp. 56-57.] Although Nienstedt denied incident, Hebda barred him from public ministry in Twin Cities. Article 3/23/2020 revealed that Vatican had yet to respond to Hebda’s mid-2019 request to investigate Nienstedt under Vos estis lux mundi. In May 2021, NCR reported that a Vos estis investigation of Nienstedt was underway, according to the court-appointed ombudsperson with the Saint Paul and Minneapolis archdiocese.

On 1/5/2024, Archbishop Hebda announced the Vatican’s judgment in the Vos estis case against Nienstedt. He said that the Dicasteries for Bishops and for the Doctrine of the Faith had concluded that Nienstedt had not committed any canonical crime and that the allegations against him were therefore “deemed unfounded.”

However, Hebda said, the Vatican did find “several instances” of “imprudent” actions, and that the Pope therefore had ordered the following “administrative” (i.e., not penal) restrictions on his area of residence and his ministry:

  • He is not allowed to exercise any public ministries in the Province of Saint Paul and Minneapolis (the Province covers all of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota).
  • He may not reside in the Province of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.
  • He may not exercise ministry in any way outside of his diocese of residence without the express authorization of the attendant Ordinary and only after the Dicastery for Bishops has been informed.

In a statement released almost immediately, Nienstedt responded: “I have asked the Holy See, through my canonical advocate, to clarify the ‘imprudent’ actions I allegedly committed while in Minnesota.”

He remains Saint Paul and Minneapolis MN archbishop emeritus.

Bishop Thomas J. O’Brien
Bishop of Phoenix AZ diocese 1982-2003. Admitted in June 2003 to covering up child sexual abuse in his diocese. Arrested days later on charges related to a fatal hit-and-run auto accident, triggering his resignation at age 67. Convicted in that case and sentenced to probation and community service. Accused in lawsuit first filed in 2016 of repeated sexual abuse of a boy in Arizona when the boy was in 2nd to 5th grades 1977-1982. Alleged abuse involved oral sex. O’Brien denied the allegations. Remained Phoenix AZ bishop emeritus until his death on 8/26/2018.

Bishop Anthony J. O’Connell
Bishop of Knoxville TN 1988-1998; bishop of Palm Beach FL 1998-2002. Admitted 2002 to 1970s sexual abuse of Missouri high school seminary student. Resigned immediately as Palm Beach FL bishop per canon 401.2, age 63. Numerous former students alleged abuse. Not charged. Remained bishop emeritus until his death in 2012.

Bishop James S. Rausch
Phoenix AZ bishop 1977-1981. Died 1981. Boston Globe article on 8/20/2002 revealed allegation that Rausch had sexually abused a 17-year-old boy in Tucson in 1979 and then passed him on to two other priests, who also abused him.

Bishop George E. Rueger
Auxiliary bishop of Worcester MA diocese 1987-2005. Accused in 2002 lawsuit of rape and sexual abuse of boy age 13-14 in early 1960s. Denied allegation. Not charged. Alleged victim withdrew suit 2003, saying he had been told to do so by MA state police trooper. Rueger retired at standard retirement age of 75. Retained title of auxiliary bishop emeritus. Died 4/6/2019.

Archbishop Paul Fitzpatrick Russell
Ordained archbishop 2016. Apostolic nuncio to Turkey and Turkmenistan, 2016-2021; apostolic nuncio to Azerbaijan 2018-2021; installed as auxiliary bishop of Detroit on 7/7/2022. Lawsuit filed 8/1/2022 accused Russell of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy in 1989-1990 at St. Mary of the Sacred Heart parish in Lynn MA. Boy was volunteering at the St. Mary’s food bank when he met Russell, then a Boston archdiocesan priest assigned to St. Mary’s. Alleged assaults occurred approximately 25 times and included genital fondling, mutual masturbation, forced oral copulation, and anal penetration. A statement by the Detroit archdiocese said that Russell finds the claims to be “without merit” but is refraining from all public ministry until further directed by the Holy See.

Bishop Daniel L. Ryan
Bishop of Springfield IL diocese 1984-1999. Resigned 10/19/1999, age 69, ten days before publicized lawsuit cited his hiring of male prostitutes. News 2002 that he solicited sex from boy, age 15, in 1984, and sexually abused another, age 16-17. Not charged, due to SOL. Internal diocesan study 2006 confirmed Ryan’s misconduct with adults and said he fostered a “culture of secrecy” that discouraged reports of abuse. Remained Springfield IL bishop emeritus until he died in 2015. Named in diocesan list of substantiated cases of sexual abuse of a minor by clergy, published by Bishop Paprocki in late 2018. Added to Joliet IL diocesan list in December 2019.

Bishop Alexander Salazar
Appointed auxiliary bishop Los Angeles 2004. Alleged ‘misconduct with minor’ first made public December 2018, after Vatican announced Pope had accepted Salazar’s resignation. However, archdiocese had known of allegation at least since 2005, according to 12/19/2018 public letter by Archbishop Gomez. Incident(s) occurred from around 1991 to 1997, when Salazar was a parish priest. In letter, Gomez said he had reported case to CDF, which “imposed certain precautionary measures.” Yet the public record shows Salazar in seemingly unrestricted bishop mode for years after archdiocese knew of allegation. See examples of his public appearances in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 (1, 2), and 2017. Archbishop said review board found allegation “credible.” Salazar has “no faculties to minister.” He denies wrongdoing.

Archbishop Robert F. Sanchez
Resigned 1993, age 59, after accused of sexual contact with at least 5 women; some were ages 18 and 19. Stayed in ministry. Remained Santa Fe NM archbishop emeritus. Died 2012.

Bishop Guy Sansaricq
Auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn 2006-2010. Retired 2010, age 76. Accused of child sexual abuse in a civil complaint filed October 2019 under the Child Victims Act in New York. Victim was approximately ages 7-10 in 1993-1996, a student at St. Jerome’s School in Brooklyn, when Sansaricq allegedly molested him. Sansaricq died 8/21/2021.

Bishop William S. Skylstad
Spokane WA bishop 1990-2010. Accused 2005 of 1961-64 sexual abuse of girl under age 18. Skylstad denied the accusation, and investigator hired by him found no truth in the claim. Retired 2010, age 76. Worked 2011-2012 as apostolic administrator in Baker OR diocese. Spokane WA bishop emeritus.

Bishop Lawrence D. Soens
Bishop of Sioux City IA diocese 1983-1998. Resigned 1998, age 72. Accused publicly 2000s of ‘sadistic’ sexual abuse of 31 teen boys beginning late 1950s. Found guilty by 2008 review board. Not charged. Included in Davenport IA diocesan list of credibly accused clergy. Not included in the Sioux City diocesan list. In May 2009, twelve victims of Soens dropped their lawsuits against him, reportedly in order to free up the church to discipline him. He retained title of Sioux City IA bishop emeritus. Died 11/1/2021.

Cardinal Francis Joseph Spellman
New York NY archbishop 1939-1967. Accused in a February 2019 article of having groped a West Point cadet repeatedly during an interview for the school’s magazine in 1967, in the presence of a monsignor and two other cadets. The monsignor allegedly was standing behind Spellman, and each time the Cardinal slid his hand up the cadet’s thigh toward his crotch, the monsignor would stop the Cardinal by grabbing his wrist and whispering such things as, “Now, now, eminence.” Spellman’s accuser said that each time he was groped, then stopped, Spellman would take from a drawer a tie clasp, key chain, or gold-plated tie tack, which he would then give him. Spellman died in December 1967.

Bishop James S. Sullivan
Lansing MI auxiliary bishop 1972-1985; Fargo ND bishop 1985-2002. Resigned March 2002 at age 72, per canon 401.2. Reported reason was Alzheimer’s. Accused publicly three months later, in June 2002, of fondling a boy, age 16, in Michigan in 1966. Denied accusation. Charges not pursued due to SOL. Remained Fargo ND bishop emeritus. Died 2006. On 7/2/2021, Lansing diocese announced that two other allegations against Sullivan had been deemed credible. He sexually abused a 12-year-old boy in 1964, and an 11- or 12-year-old boy in 1966. Both children were abused at Lansing’s Church of the Resurrection parish, where then-Father Sullivan resided. Sullivan was added to the accused clergy lists of both the Lansing and Fargo dioceses.

Bishop Joseph Michael Sullivan
Auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn 1980-2005. Died 6/7/2013. Accused of sexually abusing a minor in a civil complaint filed under the Child Victims Act in New York. Alleged abuse occurred in 1982. Source: Dashboard of NY CVA complaints, Jeff Anderson & Associates.

Bishop Joseph V. Sullivan
Baton Rouge LA bishop 1974-1982. Died 1982. Accused in 2000s of sexual abuse of three teen boys, 1969-1982. In 2004, Baton Rouge bishop Robert Muench called claims credible, removed Sullivan’s name from high school.

Bishop Joseph Keith Symons
Auxiliary bishop of St. Petersburg FL 1981-1983; bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee FL 1983-1990; bishop of Palm Beach FL 1990-1998. Admitted 1995 to past sexual abuse of boy. Stayed in ministry. Remained Palm Beach FL bishop. Resigned 1998, age 65, after another victim emerged. Admitted to abuse of 5 boys. Not charged. Found in ministry 1999 in Lansing MI diocese. Bishop emeritus.

Bishop Austin B. Vaughan
Auxiliary bishop NY archdiocese 1977-2000. Died 2000. Accused November 2019 of sexually abusing a boy during 1979-1984 at St. Patrick’s in Newburgh NY, where Vaughan was pastor. Victim allegedly was also abused by Rev. Donald J. Whelan, another priest at the parish.

Archbishop Rembert George Weakland, O.S.B.
Archbishop of Milwaukee 1977-2002. Resigned in 2002 immediately after news of $450K payment in 1998 to silence man accusing him of sexual assault when man was 32. Weakland had just turned 75, and resignation was accepted per canon 401.1 — the age-75 rule applying to bishops in standard situations. Weakland denied abuse but admitted to sexual relationship. Remained Milwaukee WI archbishop emeritus, residing in PA monastery. Died 8/22/2022.

Bishop Christopher J. Weldon
Bishop of Springfield MA bishop 1950-1977 (see Weldon’s complete assignment history). Resigned 1977, at age 72, reportedly for reasons of health. Died 1982.

Accused of sexually abusing at least three minors. In 2019, a retired judge hired by the diocese to investigate its response to a Weldon victim found the victim’s devastating account of abuse by Weldon to be “unequivocally credible.” [Click here to see a detailed summary of the allegations against Weldon.]

Bishop Lawrence Harold Welsh
News in 2002 of police investigation 1986 alleging he had choked male prostitute during sex. Welsh admitted to most of accusation, except “amount of violence.” No charges filed. Resigned as Spokane bishop 1990 after drunk driving arrest. Appointed Saint Paul and Minneapolis auxiliary bishop 1991. Died 1999.

Bishop J. Kendrick Williams
Appointed founding bishop Lexington KY diocese 1988.  Resigned age 65 in 2002, per canon 401.2, after accused of sexual abuse of two boys, 1969 and 1981, and young adult late 1980s. Denied abusing anyone. Included in Louisville archdiocese’s February 2019 Religious Order Priests and Others list of accused clergy and in Lexington diocese’s list, released August 2020. Both sources said his case had been referred to the Vatican. According to Lexington list, bishop was accused of “sexual misconduct with minors in Louisville; a civil suit was filed by both individuals and the cases were settled as part of a large class action.” Williams remains Lexington KY bishop emeritus.

Bishop G. Patrick Ziemann
Auxiliary bishop Los Angeles 1986-1992; bishop Santa Rosa 1992-1999. Forced to resign 1999 at age 57 after allegation by younger priest of coercing sex. Accused early 2000s of sexual abuse of three boys in 1960s and ’70s. Remained Santa Rosa CA bishop emeritus. Died 2009.

URUGUAY

Bishop Francisco Domingo Barbosa Da Silveira
Resigned age 65 in 2009, per canon 401.2, after he filed extortion complaint revealing his sexual relations with two men. Remained Minas bishop emeritus. Died 2015.

WALES

Archbishop John Aloysius Ward, O.F.M. Cap.
Coadjutor bishop and bishop of Menevia 1980-1981; archbishop of Cardiff 1983-2001. Arrested 1999 for alleged assault of girl, age 7, in 1960-61. Not charged. Said he was falsely accused. Resigned 2001 at age 72, per canon 401.2, after outcry at his mishandling of two abusive priests. Remained Cardiff archbishop emeritus. Died 2007.

___________________________

* assigned in more than one country during his career

Note: Inclusion in this list does not imply that individuals facing allegations are guilty of a crime or liable for civil claims. The reports contained in this list are merely allegations. The U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements.

We have excluded from the list the following allegations against bishops in the United States which were subsequently recanted or demonstrated to be incorrect: two allegations in 1992 against Bishop Gerald F. O’Keefe 1 2 (Davenport, Iowa); two allegations in 2002 against Cardinal Roger M. Mahony 3 4 5 (Los Angeles, California); and an allegation in 2002 against Cardinal Edward M. Egan 6 (New York, New York).

This page was last updated July 23, 2024.