Phx. Diocese May Kick in $200,000 for Tucson

By Stephanie Innes
Arizona Daily Star [Tucson AZ]
January 11, 2006

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix is expected to contribute $200,000 to the Diocese of Tucson's bankruptcy settlement fund.

Federal Bankruptcy Judge James M. Marlar on Tuesday set a hearing for Feb. 7, when the agreement with the Phoenix diocese should be approved.

Until 1969, churches in the Diocese of Phoenix were part of the Diocese of Tucson. Several of the cases involving sexual abuse of children by priests that were settled under the Tucson Diocese's bankruptcy plan were alleged to have occurred before 1969 and named churches and priests in Phoenix. The contribution from Phoenix would be added to the $22.2 million bankruptcy settlement trust.

Thomas A. Groom, head of the tort creditors committee in the bankruptcy case, said the Phoenix settlement will take care of pending legal actions.

Groom says he was sexually abused by the Rev. Robert Gluch at a church in Phoenix in the 1960s. He received $425,000 minus legal fees as part of the bankruptcy settlement, which also settled a lawsuit he'd filed against the Tucson diocese in 2002. That same suit named the Diocese of Phoenix as a defendant. Gluch died in 1993.

"In my point of view, it makes sense. . . . Now that they are settling, we won't have to go through the rigmarole of suing again," Groom said.

Another addition to the settlement fund will be $10,000 from the Marianist Province of the United States - an amount Marlar also approved Tuesday.

The Marianist Province includes the Society of Mary order, to which the Rev. Thomas P. Purcell belonged during the early 1980s, when he sexually abused a 13-year-old South Tucson boy. Purcell is serving a 9 1/2-year prison sentence.

• Contact reporter Stephanie Innes at 573-4134 or at


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