1 Case Reported; Accuser Was 16

Star-Telegram [Fort Worth TX]
November 29, 2006

[See related articles on the Fort Worth files, and the accused priests Hoover, Howlett, Magaldi, Reilly, and Renterķa. See also the documents on which this series is based, with links to assignment records and background information.]

The Rev. James Bernard Hanlon

Ordained: June 6, 1981

Died: Feb. 17, 1990

Assignments: St. Michael, Bedford; Holy Family, Fort Worth; St. John the Apostle, North Richland Hills; St. Maria Goretti, Arlington; St. Patrick, Fort Worth; St. Rita et al., Ranger; medical leave, 1989

The diocese learned in 1989 that the Rev. James Hanlon had been diagnosed as HIV positive. The files indicate that diocese officials did not know about the diagnosis until he was no longer in active ministry. Cirrhosis of the liver, not HIV or AIDS, was cited as a factor in his death, according to the files and his death certificate.

Hanlon was accused of a single incident of abuse in December 1982 or January 1983 by a man who said he was 16 at the time. Diocese records show that Hanlon was serving in Bedford then but that the incident was alleged to have taken place in the Holy Family rectory in Fort Worth. Hanlon's accuser was paid about $12,500 in an out-of-court settlement in 1997 after accepting a confidentiality agreement. Five years later, the man called the diocese, weeping. He was judged by diocese leaders to be intoxicated. In a 2002 conversation with Bishop Delaney, the man said his family would be better off if he were dead. "He blames all his present difficulties on that moment" of alleged abuse, Delaney wrote.

* * *

About This Report

In addition to court documents, this report draws on previous Star-Telegram coverage of sexual abuse cases involving the diocese; lawsuits; and interviews. Darren Barbee of the Star-Telegram investigative staff was the lead writer. Contact him at 817-390-7126 or Staff writer Max B. Baker and others also contributed.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.