Update: Ex-Gonzaga Priest Removed from Ministry Faces 5 More Sexual Misconduct Complaints

By Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post [Maryland]
March 18, 2007

he Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus has received five new complaints about a Jesuit priest who was removed from the ministry last year because of sexual misconduct.

The new complaints have come since Jan. 29, when Jesuit officials sent hundreds of letters to people who had been around the Rev. H. Cornell Bradley -- a former administrator and teacher at Gonzaga College High School, province spokeswoman Kate Pipkin said. Former students, colleagues and parishioners are among those who received the letter.

Bradley was removed from the ministry in January 2006 after the province found "credible" evidence of sexual misconduct involving an adult male in the 1980s, according to the letter. But after receiving another complaint late last year of sexual misconduct involving a minor from 1973, the province put out the letter to elicit any unknown complaints about him. Bradley said he was "unable to deny the allegations" from 1973, according to the letter.

Bradley had faced three other allegations in the early 1990s -- two unproved involving minors, and one involving an adult woman -- and was sent to residential psychiatric treatment for several months. Health-care workers at the time told the province that he was fit to return to ministry.

Bradley could not be reached for comment, and Pipkin said his superiors have instructed him not to speak to the media. He is under supervision at a Jesuit residence, she said.

Three of the new complaints involve people who were students in the 1960s and 1970s at Gonzaga, Pipkin said. One alleged that Bradley had inappropriately touched a 14-year-old student; the other two involved "inappropriate [sexual] verbal comments," she said.

The other two new complaints accuse Bradley of comments and involve a student and a staff member at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. Bradley worked there as campus minister and basketball team chaplain from 1995 to January 2006.

When the province asked him about the five new allegations, Pipkin said, Bradley replied that he "cannot remember."

"He has admitted to the relationships that involved adults but not to anything to do with minors. He has either denied it or stated he can't recall."

The priest, who was ordained in 1969, is in the process of leaving the Jesuit order. That should take a few months, Pipkin said.

Bradley worked twice at Gonzaga, as a math teacher in the 1960s and as an assistant principal and religion teacher in the 1970s.

The province has acknowledged making several mistakes in Bradley's case. Officials should not have returned him to the ministry after the initial three complaints in the early 1990s. "Today, we're more on the one-strike thinking," Pipkin said. Officials have also expressed regret for not telling the St. Joseph's staff about Bradley's history until last year.


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