Catholic Diocese of Phoenix Names Clergy Pervs on Revamped Website

By Adele Hampton
Phoenix New Times
June 15, 2011

The Catholic Diocese of Phoenix has researched and cataloged an index of its clergymen accused of sexually abusing kids and now has released some of their identities to the public.

Spearheaded by Bishop Thomas Olmsted, the Diocese is putting out a list of sexually abusive clergymen on its newly revamped website. The unholier-than-thou inventory of pervert priests, friars, deacons, and even a bishop is meant to shed light on the abuse administered by the church over the years.

Even though there are only six names on the unfinished list, dubbed Community Notification Statements, the mere fact that it exists is a small step in the right direction.

"It's the right thing to do and I've got to give them that much," Joe Baca, Phoenix director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests tells New Times. "They need to use these names to help victims to come forward." But you know, there's still more they can do."

Once completed the Diocese will be one of 25 to aknowledge members of its own clergy as sex offenders. There are 195 Catholic dioceses in the United States.

A screenshot of the Community Notification Statements

"Maintaining a list of convicted offenders on the web is consistent with this bishop's active approach in dealing with reports of priestly misconduct," said Andrew Ellison, editor of Catholic Phoenix, a blog dedicated to Catholic news and preachings in the Valley. "I applaud Bishop Olmsted and his people for using modern media to demonstrate their vigilance to the faithful and the community at large."

The formation of the list comes the week of the conference of U.S. Catholic Bishops in Seattle, where revisions of the Church's abuse policies will be on the agenda.

Arizona has a long and shadowed history of sexual abuse by clergymen dating back to the 1920s. But as the perception of sex and sex abuse moves to the forefront of social consciousness, the trend of reported abuse cases is expected to rise.

"It's not taboo to talk about [sexual abuse] anymore," Baca, who as a child was sexually abused by a priest in the late 1960s and early '70s, says. "I mean, we're out in 2011. We just want the truth out, but the church refuses to do anything. We were children; we should have never been abused from the start."

The six Phoenix clergymen named are:

* Former priest Louis Ladenburger, who was arrested in Idaho in 2007 for molesting two teenage boys. He was a priest in Phoenix in the mid- '60s and early '90s.

* Friar Jorge Cordova, who was booked in 2007 for molesting a 13-year-old girl from 1992 to 1993.

* Former Jesuit priest Donald J. McGuire, convicted of two counts of engaging in sexual acts with a minor from 2000 to 2002.

* Friar Loren Riebe, accused in 2008 of having "misconduct with minors," according to the Diocese.

* Deacon Maxwell Rollin (Ron) Pelton, charged in 2009 with several counts of sexual abuse of a minor. Pelton retired in 2000 and is not active in the church.

* Former priest Dale Fushek, who last year was dismissed from the priesthood by the Vatican after a police investigation. .


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