Additional Accusation Surface against Anchorage Priest
Roman Catholic Diocese of Anchorage
February 27, 2013
Process underway to remove J. Michael Hornick from priesthood
Two new accusations of inappropriate physical relationships have surfaced in regards to J. Michael Hornick, a priest of the Anchorage Archdiocese. Hornick was suspended from all priestly duties in 2011 for similar accusations with three separate women.
The new allegations, from two adult women, accuse Hornick of inappropriate behavior when the alleged victims were minors.
Following the Anchorage Archdiocese’s protocols for the protection of children and vulnerable adults, the Anchorage Police Department was immediately contacted in both cases.
The process to permanently prohibit Hornick from practicing as a priest will begin through an internal church court.
According to a statement released Feb. 26 by the Anchorage Archdiocese, the latest accusations against Hornick were reported to the Holy See in Rome in April of 2012.
Upon being notified of the new accusations, the Vatican-based Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith approved the start of an “administrative penal procedure” which allows for an expedited church trial in which Hornick could be removed from all priestly duties.
The Vatican also removed the canonical statues of limitation for the new accusations.
“It is our hope that this matter be resolved as soon as possible,” the Feb. 26 statement from the archdiocese added.
The three previous claims against Father Hornick did not result in accusations or charges of criminal misconduct, but rather boundary violations with adult women, according to Anchorage Archdiocese Judicial Vicar Father Thomas Brundage.
The first accusation was reported in 1997. At that time, Hornick was sent to a treatment facility. The second complaint surfaced in July of 2009, when he was accused of inappropriate behavior in a counseling situation.
After an internal investigation, Hornick was placed in retirement in 2009 with restricted faculties.
The third complaint, however, surfaced in December 2010 and Hornick was immediately suspended of all priestly ministries, which means he could no longer identify himself as a priest or wear priestly clothing and has no faculties to celebrate any sacraments.
The church court is expected to issue a ruling regarding Hornick later this year. At that time, if he is laicized, he would lose all rights and obligations of the clerical state.
Anyone who may have been harmed by J. Michael Hornick, or any other church personnel, can contact the authorities listed below:
Anchorage Police Department 907-786-8500 or local law enforcement
Archdiocese Victim’s Assistance Coordinator 907-297-7786
STAR (Standing Together Against Rape) 800-478-8999
Contact person for the Archdiocese of Anchorage is Fr. Thomas Brundage (907) 694-2170, ext 202) or firstname.lastname@example.org.