Priest with N.O. Ties Suspended
Texas Abuse Allegation Follows Him to Calif.

April 24, 2002

A Jesuit priest who ran Manresa Retreat House in Convent, and before that taught at Jesuit High School in New Orleans, has been suspended from his job in California after being accused of molesting a minor 24 years ago in Texas.

The Rev. Thomas Naughton, 68, was relieved of duties at St. Kilina Church in Mission Viejo on April 5 after his Jesuit superiors informed archdiocesan officials in California of the accusation.

The Rev. Philip Postell, president of Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas, told the Orange County Register last week that a man went to the school and made a complaint against Naughton, who was president there from 1973 to 1978.

Postell said he did not know details of the case but told the Register "my impression is it was a student in his earlier years, a freshman or a sophomore. It seemed to me that it was a one-time" incident.

Naughton taught at Jesuit High School while studying for the priesthood in New Orleans in the early 1960s. For several years in the 1980s, he ran the Jesuits' Manresa Retreat House, where several thousand men from South Louisiana and beyond go for silent, weekend retreats.

Naughton also worked at Jesuit secondary schools in Tampa, Fla., and El Paso, Texas.

In 1984, the Dallas school's foundation chose him as man of the year. He reportedly moved to California in 1995 to care for his ailing mother.

There was some indication that Naughton served in one or more New Orleans parishes, but Jesuit officials were not available to confirm that Tuesday night.

The order's New Orleans province also announced that a Jesuit priest in Florida has been relieved of his duties at Jesuit High School in Tampa based on an allegation of sexual misconduct 17 years ago with a minor in Texas.

The Rev. Vincent Orlando was removed Monday after the order learned of the 1985 complaint, made while Orlando was on the faculty of Strake Jesuit College Preparatory School in Houston, said the Rev. Tom Stahel, assistant to the provincial of the order in New Orleans. Stahel said the accuser was not a student and the alleged incident did not occur on school grounds.

Last week, New Orleans Archbishop Alfred Hughes disclosed that he suspended the Rev. Charles G. Goyle, a Jesuit priest who has been accused of molesting a youth about 30 years ago while Goyle was stationed in Massachusetts. Goyle was suspended April 4.


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