2 More Priests Accused of Abuse

By Thomas Stauffer
Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)
September 30, 2002

Allegations date to '60s; 1 cleric is 70, 1 is dead

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson announced yesterday that two more priests have been accused of sexual misconduct involving minors.

The announcement brings to 18 the number of priests in the Tucson Diocese identified by credible allegations of sexual misconduct.

Bishop Manuel D. Moreno identified the priests as the Rev. Floyd G. Stromberg, 70, and the late Rev. John P. Doran in a letter sent to 13 parishes over the weekend, said diocese spokesman Fred Allison.

"Clearly, continuing allegations of sexual misconduct from within the Church are sources of anger, sadness and pain, but please take heart that in our Diocese, we have set a new course in the aftermath of these tragic and troubling matters," Moreno's letter read.

The allegations stem from incidents that occurred in 1963 and 1966 at churches in Phoenix, which was part of the Tucson Diocese until 1969, Allison said.

But both priests also worked at parishes in Tucson.

Stromberg was immediately suspended from the ministry in July after he confirmed the credibility of the information from a 1966 allegation that surfaced in June, Allison said.

"The reason it was not announced until now was that the information of the allegation was in a form that the diocese needed to verify with law enforcement, even though it dated to some 30-plus years ago," he said.

Stromberg, who was ordained as a priest in 1959, served at eight churches, including five in Tucson: St. Augustine Cathedral (1959- 60), St. Ambrose Parish (1966-68), St. Francis Cabrini Parish (1968- 70 and 1982-83), Our Mother of Sorrows Parish (1983-87), and Our Lady Queen of All Saints (1987-2002).

He was serving at St. Gregory Parish in Phoenix at the time of the allegation, Allison said.

A press release issued by the diocese indicates that Stromberg worked at three parishes the year of the allegation: St. Gregory in Phoenix, St. Francis of Assisi in Superior, and St. Ambrose in Tucson.

"As far as we know, this allegation does not involve a parishioner or any parishioners, and relates to service in the Phoenix parish," he said.

Moreno's letter said the diocese is not aware of any other allegation of sexual misconduct involving Stromberg.

Doran, who died in 1997 at age 79, served at five diocese churches, including St. Augustine Cathedral in Tucson (1947-48). He retired in 1990, Allison said.

Doran's death wouldn't stop the church from reporting the allegation against him, Allison said.

"The same concerns exist whether the person accused is alive or dead, and those are the concerns of the victims," he said.

The allegation against Doran dates to 1963, when he was serving at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Phoenix.

"I'm not able to answer if the allegation against Doran involved a parishioner at this time," Allison said. "But the diocese is aware of another potential allegation in his case that would have been at approximately the same time period."

Moreno's letter said the allegations against Stromberg and Doran have been reported to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

The diocese named 15 priests on June 21 against whom it said credible allegations of sexual misconduct involving minors had been made. A 16th priest, the Rev. Juan Guillen, was identified Aug. 24.

Guillen, a 58-year-old priest in Yuma, remains in custody at the Yuma County Jail on charges of molestation of three Yuma boys from as early as 1989 and as recently as this summer. He pleaded not guilty to 12 felony charges Sept. 6.

The Diocese of Tucson serves more than 350,000 Catholics with 78 priests in La Paz, Yuma, Pinal, Gila, Pima, Santa Cruz, Cochise, Graham and Greenlee counties.

In his letter to parishioners, Moreno urged them to contact the diocese's Victim Assistance Program if they or a family member have "experienced abuse by any priest, deacon, employee, or volunteer of the Diocese." The program's number is 623-0344 in Tucson or 1-800- 234-0344 outside Tucson.


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